Content courtesy of Wikipedia.org
The region in and around Castle Rock was originally home to the Arapaho and Cheyenne people. They occupied the land between the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers.
White settlers were drawn to the area by rumors of gold and by land opened through the Homestead Act of 1862. However, it was the discovery of rhyolite stone, not gold, that ultimately led to the settlement of Castle Rock.
Castle Rock was founded in 1874 when the eastern Douglas County border was redrawn to its present location. Castle Rock was chosen as the county seat because of its central location.
One of the first homesteaders in the area near today’s Castle Rock was Jeremiah Gould. He owned about 160 acres (0.65 km2) to the south of “The (Castle) Rock.” At that time, the settlement consisted of just a few buildings for prospectors, workers, and cowboys. In 1874, Jeremiah Gould donated 120 acres (0.49 km2) to the new town that was also now home to the Douglas County government. For the beginning the six streets named Elbert, Jerry, Wilcox, Perry, Castle and Front were laid out to build the actual town of Castle Rock. The Courthouse Square was defined and about 77 lots, each 50 by 112 feet (34 m), were auctioned off for a total profit of US$3,400.
A new train depot brought the Denver and Rio Grande Railway to the area.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Castle Rock had a very active Rhyolite quarrying industry. Many Swedish immigrants arrived in the area to work in the quarries.
Located in central Colorado at the junction of Interstate 25 and State Highway 86, Castle Rock is 28 mi south of downtown Denver and 37 mi north of Colorado Springs.
The town lies a few miles east of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains on the western edge of the Great Plains. Castle Rock, the butte that is the town’s namesake, sits just north of the town center. Other prominent landforms visible from Castle Rock include Dawson Butte, Devils Head, Mount Evans and Pikes Peak.
East Plum Creek, a stream within the South Platte River watershed, flows generally north through Castle Rock. Hangman’s Gulch, which runs northwest then west around the north side of the town center, drains into East Plum Creek as do multiple unnamed gulches in the southern and western areas of town. McMurdo Gulch and Mitchell Gulch run north then northeast through eastern Castle Rock and drain into Cherry Creek east of town.
Castle Rock is within the Colorado Foothills Life Zone. The hillsides are covered with large meadows of grass, small plants, scattered juniper trees and open ponderosa pine woodlands. Other trees common in the area include Gambel oak (scrub oak or oak brush) and pinyon pine. Local wildlife includes the American badger, American black bear, bobcat, coyote, Colorado chipmunk, gray fox, mountain cottontail rabbit, mountain lion, mule deer, pocket gopher, porcupine, and skunk. Birds that can be found in the area include the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, sharp-shinned hawk, black-billed magpie, red-tailed hawk, pinyon jay and western tanager.
Lying within the Front Range Urban Corridor, the town is part of the greater Denver metropolitan area. Castle Rock borders three communities, all to its north; from west to east, these are Castle Pines Village, the city of Castle Pines, and The Pinery. Other nearby communities include Franktown to the east, Larkspur to the south, Perry Park to the southwest, and Sedalia to the northwest.
Castle Rock is a Home Rule Municipality with a council-manager form of government. The town council consists of seven members, each representing an election district, elected to four-year terms. One member, appointed by the council, serves as mayor, presiding over council meetings, and another member serves as mayor pro tem. The mayor presides over council meetings and casts one vote, like other council members. The council sets policy for the town, adopts ordinances, approves the town budget, makes major land-use decisions, and appoints key town government staff including the town manager, town attorney, municipal judge, and members of town boards and commissions. The town manager, David Corliss, supervises all departments, prepares and implements the town budget, and works with the council to develop policies and propose new plans.
Tax revenues are used to provide general government, fire, police, parks maintenance and programs, street maintenance and operations, support for recreation, and planning and code enforcement services. The town also provides development services, golf, water and sewer services to residents through self-supporting enterprise funds.
As the county seat, Castle Rock is the administrative center of Douglas County. The county courthouse, the Douglas County Justice Center, is located north of downtown, and most departments of the county government base their operations in the town.
As of 2013, Castle Rock lies within Colorado’s 4th U.S. Congressional District. For the purposes of representation in the Colorado General Assembly, the town is located in the 4th district of the Colorado Senate and the 45th district of the Colorado House of Representatives.
Primary and secondary education
Douglas County School District is based in Castle Rock and operates 18 public schools in the town. These include ten elementary schools, two middle schools, two charter schools, one magnet school, one alternative high school, and two high schools: Castle View High School and Douglas County High School. In addition, there are three private primary schools located in Castle Rock: The Rock Academy (Grades PK-3), School of the Rock (PK-8), and Woodlands Academy (1-8).
The Douglas County Libraries public library system is based in Castle Rock, co-located with the local branch library, the Philip S. Miller Library, south of downtown. The Miller Library includes the Douglas County History Research Center and offers several educational and recreational programs to the public.
Castle Rock has a weekly newspaper, The Douglas County News-Press. Television station KETD, an affiliate of the LeSEA network, broadcasts on digital channel 46. Licensed to Castle Rock, the station is located near Centennial, Colorado.
Castle Rock is part of the Denver radio and television market. Radio station KJMN is licensed to Castle Rock, but broadcasts from Denver playing a Spanish Adult Hits format on 92.1 FM. Denver radio station 850 KOA, which broadcasts a news/talk and sports format, operates its 50,000 watt transmitter from a site 10 miles northeast of downtown Castle Rock, in the town of Parker. Another Denver station, KEZW “Studio 1430”, a CNN affiliate with a nostalgia music format, operates its transmitter from Highlands Ranch, 13 miles north of downtown Castle Rock.
NPR programming can be heard on Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR-FM. Castle Rock is also served by the AM signal of KGNU, a non-commercial affiliate of PRI, Pacifica, and the BBC World Service, and which also provides diverse music programming.
Castle Rock’s open space and parks comprise 27% the town’s total land area (5,415 acres (21.91 km2) of parks and open space / 20,224 acres (81.84 km2) total land area). Additionally, there are nearly 75 miles (121 km) of soft-surface and paved trails.
Parks – Baldwin Park, Bison Park, Butterfield Park, Castle Highlands Park, Castle North Park, Castlewood Canyon State Park, Centennial Park, Festival Park, Founders Park, Gemstone Park, Glovers Tot Lot, Matney Park, Metzler Ranch Park, Mitchell Gulch Park, Paintbrush Park, Plum Creek Park, Rhyolite Regional Park, Rosecrown Park.
Trails & Open Space – East Plum Creek Trail, Gateway Mesa Open Space, Hidden Mesa Open Space, Memmen Ridge Open Space, Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail, Mitchell Creek Trail System, Native Legend Open Space, Quarry Mesa Open Space, Ridgeline Open Space, Rock Park, The Bowl.
The Castle Rock Historical Museum is located in the former Denver and Rio Grande Railway depot building on Elbert Street. This building is purported to have been built in 1875. It is made of rhyolite taken from local quarries. In this museum visitors can see history of how Castle Rock changed over the years.
The Sri Venkateswara Temple’s 8 acre complex located on Ridge Road is a significant landmark for the Hindu community of Colorado, attracting regular worshipers from as far away as Colorado Springs and Denver. The Temple also invites Swami’s to lecture, offers classes, and undertakes outreach and service programs in the community.