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Estes Park was originally home to many American Indians who used the land thousands of years ago for hunting purposes. Many species of animals lived in the area, and the Indians were able to take advantage of the good hunting grounds, usually above the tree line.
One of the first white men to visit the area was named Joel Estes, and while there he decided that it would make a good area to raise cattle, so he moved there. The Estes family lived in two small cabins made out of logs. Eventually, others followed Estes to the area because it was starting to become well known for its beautiful scenery.
In the late 1800s, people began showing up in the Estes Park area because the farming and ranching industries were able to thrive. Tourists also began to visit Estes Park in growing numbers. This allowed a man by the name of F.O. Stanley to build and maintain a successful hotel called the “Stanley Hotel” in 1909. The hotel still stands and runs to this day.
By 1900 there were about 200 people living in Estes Park and despite two very large floods in 1976 and 1982, the area has continued to grow both with permanent residents and visitors who enjoy visiting the Town of Estes Park as well as its neighbor, Rocky Mountain National Park.