Greeley's 150th Anniversary

April 6, 2020, marks 150 years since Greeley was incorporated as a city. Our founder, Nathan Meeker, named the new town “Greeley” after his New York newspaper editor Horace Greeley who popularized the phrase “Go West, young man, go West”. The settlement was carefully situated at the delta of the Cache la Poudre and South Platte Rivers to support an agrarian economy and way of life. In addition, the new transcontinental railroad made Greeley a perfect halfway stop between Denver and Cheyenne and promised good access to goods, travel, progress, new ideas, and more newcomers.

From its start with 480 residents, Greeley is now home to over 112,000 people. Greeley is a home rule municipality, the county seat, and the most populous community in Weld County. Early Greeley set out to be a “utopian” community founded on solid values and principles. Its agricultural heritage has continued to mark its culture, values, and economy as it ranks today in the top ten agricultural producing counties in the nation.  Early on, Greeley distinguished itself as a leader in water development and management and was key to the development of the Colorado Water Doctrine.

With its foresight, resource management, talent, and civic leadership, Greeley enjoys attractive development, high quality of life, and a diverse economy that includes abundant local innovators and Fortune 500 companies with a strong work ethic and a strong appreciation for recreation, culture, and taking care of our neighbors.

As Greeley celebrates its 150th anniversary, it also tips its hat to other centennial community partners such as the University of Northern Colorado, the Greeley Tribune, Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greeley Independence Stampede, and Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, to name just a few.   Together, we have built an amazing community and have chosen some special ways to celebrate throughout the year.  We hope you’ll join us! 

Time Capsule Opening

Greeley marks its 150th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, city officials opened two-time capsules. Greeley Historic Preservation Commission and the City of Greeley Museums unveiled a selection of items from both capsules. 

In October of 1967 and again in October of 1970, Greeley residents collected items that reflected their lives and placed them in time capsules. They put one capsule in the Civic Center Complex building (later known as the Lincoln Park Annex) in 1967 when it opened. In late 2015, the building was demolished for the construction of the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Greeley. Museum staff kept the capsule safe since then. The city buried the 1970 capsule in Lincoln Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Greeley's founding.