The I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context

The I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context was prepared as a guide for future work with historic resources in the I-70 Mountain Corridor. This information is intended to help researchers understand the history of the corridor, identify and interpret common types of historic resources, and evaluate their significance in terms of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Colorado Department of Transportation formed a Cultural Resources Working Group to provide input to the I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context. This working group included members representing the State Historical Preservation Office, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, various historical societies, and counties and municipalities along the corridor. Specific goals and functions for the I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context provided the framework for the development of the document.

The I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context is organized around seven dominant historical themes. The dominant themes are:

  • Mining Industry
  • Timber Industry
  • Railroad Transportation
  • Automobile Transportation
  • Tourism and Recreation
  • Power and Water Infrastructure
  • Farming, Ranching, and Homesteading

Important events, trends, places, and people are identified under each theme. This provides researchers with a framework in which to perceive historic resources and evaluate their importance according to the NRHP Criteria. The I-70 Mountain Corridor Historic Context is also intended to be used as guidance for local entities in evaluating their historic resources for potential nomination to the NRHP. This same information can provide local communities with material and background for public education and heritage tourism publications. 

A catalog of resource types and their common components is provided as guidance for future researchers. This is organized by the seven historical themes and reflects NRHP Criteria of Eligibility. Also included are explanations of archaeological, architectural, engineering, and landscape resources along with a review of the NRHP program.

Additional Historic Context data from the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement can be found on the Interactive Map.