New Castle, originally named Chapman, was incorporated into Garfield County in 1888. The Welsh and English coal miners who dominated the area in the late 1800s renamed the area for their familiar Newcastle-on-Tyne, a coal mining town in England.
The city thrived on the miners and the merchants who made their livings catering to miners’ needs and desires. As the town grew, there were restaurants, grocery and drug stores, opera houses and hotels.
There were 22 saloons, and west of the creek there was even an area of ill repute discreetly referred to as the “Peach Orchard,” according to “Garfield County: The First Hundred Years,” by Andrew Gulliford.
Early residents bought buckets of water carted from the creek in barrels. By 1893 there was a reservoir filled by East Elk Creek, but it was so shallow it froze during the winter. The city then made an effort to install pipes and laid locally made tile three feet deep. Water lines went up the streets and fire hydrants were installed.
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Today New Castle is on the move. It was listed in the 2000 census as Colorado’s seventh fastest growing city and has seen the addition of several new commercial developments. It was the fastest-growing town in Garfield County in 2003. And in 2004 an 18-hole golf course opened for play.
The town continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Last year, permits were issued for about 170 new single-family units, far surpassing the previous record. Local builders are predicting even more construction for this year, said town administrator David Blanchard.
Town of New Castle
450 W. Main St.
(970) 984-2311 (phone)
(970) 984-2716 (fax)
Mayor Frank Breslin
Mayor Pro Tem Duane Guettler
Community Development Director
Admin. Assistant, Court Clerk
Bryan Vashus, Director
Burning Mountains Fire Protection District,
after hours: 984-9151
Chris Sadler, police chief
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