4 Fun Facts About Black Hawk


July 14, 2016

If not for casinos like the Lady Luck® Casino Black Hawk, the tiny city of Black Hawk, Colorado would be completely off everyone's radar. Whether you're planning a trip to Black Hawk for the first time or expect to visit Lady Luck Casino Black Hawk again in the near future, you're sure to get a kick out of these four intriguing facts.


1. Black Hawk is the least populous city in Colorado.

At the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city of Black Hawk had a population of just 118. This makes it the least populous city in the state, although several towns in the state have smaller populations. It wasn't always so sparsely populated, however. Thanks to the gold mining boom of the late 19th century, the population of the city stood at 1,068 in 1870. By 1880, it had climbed to 1,540. When 1900 rolled around, the population held steady at 1,200. Fast forward 10 years later, though, and it had halved. Through the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, it hovered around 200 people. The population has fluctuated between that range and the current population count ever since.


2. Gold put Black Hawk on the map.

Black Hawk was initially settled in 1859. In May of that year, gold was discovered in Gregory Gulch, and thousands of miners and prospectors flooded into the region to try their luck at the Bobtail Lode. Nathaniel P. Hill, who later became a U.S. senator, built the state's first successful ore smelter in Black Hawk in 1868, and this spurred continued growth in the area. After several other smelters were established, the city became known as "The City of Mills."


3. Black Hawk briefly banned bicycles.

Although the city's population is small, the influx of casinos in the region in the early 1990s attracted thousands of tourists. Many in the city became concerned about the dangers of sharing local roads with bicyclists, and they compelled the city to ban the use of bicycles on the majority of streets in 2010. Not surprisingly, many others took exception to the ban, and the case ultimately went before the Colorado Supreme Court. The court overturned the ban in 2013.


4. Here's an uncanny connection.

In his book "Navigating the Century," Bernie Goldstein relates how he asked a Black Hawk city administrator about the inspiration for the city's name. The administrator told him that much of the equipment that was used during the mining years came from Black Hawk Foundry in Davenport, Iowa, which is close to where Chief Black Hawk resided on Rock Island, Illinois. After seeing the name "Black Hawk" on all of the equipment, the founders decided to bestow the fledgling city with that name. Strangely enough, Goldstein's in-laws, the Alter family, most likely supplied the Black Hawk Foundry with the scrap metal that they used to produce the machinery.


Knowing what you do now, your next visit to Lady Luck Casino Black Hawk will be more enjoyable than ever!





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