Mountain View's dilemma makes the Wall Street Journal

Categories: Business

town hall in mountain view.jpg
Town Hall in Mountain View.

Mountain View, Colorado, a Denver suburb, is modern enough to have a website -- but the information on its home page suggests that its concerns are quaint and old-fashioned. The first item concerns "Weeds and Tree Limb Violations." The second notes that building permits are necessary for most home improvement projects, "including all types of fences." The third touches on watering restrictions.

Unfortunately, Mountain View has larger problems on the horizon -- including a shrinking tax base. Hence, its inclusion in "Towns Rethink Self-Reliance as Finances Worsen," a Wall Street Journal article about municipalities in such awful fiscal shape that their only recourse may be disincorporation.

The community's history dates back more than a hundred years -- and its birth wasn't unanimously embraced by the citizenry. According to an account from the website linked above, the original vote for incorporation was 58 people for, 48 against. Town officials are undoubtedly hoping to avoid undoing these results a century later. To read more about Mountain View, click "Continue."

Incorporation

In the territory there were 375 inhabitants who desired to be organized into a town, to be called Mountain View.

Fifty-eight (58) signatures were on the petition, which was filed in the Jefferson County Court on August 8, 1904. John P. Maul is the attorney for the proposed Town of Mountain View.

An election was held on the sixth day of September 1904 at L. Hanawall Store, 4301 Sheridan Blvd. There were 58 ballots cast for, and 48 ballots cast against. The measure passed and the Town of Mountain View was created.

In 1972 Mountain View became a Home Rule Municipality.

During the gold rush years, the land of the present site of Mountain View was owned by the Yule Family, who subsequently moved to the Crystal River Valley on the Western Slope in Gunnison County.

John Brishen Walker (1847-1930) -- In 1879 Walker purchased 1,200 acres of land in the Berkeley area for $1,000. He added to the land until he had 1,600--1,700 acres, which he named Berkeley Farm. Walker and a British investor, Dr. William Bell, grew alfalfa on the farm until the late 1880's.

Walker eventually gave 50 acres of his farm, on which is now Lowell Blvd., to the Jesuit College, (now Regis College).

Walker later sold the land for $325,000 to a Kansas City syndicate, who put the Denver investment firm of Carleton Ellis and John McDonough in charge of the development of a new suburb -- the Berkeley Annex.

Carleton Ellis was active in investments and real estate, and was vice president of the Citizens Bank in Denver.

Not much is known about John McDonough. He lived in a spacious home at West 46th Avenue and Perry, in Harkness Heights, a development of his own making.

The Berkeley Annex is from Sheridan Blvd. west to Fenton Street and 41st Avenue north to 44th Avenue. Ellis and McDonough platted what became Mountain View, Colorado, as Plat T3S, R69W on December 19, 1888. (The town was located on the Denver International Railroad at one time.)

It is thought the streets in Mountain View acquired their original Spanish and Indian names from Ellis and McDonough. From Sheridan Blvd. west, the streets were named Allita, Veta, Rietta, Bonita, Chipeta and Uintah.

In February 1897 Arapahoe County (now Denver and Adams County) collaborated with Jefferson County to unify the street system. Names of streets became Ames, Benton, Chase, Depew, Eaton and Fenton. These names were chosen to honor American political figures. Numbered avenues in Mountain View had various names (West 41st was B, Dakota or Maple). West 43rd was C, Wyoming or Oak, while 44th Ave. was D.

We gratefully acknowledge Dorothy Donovan, Historian, for providing the preceeding information to Mountain View in 1996. It has been condensed from the original version for this web site.

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