Colfax Ave. circa 1920s
Aurora was incorporated as the town of Fletcher on April 30, 1891. The new town, one of the new crop of suburbs sprouting up around Denver, was four square miles of prairie reaching from Yosemite Street to Peoria and 6th Avenue north to 26th Avenue. In 1907 the town was renamed Aurora. Aurora history is one of change, growth, diversity, and community.
Since its early history, Aurora has grown to a city of 154 square miles and a population of approximately 335,000 people. Aurora is one of the most diverse cities in the Aurora/Denver metro area.
Visit the Aurora History Museum to learn more.
Aurora’s Military Heritage
Since the very early years of this city, the military has been a big part of Aurora’s history. For almost 100 years, Aurora has been home to countless service men and women and their families. They are part of a rich heritage that makes up our community. Let's take time to honor those who have served and are serving our country in the armed forces.
In 1918 during the beginning of Aurora’s first building boom, Army General Hospital #21 (re-named Fitzsimons Army Hospital) was built east of town. Twenty years later, in 1938, Lowry Air Force Base was opened to the southwest of town. Rather than closing Fitzsimons, the U.S. government expanded and upgraded the hospital facilities in 1941 just in time to care for the wounded servicemen of World War II. Lowry expanded to a site 15 miles to the east in 1942 that eventually became Buckley Air National Guard Base and later Buckley Air Force Base.
Aurora is now home to the Colorado Freedom Memorial, dedicated in 2013 to honor all of those Colorado military personnel who have lost their lives in combat while serving our country.
Aurora History Museum
The Aurora History Museum, the only public museum in the city of Aurora, is a community-based cultural center featuring changing history, culture, decorative arts, and fine arts exhibits focusing on a wide variety of topics. For researchers, the museum is the primary resource in Aurora for historic records, photographs, exhibition, and information. Learn more about the history of Aurora on the city of Aurora history page.
Aurora's Historic Sites
The history of Aurora, as illustrated by its remaining historic buildings, structures and sites, is a valuable resource that needs to be shared with the community and preserved for the future. The Aurora City Council created the Historic Preservation Commission in 1985 to assist residents in the preservation of unique community assets, both archaeological and historical. The Historic Preservation Commission’s landmarking process provides a way for both public and privately owned buildings to be preserved for future generations.
Tours of the historic sites, as well as education programs, demonstrations, lectures, and more can be found at the Aurora History Museum, 15051 E. Alameda Parkway.