Ward, Colorado

                    Ward Government, Library, Businesses














































Links to Ward, CO Businesses

Millsite Inn, Ward, CO

Marrocco's Restaurant

Gold Country Real Estate

Raven Winds Studios

Solutions for Occupational Safety



Town of Ward Government

The Town of Ward is a Colorado Home Rule Municipality.  Ward is a member of the Colorado Municipal League and the InterMountain Alliance. The Town of Ward itself is one of the few home-rule direct democracies left in the US today. Its system is similar to the Town Hall Meeting governments of early New England where all citizens vote at Town Meetings. Ward has an elected Mayor and Town Council, but all legislative issues deemed controversial by any one member of the electorate are sent to referendum and mailed to each voter. Voting occurs by confidential, written ballots.  Meetings of the General Assembly of the Town of Ward are held at the Ward Town Hall on the first Monday of each month.


Ward Town Hall/Post Office/Library

The Ward Mining District was established in 1861, shortly after the first gold prospectors arrived.  Ward was originally called Ward's Camp, Wards, and Columbia City.  The Ward District Post Office, and Ward School District were established in 1863.  The laws of the Ward Mining District governed Ward from 1861 until 1896 when the Town of Ward was incorporated, the Town received it's land from the Federal Government, and lots within the Town were platted and sold (usually to town residents who had long ago built tiny cabins on land within the new Town boundaries). The Union Congregational Church was established in 1894 and dedicated in 1898. The railroad arrived in 1899.

Cabin of Cyrus Deardorf who discovered the Columbia Vein in Ward

The Town of Ward government includes the Office of the Mayor, Town Clerk, Ward Water Commission, Road Commission, Building Department,  Board of Health, Marshall Department, Ward Public Library, and Parks and Open Space.

Ward Water

The Ward Water Commission oversees the delivery of pure water, gravity-fed, from the glacial spring above town.  The Ward Water System maintains a Chlorination Waiver from the State of Colorado based on the tested purity of its water. It often comes out of the tap at 33 degrees and people come from miles around to collect water from the overflow pipe at the bottom of Town.

Ward Flume

Water was first brought to the Town by way of the Utica Flume, designed to bring water from the springs below Brainerd Lake to the mills in and below Ward.  In 1900, the Town of Ward purchased water shares from the Big 5 Mining Company for residential and fire protection use.

Ward/Indian Peaks Fire Department

The Town Marshal Department and volunteer Indian Peaks Fire Department serve as first responders to auto accidents, house fires, forest fires, and reports of lost hikers, or people who suffer broken bones/heart attacks in the Brainerd Lake and Indian Peaks areas. They frequently hike miles to rescue the injured.

The Indian Peaks Fire Protection District encompasses 210 square miles.  It goes down Left Hand Canyon to about the 12 mile marker, then up to the Continental Divide; through highway marker 49 on Peak-to-Peak and down to  highway marker 37.  It basically covers the land within the original Ward Mining District.

Ward Marshall's Department

In the United States in 2005 an estimated 786,545 persons were arrested for marijuana violations, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report. Approximately 30% were under the age of 19. Of those charged, 88% or 694,074 were charged with possession only.

The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2005 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

The Ward Marshall's Department reported no arrests for marijuana violations in 2005.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, January 17, 2007, Boulder County Jail records show "only three people have been brought there (from Ward) over the past 23 years."
In 2009, a new  Marshall completed  CLETA certification and serves as law enforcement for the town. Twp additional Marshalls joined him in 2012.

Mayor,Town Council, Department of Health

The Office of the Mayor and Town Council have sponsored many grant applications throughout the years.  Currently Ward is the recipient of a Boulder County grant for the Ward Sustainability Project  and a Zero Waste Grant through Boulder County.  See also Town of Ward, Colorado.

The Town of Ward Sustainable Septic and Water Committee is a part of the Ward Department of Health and works with town residents regarding waste water and greywater issues.  

Carol Jenkins, November Light, The Tipi Art Gallery, Ward, Colorado

Ward Library/Artist-in-Residence

The Ward Library was established in 1974 as a cooperative venture by citizens of the Ward area.  The Ward Town Library operates on a volunteer honor-system. It began in a small cabin owned by a community member with a donation of hundreds of books from someone who had passed through and was been impressed by the community spirit.  Two years later, the library was given space in the Town Hall Building by the Ward Town Council.

The library interior was hand-crafted from Aspen wood by early volunteer town residents and continues as an integral part of the town and surrounding area.  The Ward Library frequently serves as a center for children activities, hosts inter-generational Ward Poetry Readings, and acts as a community center during the long, cold, winters. 

Although the Ward Library's budget is minimal (no funds for paid staff or acquisitions), the Town of Ward provides funds for heat and lights.  It is staffed on a part-time basis by volunteers and administered by the all-volunteer Ward Library Board.  Facilities include Boy's and Girl's outhouses.

Dos y Media, daniel joder photography

The Ward Library is unique in that it sponsors the "Ward Artist-in-Residence" program which provides up to two years of housing in Dos y Media, the artist's cabin (donated to the Library in the late 70's) to a local artist. Artist housing is provided as a recognition of the importance of the arts to the Ward community and in exchange for valuable artistic contributions to the town.

Applications are accepted every two years for the Artist-in-Residence and the Ward Library Board selects and oversees the program. In the past, artists-in-residence have created stained-glass windows for the town church, organized poetry readings, and given violin lessons to local children.

Ward Library Poetry Reading with ElderSpeak Poets

The Ward Library frequently hosts poetry readings organized through the Ward Area Rural Poets, featuring both local and national poets.

Poetry Reading, August, 2015 with poets Jessica Jacobs and Nicole Brown

The Ward Library serves both the town and surrounding areas.  Its service area is approximately the 210 square miles that encompass the original Ward Mining District, now the Indian Peaks Fire Protection District. 

Ward Parks and Open Space/Ward Town Meadow

The Town Meadow, original site of Columbia City, is part of Ward Open Space and frequently serves as the site of weddings as well as memorial services for community members who die. A large rock with miner's drill holes outside of the Town Hall stands as a memorial to local residents who have passed away.  A Town Park, just below the Town Hall funded partly through a BOCO grant contains a playground for the children of Ward.

View from the Ward Town Meadow

Ward and Boulder County

The Town of Ward works closely with Boulder County and the National Forest Service to insure the protection of environmentally sensitive lands, including the closing and clean-up of old mine sites, protection of beaver ponds within the town limits, and by acquiring property for wildlife conservation. The town participates in wildfire mitigation and works for the protection of the water in Left Hand Creek.  The Ward Emergency Management Committee works closely with Boulder County and the Boulder County Sheriff's Department to assure assistance to local area residents in times of fires or floods.

Map of Ward

 Google Map of Ward

Ward business

In 2007 local Ward businesses consist of the U.S. Post Office, Marrocco's Restaurant, the Utica Street Market, and the Millsite Inn (restaurant and bar) on the Peak-to-Peak Highway.  Many other home business operate on-line.  In 2015 a new art gallery, The Glass Tipi Gallery opened on the main street.

No gasoline is available in Ward. Closest gas stations are in Nederland, Boulder, and Estes Park.

Locals shop in Estes Park, Nederland, Boulder and Longmont. Students attend Nederland Elementary, Gold Hill Elementary, Jamestown Elementary and Nederland Jr/Sr High School.  

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Black and white photos from Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder Historical Society Collection