1861 – When the Colorado Territory was organized, there were 17 counties and North Park was at that time part of Summit County. In 1874 both Larimer and Summit/Grand County claimed jurisdiction over North Park. In 1886, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the territorial legislature of 1861 intended that North Park be part of Larimer County and until 1909, when Jackson County (or North Park) claimed its own jurisdiction.
1862 – Movement to North Park and the North Platte Basin was bolstered by the Homestead Act of 1862, which promised 160 to 640 acres of land to anyone who would occupy and improve the land for five years. This stimulated the establishment of numerous early “seasonal” ranches.
1868 & 1869 – C.W. (“Doc”) Shores, one of Colorado’s most famous frontier lawmen, had a true adventure in North Park prior to his touted law career. In 1868, Shores and some companions visited North Park in search of rich placer deposits reported to be near the headwaters of the North Platte River. Returning a year later, he encountered Ute Chief Colorow and 30 warriors who insisted that “the white men leave instantly”. Shores never returned to North Park until May 12, 1928, when he spoke at the North Park Pioneer Reunion.
1869 – A precursor to North Park’s eventual recreation destination status, English adventurer Frederick T. Townshend traveled to Laramie by rail and then dropped into North Park to hunt the abundant wildlife he had read about. Despite a run-in with Indians believed to be Utes, the hunt was successful, with no casualties, and demonstrated that access to North Park’s natural resources had been made easier thanks to America’s transcontinental railroad.