Colorado Counties
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Colorado Counties

Colorado currently has sixty-four counties. In February 1866, the first new county, Las Animas, was created. Alamosa was created in 1913, and in 2001, Broomfield was recognized as a city-county, bringing a total of 64 counties.

Gilpin County, Colorado

Gilpin County Education, Geography, and HistoryGilpin County, Colorado Courthouse

Gilpin County is the second-least extensive of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado, just behind Denver itself. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 5,441. The county seat is Central City. The county was created in 1861, while Colorado was still a Territory, and is named after Colonel William Gilpin, the first Governor of the Territory of Colorado.

Gilpin County is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Gilpin County Name

Gilpin County is named in honor of William Gilpin, the first Governor of the Territory of Colorado.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Gilpin County History

Gilpin County was created  November 1, 1861 as an original county from Arapahoe (old) County, Kansas Territory. County seat: Central City

From 1859 through 1866, Central City was the most important town in Colorado Territory. Central City became the county seat when Gilpin County was organized in 1861. The Territorial legislature granted a City Charter to the City of Central in March 1864. This was 12 years before Colorado achieved statehood in 1876.

There are two popular stories about how Central City was named. One story involves William N. Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News. In June 1859, he camped where the Golden Rose Inn is now located. He suggested that a town be laid out in that vicinity. Since it was about half way between Nevada City (Nevadaville) and Mountain City he said it should be called "Central City."

The other story is that a miner's supply store was in the same area and the sign over the entrance was "Central City Store." The surrounding area then became known as Central City. One way or another, Central City, the cradle of Colorado, was born. It's official name: The City of Central.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 150 square miles (389 km2), of which, 150 square miles (388 km2) of it is land and 0 square miles (1 km2) of it (0.26%) is water.

Gilpin county is located close to the center of Colorado. The County is a rural community in Colorado's high country.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: Boulder County
  • Southeast: Jefferson County
  • Southwest: Clear Creek County
  • Northwest: Grand County


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