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Evergreen (1876, 7,040 feet) is named for its forests of large and abundant spruce, fir, and ponderosa pine. Originally logging attracted settlers, who operated a half-dozen sawmills along Upper Bear Creek. Governor John Evans and other prominent Denverites built rustic summer homes in the area. Tourism began to boom after 1919, when Denver Mountain Parks bought the 420-acre Dedisse Ranch on Bear Creek. Denver built Evergreen Dam (1927) to create Evergreen Lake as the centerpiece of a mountain park noted for fishing and ice skating. Since World War II, Evergreen has boomed as a year-round home for many who work downhill in Denver. Still unincorporated, it is now a city of some 16,000.

Notable structures vary from Buffalo Park School (1877), a restored one-room, hewn log school now on the campus of Wilmot Elementary School, at 5124 South Hatch Drive, to multi-million-dollar mountain estates. The Fillius Park Picnic Shelter (1918, Jacques Benedict) (NR), on Colorado 74, a massive stone structure with open wicker-work below the log roof and a stone fireplace, exemplifies Benedict's Rocky Mountain style. The lovely drive along Upper Bear Creek Road west of Evergreen winds through a fine collection of rustic mountain mansions.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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