Lafayette, Colorado is a fun little town with an interesting history. Founded in 1888 by Mary Miller, who named the town after her husband, Lafayette.
Coal mining boom
The town very quickly became part of a coal mining boom that happened in eastern Boulder and southwestern Weld counties. By 1914 Lafayette was a boom town with plenty of industry, hotels and banks. It was also the location of a power station that served Louisville, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins. The town was dry and Miller was a devoted temperance movement member.
Coal mining strikes
Lafayette had a bit of a darker side to their history as well. In the 1910’s a coal mining strike, was nationally recognized as a great Wobbly (Industrial Workers of the World; a radical labor group) strike. It was also part of the Ludlow Massacre of miners’ families by the National Guard in the Southern Coal Field near Trinidad, Colorado. In 1927 there was another strike and massacre, causing the deaths of five Lafayette resident miners in the Columbine Mine Massacre.
Coal mining declined and in the 1950’s was replaced by natural gas. In 1956 the Black Diamond mine closed, the town became an agriculture-based community again. When Boulder and Denver grew, Lafayette became more residential meaning that commercial development, some small industry and manufacturing became more important.
Fun and unique events
Today, Lafayette hosts a variety of fun and unique events. There’s the oatmeal festival in cooperation with the Quaker Oats Company, a peach festival, a wine festival, and Lafayette Days. Time for fun is important and festivals give the residents time to gather and celebrate!