When people ask what is the capital of Colorado, we all say Denver. Did you know this wasn't always the case? Back in the early days of the Centennial State, this was a very sore subject.

Colorado became a state in 1876, but residents didn't vote to name Denver the capital until 1881. Did you know two other cities were once known as the capital of Colorado?

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The Capital of the Colorado Territory

Colorado was named a territory of the United States in 1861. That year, Colorado City was named the capital of the new territory. Today, this small Colorado town --now a small suburb of Colorado Springs-- is home to just 2,237 residents. The first meetings of the Colorado territorial legislature held in Colorado City were a mess. The facilities were so inadequate that the session ended after just five days, and a new capital was selected to the north.

Colorado's Second Capital City

From 1862 to 1867, the city of Golden was named the capital of the Colorado territory. If you ever visit the city of Golden, try stopping at the Old Capital Grill Restaurant. This was the location of the state capital building while it was located in Golden. The address is 1122 Washington Ave, Golden, CO 80401.

Colorado Can't Decide

When Colorado became an official state in 1876, the state capital was unofficially moved to Denver. When Colorado was ready to introduce a state constitution, they did not name a capital city. Framers of the Colorado constitution feared if Denver was named the capital that voters would not ratify the state constitution so it was left out.

This resulted in the 1881 Colorado State Captial Referendum. Denver, Golden, Silver Cliff, and Leadville were all on the ballot. It's said that Denver won by a shady one-vote margin.

Welcome to Colorado: The History of Welcome Signs in the Centennial State

Colorado is surrounded by seven neighboring states with multiple highways that will lead you in and out from all sides. More than 40 Welcome to Colorful Colorado road signs are waiting to greet visitors. Scroll on to find out where they are and to get a glimpse of each of them.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

Exploring the History of Grand Junction, Colorado: From Frontier Town to Small City

If you came to western Colorado in 1880, you probably never would have guessed how the valley would look in 2023. Check out a timeline of significant events that brought Grand Junction from the frontier to a small city from 1880 to 1900.

Gallery Credit: Wes Adams

MORE: How Much Do You Know About the Odd History of Colorado and Wyoming?

Here's a deep dive of fun facts about Colorado and Wyoming for you to share at your next "Border War" party.

Gallery Credit: Chris Kelly

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