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Niwot, Co. was platted in 1875, two years after the Colorado Central Railroad extended its tracks northeast from Boulder. This expansion provided a significant boost to the local agricultural economy by creating a link to markets as far away as Wyoming and Denver.
The townsite straddled the railroad tracks, which for the next 75 years played an important part in Niwot’s history. A modest business district stood on the west side of town. There, behind the railroad depot and loading pens, was a blacksmith shop, feedmill, and various general stores. East of the tracks, neighborhood streets were laid out.
After the turn of the 20th century, the business district moved to Second Avenue, where it remains today. John Nelson, a local carpenter, is credited with building the first two commercial Second Avenue structures in 1907. Most of the remaining shops in the first block were completed by 1915, and include the oldest operating Grange in Colorado. These buildings comprise the Niwot Historic District.
Town Known For: Near town is the Boulder Reservoir, a popular spot for swimming, boating, jogging, biking and bird watching. Of course, Boulder's stunning red-rock parks and extensive network of trails are also just miles from Niwot.