Settlers were drawn by rumors of gold and by land that was made available through the Homestead Act of 1864.
Castle Rock, first settled in the 1870s, is nestled in the heart of East Plum Creek Valley, surrounded by rocky buttes and featuring stunning views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Named for the prominent rock formation that overlooks the Town, the discovery of rhyolite stone in the butte near Plum Creek is what put Castle Rock on the map and made it an important station for north-south railroad traffic. One of the original homesteaders, Jeremiah Gould, owned 160 acres to the south of “The Rock.”
At that time, the community consisted of just a few shacks for prospectors, quarry workers and other hired hands. In 1874, Gould donated 120 acres to “be known as Castle Rock.” Within a year, the new train depot brought the Denver & Rio Grande Railway to the community unloading supplies for ranchers, shipping rhyolite from the three local quarries, and cheese from the dairy farms in the surrounding area. The depot now houses the Castle Rock Historical Museum on Elbert Street, where visitors can relive the 125+ years since the Town’s inception.
The Depot was moved from trackside to its present location at 420 Elbert Street in 1970, and was carefully restored by the Castle Rock Historical Society in 1996 for use as a local history museum. The building still retains the original interior features such as the old ticket window and baggage area with 125 years of graffiti on its walls.
Then and Now – Holding History in Your Hand
The Castle Rock Historical Society has installed historical markers on several historical sites throughout the town. Heavy, cast aluminum markers are placed on historical buildings and embedded with a QR code to display a web page telling the building’s story. Historical walking tours are offered during the summer months for those wanting a closer and more educational experience of the fascinating histories of these sites. More information at: http://www.castlerockmuseum.org/