Leyden, Colorado

Leyden, Colorado is a small unincorporated community lying west of Arvada at the junction of West 82nd Avenue and Quaker Streets. It is a historic company town established by the Leyden Coal Company in 1902, housing the miners of the Leyden Coal Mine nearby to the west. It consists of a collection of square frame homes with pyramidal roofs, which were originally red trimmed in white. It was named for pioneer miner brothers Michael, Martin and John Leyden, who discovered the original Leyden mine in the hogback ridge to the west, where Michael and Martin died tragically in 1866 and 1870. At its height the town of Leyden included these homes as well as the company store, school, boarding house, saloon, and Presbyterian chapel. The store still stands at the southeast corner of 82nd and Quaker, while the school is the easternmost house on the hillside to the north, and the foreman's house stands next door to its west. The Leyden mine supplied coal for the Denver area and beyond, as well as the Denver Tramway that was a subsidiary of railroad magnate David Moffat. The town housed a diverse population of native and immigrant miners, including from such countries as Austria, Hungary, Greece, Germany, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, and more. Major events in its history include the Leyden Mine Disaster in 1910 which claimed 10 lives, and the workers' strike of 1914. Leyden ceased to be a company town around 1958 when the mine ceased operation, and it has remained an unincorporated community with its own water district ever since.

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