Grand Junction History

Grand Junction History



Gardeners benefit from the Master Gardener program of the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension on Orchard Mesa. This center, and two others in the valley, are of great value to area agriculture. Master Gardeners learn improved ways to cultivate their yards and trees, fruit and vegetables for maximum yield and quality. They also mentor new apprentices. (Colorado State University Extension Service)



  • New City Hall, Fifth and Rood, dedicated
  • Bob Beverly, promoter, coach, and Powderhorn executive, inducted into Colorado Ski Hall of Fame
  • Heirlooms for Hospice established (635 Main)
  • Mesa County 4-H members contribute $884,167 to the local economy
  • According to School District #51, 14 languages other than English spoken in Mesa County
  • Grand Valley Transit starts bus transportation system
  • Museum of Western Colorado dedicates new History Museum with administrative offices, exhibit galleries, Sterling T. Smith Tower, and Loyd Files Research Library at 5th and Ute; rehabilitates Whitman School, 4th and Ute
  • Museum of Western Colorado closes Dinosaur Valley; opens Dinosaur Journey in Fruita
  • Eagle Rim Park (Orchard Mesa) and Spirit of Pioneer Women statue dedicated


The Museum of Western Colorado, founded in 1965, opened a new History Museum and main office in May 2000. The building is the former headquarters of the C.D. Smith Company. A solidly built brick structure dating from 1936, it was remodeled with exhibit galleries and the Loyd Files Research Library. The Sterling T. Smith Tower offers vistas over the city and valley. The Museum also includes Cross Orchards Historic Farm, Dinosaur Journey (Fruita) and the Whitman Education Center.



  • Middle-eastern terrorists destroy World Trade Center and attack Pentagon on 9/11; patriotic fervor and security are high; many memorial services held
  • U.S. declares War on Terrorism
  • Harry Butler, third generation community member, elected first black city councilman
  • Name of Edward Innes, deputy sheriff killed in line of duty in 1906, added to Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial
  • Abby and Jennifer Blagg reported missing
  • Justice Center opens on West Main
  • Cornerstones of Law and Liberty Plaza dedicated, Fifth and Rood
  • New homeless shelter opens on North Avenue
  • Mesa County Public Library celebrates centennial, announces expansion plans
  • Gene Taylor’s Sportsman’s Supply donates land for ice skating arena
  • Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area dedicated
  • Redlands Mesa Golf Course opens


Mesa County courts built a new Justice Center which was inaugurated in 2001. It is at West Main and Spruce Streets, and is connected to the City/County Jail and Sheriff’s Department by a secure tunnel. Transportation of detainees to court hearings by armed vans had been complicated. Detention and courts now are conveniently close. (John Hedrick Photo)



  • Mesa County median income is slightly higher than $26,000 (source: Grand Junction Economic Partnership)
  • Eileen Jensen-Kercheval receives Experience Works Prime Time Award
  • Ryan Patterson, Central High School student, wins national Intel Science Talent Search
  • Wildfires rage across Western States; several near Grand Junction
  • Mesa County Courthouse restored and rededicated, 6th and Rood
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) drops law suit against city and Ten Commandments Monument
  • New Veterans Cemetery developed on D Road
  • Partners opens new facility at 11th and Colorado
  • Grand opening, extensively remodeled, Two Rivers Plaza
  • Enstrom’s Almond Toffee breaks ground on 41,000 sq. foot expansion
  • Home Loan announces $4.2 million downtown expansion project
  • Threestory, $ 5.1 million Fine Arts Building dedicated at Mesa State
  • Construction begins on Hilton Garden Inn (200 Block of Main)
  • Dual-language escuela (school) approved by School District #51 School Board
  • Central H.S. wins State Baseball championship
  • City begins work on railroad underpass at 30 Road and North Ave.
  • Chronic Wasting Disease affecting deer and elk found in Western Colorado
  • Torch run passes through Grand Junction on way to Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
  • Colorado Governor Bill Owens names Grand Junction native Jane Norton his running mate for Lieutenant Governor