Brighton (1871, 4,982 feet) was first named Hughes Station for Bela M. Hughes, president of the Denver Pacific Railroad. By 1879 Daniel F. Carmichael had purchased much of the area and renamed it for his wife's hometown of Brighton Beach, New York. Incorporated in 1887 with about 175 residents, it became the seat of Adams County in 1902.
The Brighton Creamery, the Kuner-Empson Cannery, the Great Western sugar beet factory, and other agribusinesses emerged as the major employers. Truck farming remains a profitable business, and Hispanic, Italian, and Japanese American families raise much of the fresh produce grown in the area. During the harvest season, roadside vegetable stands garnish major highways.
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