High schools in or near Westminster include the Academy of Charter Schools, Hidden Lake High School, Jefferson Academy High School, Legacy High School, Mountain Range High School, Northglenn High School, Pomona High School, Standley Lake High School, and Westminster High School. In 2010 Adams County School District 50 opened a new Westminster High School replacing both the existing Westminster High School and Ranum High School, which graduated its last class that year.
Gold discovered in the South Platte River Valley in 1858 brought national attention to the area that would become Westminster, Colorado. The promise of fortune and The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged many pioneers from the east to settle in Colorado rather than continue on to California. Before the settlements came, wildlife like antelope and buffalo made their homes in the area. There is also evidence of Arapaho Indians near the Crown Point (Gregory Hill) area. Westminsters' first permanent settler was Kentucky farmer Pleasant DeSpain, who built his home in 1870 on 160 acres (near what is now West 76th Avenue and Lowell Street). The area became known as DeSpain Junction and attracted other settlers including Edward Bruce Bowles, who in 1881 constructed a brick Italianate house now known as the Bowles House. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The village of DeSpain Junction grew into a small farming community and continued to attract new settlers despite the difficulty of farming in Colorado's arid climate. Connecticut real estate developer C.J. Harris arrived in DeSpain Junction in 1885 and purchased the DeSpain farm, among others. Harris combined the separate homesteads and divided it into smaller tracts of land, which he sold to fruit farmers. Harris renamed DeSpain Junction with his own and the area was referred to as Harris, Colorado. In 1890, New Yorker Henry T. Mayham convinced the Denver Presbytery to build a university on land that he owned in Harris. After delays caused by the depression of 1893, the school was built from red sandstone quarried in Colorado's Red Rocks region. The curriculum was patterned after Princeton University and was referred to as the "Princeton of the West". The school was incorporated as Westminster University of Colorado, and classes began in 1908 with one year's tuition costing $50 ($1,411 in 2018). The school ceased operating in 1917, when all students in attendance left to fight in World War I. In the following decade it operated as a church and school. In 1911, Harris voted to incorporate as a city and changed its name to Westminster, in honor of the university which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Fun things to do in Westminster
Notable locations in Westminster: The Plaza at Westminster (A), The Golf Courses at Hyland Hills (B), Hyland Hills Municipal Golf Course (C), The Ranch Country Club (D), The Heritage At Westmoor Golf Course (E), Westminster Sports Center (F), Legacy Ridge Golf Course (G), Westminster Fire Department Station 1 (H), Westminster Municipal Court (I), Westminster Fire Department Station 2 (J), Westminster Fire Department Station 4 (K), Flight for Life Colorado Westminster (L), Westminster Public Library Irving Street Branch (M), Children's Hospital Colorado Therapy Care Westminster (N), Countryside Recreation Center (O), City Park Recreation Center (P), Westminster Police Department (Q), Arabian Horse Center (R), Slapshot Hockey Center (S), The Colorado Educational Theatre (T). Display/hide their locations on the map Things to do in Westminster