City of Brighton

City of BrightonThe City of Brighton is conveniently located 20 minutes north of Denver. This northeastern Denver suburb sits along the banks of the South Platte River. Brighton combines a small-town atmosphere with rich cultural and historical roots, which is evident as one drives down its main street.

Incorporated in 1887, the city's history dates back to 1881 when Daniel Carmichael, a Denver real estate agent, began buying land here and named the town Brighton in honor of his wife's birthplace, Brighton Beach, New York.

The first subdivision built by Carmichael was made up of the triangular portion of downtown Brighton, south of Bridge Street bounded by South First Street on the west and the railroad tacks on the east.  Dewey W. Strong platted the rest ofr the downtown area on the north side of Bridge Street in November 1882 and subsequently opened the first store in Brighton at Main and Strong streets where La Estrellita restaurant is currently located today.

On July 26, 1887, the town of Brighton was officially incorporated with a population of 175.  At this time, Brighton consisted of a school, a church, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, a meat market, two general stores, a post office, a railroad station, a telegraph station, a section house, a newspaper, a creamery, three saloons and a number of residences.  A new county road from Box Elder to Boulder was built and crossed the Platte River at Brighton, allowing for an increase in transportation.  This road is now Highway 7 and Bridge Street in Brighton.

Emory Strong, Dewey Strong's older brother, defeated Daniel Carmichael and became Brighton's first mayor,  In its early years, the dairy industry was one of Brighton's bets assets because of its year-round payroll to the farmers and the company's employees.  The Brighton Dairy Association was formed April 9, 1895.  Eventually, the Northern Dairy received milk from more than 250 milk producers.  The store in front of the dairy sold milk, cheese, butter, cottage cheese, ice cream and sherbets.  The dairy was sold to Denver in 1962.

The closing of Stapleton Airport in Denver and the opening of the Denver International Airport brought the greatest changes in the area.  Annexations to accommodate the fast growing population were necessary.  Now, with more than 33,000 residents calling Brighton home, the small town roots as an agricultural hub has transformed into one of the fastest growing cities in Colorado.

Click here to go to the City of Brighton's website
Office of Arts & Culture, Brighton, Colorado