Anglo settlement in Northwest Denver began after 1858, when Denver founder William H. Larimer waded across the South Platte River to stake out “Highlands.” This area began to thrive during the 1880s following construction of streetcar lines and viaducts over the South Platte River and railroad tracks. A wave of Italian immigrants between the 1880s and 1920s established “Little Italy” there, although Spanish-speaking settlers have been most numerous since 1950. The ethnic peoples of Northwest Denver have added to a colorful collection of churches, cafes, bars, and housing.
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