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Commerce City

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Commerce City (1952, 5,150 feet) amalgamates several earlier settlements: Adams City, Derby, Irondale, and Rose Hill. Rose Hill centered on the Rose Hill Grange Hall and Rose Hill Hebrew Cemetery (1892), 6841 East 62nd Avenue. Commerce City was incorporated in 1952 to block Denver's northward expansion. Louis Vasquez's fort is thought to have been in the vicinity of 72nd Avenue. Irondale, which is commemorated only by a sign along the railroad tracks, was originally a housing development for workers at Charles Kibler's Stove Works.

Old-timers include the Fernald Farm-house (1882), 7131 Colorado Boulevard, with stuccoed brick walls two feet thick. The Conoco Refinery (c. 1930) remains the state's largest refinery and supplies 15 percent of all gasoline used in Colorado from the Brighton Boulevard plant. Other prominent landmarks include several grain silos belonging to Conagra. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (1942, U.S. Army), Quebec Street to Buckley Road, between East 56th and East 88th avenues, saturated with defense industry chemical byproducts and with Shell Oil Company pesticides, is being cleaned up as a wildlife refuge. With a 1990 population of almost 20,000, Commerce City is outgrowing its reputation as the armpit of the metropolis, preferring to be known as “Denver's no-nonsense industrial suburb.”

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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