Douglas County History

 The pioneer spirit, accompanied by the beauty of the mountains, foothills and plains, is gloriously evident in Douglas County.  In 1861, the Colorado Territorial Session Laws created Douglas County, named after Stephen A. Douglas. Known as the “Little Giant,” Stephen A. Douglas battled his own Democratic Party, as well as the Republican Abraham Lincoln, over issues of slavery, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and popular sovereignty. Douglas County originally stretched from the Rockies to the State of Kansas border.

Today, Douglas County is virtually the geographic center of Colorado.  The County is approximately 843 square miles, of which 48,741 acres are permanently protected land through the Douglas County Open Space Program.  Recreational areas include more than 146,000 acres of Pike National Forest, Roxborough State Park, Castlewood Canyon State Park and the Chatfield State Recreation Area.

There are five incorporated municipalities within the boundaries of Douglas County: Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Larkspur, Lone Tree and Parker.  Each has its own mayor and provides services in cooperation with Douglas County.

The County’s strength, as the centerpiece of the Denver/Colorado Springs development corridor, is a perfect blend of quality lifestyle and business environment.

Douglas County has plenty to offer to its residents and is quick to respond to their demands.

As part of the County’s collaborative work with other communities,  Partnership of Douglas County Governments  is a notable example. Established in 2002, the Partnership includes the Towns of Castle Rock, Larkspur and Parker, the Cities of Castle Pines and Lone Tree, Douglas County, the Douglas County School District, Douglas County Libraries and the Highlands Ranch Metro District.  A nationally recognized model of collaborative statesmanship, the Partnership has successfully sidelined individual agendas in the interest of working collaboratively on issues, projects and programs for the greater good of Douglas County.  Outcomes of this collaborative effort include the creation of the Douglas County Housing Partnership and the Douglas County Youth Initiative.  The Partnership’s latest initiative will examine current and future needs and potential locations for various regional facilities.

Douglas County is recognized for being one of the most family-friendly communities in Colorado, offering a quality of life unmatched elsewhere in the state.

Douglas County ranked particularly well in the household income, homeownership rate and educational attainment categories. Combine those with our great location, excellent schools, wonderful weather and outstanding recreational and cultural opportunities and you will understand our high rank in the Quality of Life study.

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Douglas County has been nationally recognized as a great place to live, work and raise a family.  In a May 2004 study, by the American City Business Journals (ACBJ), Douglas County ranked fourth in the nation for Quality of Life. ACBJ used 20 statistical indicators to rate living conditions in all 3,141 counties and independent cities across the nation.

Douglas County ranked particularly well in the household income, homeownership rate and educational attainment categories.  Combine those with our great location, excellent schools, wonderful weather and outstanding recreational and cultural opportunities and you will understand our high rank in the Quality of Life study.

If you choose to live in Douglas County, these pages will help you find just about anything you need to know about day-to-day life in your community.