The county seat (1861, 5,362 feet) is named for Richard S. Little, a surveyor, who laid out a tidy country town reminiscent of his native New England next to his Rough and Ready Flour Mill (1867). The Denver & Rio Grande arrived in 1871 and built a depot, followed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, making Littleton an early rail suburb of Denver.
Local lumber, hardware, and tin shops provided materials for homebuilders. The Denver & Rio Grande, which developed rhyolite quarries at Castle Rock in Douglas County, provided that stone for upscale residences designed by Denver architects such as Robert S. Roeschlaub and Jacques (Jules Jacques Benoit) Benedict. Most early structures, however, were vernacular frame without great pretensions, a type well displayed in the living history Farm-house and outbuildings preserved at the Littleton Historical Museum.
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