Community >> Johnstown & Milliken
Photos by Amber Widgery
If you look just a little bit further east of the foothills along northern Colorado, you can find the small town of Johnstown. Johnstown is located roughly 50 miles north and east of Denver. It sits only miles east of Interstate 25, and is located between Loveland and Greeley, just south of Highway 34. Johnstown’s estimated population in the 2000 census was roughly 3,800 people.
Johnstown first began when Harvey J. Parish settled the land in 1902 for the purposes of leading industry through the town, with the Great Western Railway. Parish named the town after his son, John. After the town was settled, the first company to put down its roots was the Fairbairn-Parish Lumber Company. With the completion of the railroad in 1903, several other businesses were created and began operation within the next few years.
From those early years on, Johnstown has grown, but still maintained that small town charm. There is a prevalence of local business within the downtown area where the town first began. There are now two elementary schools, and the sole high school for Johnstown & Milliken is located in Johnstown.
Currently the top industries in Johnstown are construction, health care, education, professional and technical services, and computers & electronics.
Johnstown holds its annual festival, BBQ Days every summer, which began in 1912 as the Dairy Days. BBQ Days hosts a parade, games, carnival rides, great food and other entertainment throughout the day.
Johnstown sits roughly 4,800 feet above sea level and has approximately 1.14 square miles of land. The average summer temperature in July is 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average winter temperature in January is 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Average yearly snowfall rounds out to around 53 inches.
Located just three miles east of Johnstown is the town of Milliken. Milliken’s estimated population in the 200 census was at 2,890 people.
Milliken got its first start as Hillsboro, which is located adjacent to the current town. Hillsboro was a trade center in the area, but in 1907 with the founding of Milliken, the businesses and church were moved into the Milliken city limits.
Milliken’s purpose was first intended to be a central commerce hub for the iron ore and coal mining stretching from Denver to Wyoming. However, the railroad and mining industries did not last long, but shortly after, the sugar beet industry began to take over, and Milliken found itself, yet again, as a commerce center for the industry, which has since given the town its nickname as the “hub of northern Colorado.”
Milliken now sits with two elementary and two middle schools, beautiful parks and recreation opportunities, and partners many local business activities with Johnstown. Milliken, like Johnstown, is driven by a thriving local business scene. Current top industries in Milliken include construction, education, agriculture, health care, and food services.
Milliken sits 4,750 feet above sea level, and covers 5.71 square miles of land. Average summer temperature in July is 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average winter temperature in January is 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Average snowfall over the year is approximately 62 inches.