Latitude / Longitude:
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Montana City was the first settlement in what was later to become Denver, Colorado. It was established during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush on the east bank of the South Platte River, just north of the confluence with Little Dry Creek, in 1858. At the time, the site was in the Kansas Territory.
The site selected because it was adjacent to placer gold diggings along the South Platte River. However, the gold diggings at Montana City proved disappointing, and the site was soon abandoned in favor of the settlement of Auraria, a few miles downstream.
The Montana City site is now Grant-Frontier Park and includes mining equipment and a log cabin replica.
John Easter, a butcher living in Lawrence, Kansas, heard of gold found “two days sleep” from Pikes Peak from Fall Leaf in 1857. Fall Leaf was a member of the Delaware tribe living on a reservation near Lawrence, Kansas who met with Easter to negotiate the sale of a steer. Fall Leaf was a guide in 1857 for Major John Sedgwick’s cavalry unit to locate and attack the Cheyenne and Arapaho, in a series of attacks of retribution that stemmed from the killing of a Cheyenne warrior. That journey led the men along the Arkansas River, Fountain River and South Platte River. During that trip Fall Leaf found gold in the Pikes Peak area and showed a sample to Easter.