By Patricia Lilliston
In Mountain View real estate offerings for existing homes, investment property and a cleared neighborhood lot are currently on the market. Descriptions of the various properties include the phases “great Denver location,” “charming home,” and the lot is said to be located in “the hottest neighborhood in town.”
These appraisals prompt the question, “How did the town reach this distinction?”
The land of the present site of Mountain View was originally owned by the Yule family. When the family moved to the Western Slope, John Brishen Walker, a local entrepreneur, purchased 1,200 acres. Later, Walker partnered with a British investor and the pair continued to buy additional land parcels. By the late 1880s, their land acquisition was called Berkeley Farm.
When Walker sold the land, the Denver investment firm of Carleton Ellis and John McDonough developed the landholding as the Berkeley Annex.
The suburb extended from Sheridan Boulevard west to Fenton Street and 41st Avenue north to 44th Avenue. In 1888, the firm platted what became Mountain View as Plat T3S, R69W.
By 1892, the Berkeley United Methodist Church occupied the corner of 43rd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. A handful of years later, the first school was located in a home on the corner of 41st Avenue and Chase Street. In 1925, Mountain View Elementary was built on Eaton Street with additions to the neighborhood school made in 1949 and 1958.
In 1948, the Mountain View Town Hall and Police Department, 4176 Benton St., was built. A gazebo, picnic tables, basketball court and playground equipment were added to the site in 1993 to create Mountain View Park. The Lady Bug Little Free Library was installed on the premises in 2017.
With regard to governance, town leaders in the early 1900s realized the need for water and sewer services and believed that the only way to obtain these services was to incorporate. On Aug. 5, 1904, a petition for incorporation was signed by 58 property owners and filed in Jefferson County Court.
On Sept. 6, 1904, the election for incorporation passed by 10 votes. Mountain View, a town of 375 residents, was officially established. Seven decades later, the town became a home rule municipality.
Eighty years ago in Mountain View, chickens roamed within backyard pens. Kids rode bikes throughout the neighborhood, played ball in the gravel streets or hide and seek among the sunflowers in the vacant lots. A steam whistle announced the arrival of the popcorn vendor, and on summer days, the ice delivery man handed out ice chips. Dances were hosted at the school.
Today, town leaders focus on revenue, infrastructure and architectural design guidelines while acknowledging the attributes of their small-town community. Legacy residents witness the contrasting architectural design, escalating real estate values and property taxes while also embracing the small town qualities that exist within the community.
Land acquisition, thoughtful development, prudent leadership and responsive residents shaped the Mountain View of 2019. Hopefully, that spirit, commitment and the small-town appeal will continue for another 114 years.