Celebrating 150 Years
The Town of Erie was officially established on November 16, 1874. From January through December 2024, Erie will be marking the sesquicentennial (the 150th anniversary) to honor our past, celebrate the present, and look toward the future.
To commemorate this historic milestone, we've created monthly themes and have several special celebrations planned over the coming months to help mark 150 years, including:
- Activities and events paying tribute to Erie's history
- Special events and traditions which make Erie "home," and
- Celebrations recognizing and celebrating the diversity in our community
January: Step into history! Join us in January 2024 at Town Hall for an open house hosted by the Town Clerk’s team. We're unveiling precious historic documents, records, and artifacts from Erie's inception. As the official record keeper, it's our duty to ensure transparency and preserve our town's legacy. Let's commemorate the sesquicentennial together and illuminate Erie's remarkable journey into the future!
February: Embark on an exciting journey with the Erie Chamber of Commerce's passport program! Throughout February, we're on a mission to connect you with the best businesses in Erie. Simply visit participating spots, collect stamps on your passport, and drop it off at the Chamber for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Let's make February a month of exploration and support for our local community!
March: The Town’s DEI division, teaming up with Being Better Neighbors, will spotlight the vibrant stories of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, and women in our community. This month, we're shining a bright light on Women’s, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), and Black History Month. Join us for insightful community forums and dive into educational resources, celebrating the incredible impact of these groups on Erie and the wider region. Let's honor the past and shape a more inclusive future!
April: Calling all nature enthusiasts! Join us for a special celebration at Erie Community Park, where Forestry, Horticulture, and the Tree Board come together to mark Erie's 150th Anniversary. Explore fascinating exhibits showcasing Erie's historic trees. This year, in honor of this milestone, we're gifting 150 1” diameter trees to our cherished residents, in addition to our traditional seedling giveaway. The iconic cottonwood tree in our Town's logo, handpicked by Leon A. Wurl and his wife, stands tall as a symbol of our deep appreciation for trees and their invaluable contributions.
May: Mark your calendars for May 2024! The Erie Police Department has something special in store: a time capsule dedication. This capsule will hold a piece of our current time, to be unveiled in the future. May is a month dedicated to honoring Law Enforcement, with a whole week dedicated to Police Week. In this spirit, we're coming together to pay tribute to all Erie officers and commemorate the town's 150-year legacy. While the exact spot for this ceremony and the time capsule's resting place are yet to be finalized, we're considering the expanded Town Hall on Holbrook Street. Stay tuned for more details!
June: June's set to be a celebration of voices and experiences in our community! The Town’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) division, in collaboration with Being Better Neighbors, will compile and honor historical stories from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and women, both past and present. This month, we're spotlighting Indigenous, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ history, aligning with Juneteenth, Pride, and other cultural events. Building on March's success, we're creating enduring educational resources for all ages, weaving these invaluable stories into the fabric of our Town's culture and heritage.
July: Since 1985, July has been celebrated as Park and Recreation Month across the nation. Led by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), it's a time to spotlight the vital services offered by park and recreation professionals nationwide. Get ready for an exciting event in July 2024! Our Parks & Recreation Department will be organizing a town-wide medallion hunt, featuring 150 specially engraved wooden ornaments hidden throughout Erie. Each medallion unlocks a prize, from ECC Day Passes to summer fun prize baskets. Let the treasure hunt begin!
August: August 2024 brings four dynamic events hosted by the Sustainability Division at the Pierce Street House. Every week, we'll dive into resident-focused topics: electrification/renewable energy, electric vehicle showcase, water conservation, and waste diversion. Our aim is not only to educate and involve the community and Town staff on these crucial subjects, but also to highlight the Pierce Street House as a cutting-edge, all-electric net zero building. This sesquicentennial, let's illuminate sustainability and empower residents and staff to shrink our greenhouse gas footprint and local climate impact.
September: Join us at the Erie Community Library as we celebrate the vibrant journey of our community! Dive into short interviews with residents, sharing their love for Erie (and their top book picks, of course!). Explore our treasure trove of historic documents and research materials, showcasing Erie's remarkable progress over 150 years. As your town's proud public library, we're dedicated to offering knowledge and resources for all, ensuring everyone has equal access. Let's make our sesquicentennial a celebration of Erie's rich tapestry!
October: October isn't just about fall leaves—it's also National Planning Month! Join us at the Planning & Development Department for an exciting lineup. We're bringing in an expert speaker to discuss planning and development topics crucial to Erie. Plus, don't miss our 'Planning Academy'—a series of workshops where residents dive into the planning process, working on fictional projects and discovering roles like planner, developer, and more. For a hands-on experience, we're teaming up with local students for 'Box City', a kit activity that lets them design their own model city. And the adventure continues with a scavenger hunt, leading you to hidden gems in Erie. Let's explore and plan together!
November: Get ready for an incredible blast from the past! The Historic Preservation Advisory Board is hard at work, gearing up for the grand 150th (Sesquicentennial) Anniversary on Nov. 16, 2024. They're dusting off a gem from the '90s—a historical book about our town, fresh off the presses. But that's not all! They're also digging deep, gathering stories from local legends, sifting through newspapers, personal albums, Town archives, and more to offer a treasure trove of historical items to curious residents. And here's the kicker: they're teaming up with Erie High School to transform the Homecoming Parade into a spectacular joint 150th Anniversary and Homecoming Parade, just like the unforgettable 100th Anniversary Parade in 1974. Don't miss out on this historic celebration!
December: Let's make December a month to remember! The Public Works team is set to roll out an exciting competition to name five of our trusty snowplow trucks. Plus, we're teaming up with local elementary and middle schools for a 'Paint the Plow' extravaganza! When winter storms hit, the Public Works Department steps up to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents by clearing the way. In this sesquicentennial year, let's highlight the evolution of snow operations and showcase Erie's unwavering commitment to keeping our streets and sidewalks safe for everyone, no matter the weather!
About Our 150th Logo
The logo for Erie's 150th Anniversary was crafted to uniquely embody our rich history and promising future.
The Town of Erie is presently renowned for, among other wonderful things, its picturesque hot air balloon launches. Erie also holds its roots in a coal mining legacy, represented by the coal cart ‘basket’. In commemorating Erie's 150th year as an incorporated Town, it is crucial to acknowledge that this land was inhabited for centuries prior by the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes—indigenous peoples who revered the eagle, represented in the logo. The current Town logo showcases the cottonwood tree, its leaves drifting on the winds that traverse our past, present, and the future lands of Erie. We are grateful to be a part of this land's narrative and endeavor to be responsible stewards of our moment in time.
How it All Began
The Town of Erie was laid out and incorporated on November 16, 1874 (officers appointed in accordance to Territory of Colorado provisions for Town government). The first Mayor, then called the president of the Trustees, was George Meloor. Streets began to be named after prominent residents; Kattel, Briggs, Holbrook, Pierce, Moffat, and Cheesman.
At the time of incorporation in 1874, five temporary trustees governed the Town until a Mayor and city council were elected. Within a short time, Town business was being conducted in a new Town Hall, which doubled as a public meeting place and a classroom until the schoolhouse was built.
The old city hall building was renovated in 2005 and maintains continued visibility of use to the Town for occupation by the Erie Chamber of Commerce.