Tucked behind the hogback at the edge of the Great Plains, along the banks of Bear Creek 20 miles west of Denver in Jefferson County, Morrison is known as “the nearest faraway place.” The spectacular sandstone outcrops of adjacent Red Rocks Park, with its amphitheater built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, draw visitors from around the world to the tiny community with a population of 430. Morrison is known for the 1877 dinosaur discoveries of the first Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Allosaurus, as well as the annual Mile-High Nationals drag race at nearby Bandimere Speedway. Survival has been the watchword throughout Morrison’s 140-year history, including disastrous floods and fires, the arrival and demise of the railroad, the economic ups and downs of tourism and mining, as well as the present-day pressures of urban growth. This website commemorates the willpower and pioneer gumption to survive that have been handed down through the families and businesses of this untarnished gem.
Morrison’s stories are accompanied by selected vintage images, collected by the Morrison Historical Society. Many were gathered in the 1970s by pioneer historian Lorene (Reenie) Horton. New images shared by local families supplement her work, along with selected photographs from other archives.