? Niwot Historical Society: Niwot Historical Society
Revised: 15 September 2015: September 2015 Newsletter added under News & Events, Niwot Gazette

2015-2016 Lecture Series

Boulder Oil Field Lecture
The Boulder Oil Field: In Our Back Yard Since 1901

Speakers: Matt Silverman, Petroleum Geologist and Karl Anuta, Historic Preservation Advocate

September 30, 2015: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for coffee and conversation. The lecture starts at 7:00 p.m.

One hundred and fourteen years ago, in 1901, the Boulder Oil Field was discovered  between Boulder and Niwot. It was the second field found in the state and one of the first in the entire West. About 100 wells were drilled in the first few years, east and northeast of Boulder.  Nearly 200 have been drilled in all, but hardly any other trace of this activity remains. 
1905 Boulder Oil Field McKensieWell
The Boulder Oil Field (circa 1905). Photo is from the Louis Charles McClure, 1867-1957, collection. McKenzie Well, Colo.Hwy 119 near Independence Road.
National Register 1/26/2005, 5BL.418

About the Niwot Historical Society

Niwot, Now & Then Lecture Series

The Niwot Historical Society was formed in 1983 when Don Reeb, then Niwot Community School coordinator, arranged a meeting for those interested in forming a local historical group. Although the initial response was small, those in attendance formed the core group that became the Niwot Historical Society.

In 1990, the Historical Society undertook its first major project, purchasing a grave marker for early Niwot builder and businessman John Nelson. Nelson, responsible for the construction of two of the earliest buildings on Second Avenue circa 1910, was buried in Ryssby Cemetery, but his grave had never been properly marked. The buildings established by Nelson still stand as part of the Niwot Historic District, and currently house the Left Hand Valley Grange and Wise Buys Antiques.

Firehouse Museum
Niwot Historical Society Collection

In 1999, the Historical Society was given the tiny building that once housed the town’s chemical fire cart. Volunteers moved it to its present site next to the Grange Hall, where it now serves as the Firehouse Museum. Outside the Museum, the Society planted a peaceful patio garden for visitors to enjoy. The garden houses a display case with changing exhibits of local historic interest and membership brochures. The Firehouse Museum is open to the public only when Niwot celebrates the Fourth of July and other special occasions.

Since its incorporation in 2003, the Niwot Historical Society operates under a Board of Directors which oversees its projects and finances. It cooperates with other community organizations – the Niwot Business Association, Left Hand Grange, and the Niwot Community Association – to promote Old Town Niwot as Boulder County's first historic district.

Ongoing Historical Society projects today include conducting walking tours of the Niwot historic district, publishing and distributing a newsletter, collecting local historic photographs and artifacts, hosting our "Niwot, Now & Then" lecture series and holding an Annual Meeting. We participate in all seasonal local celebrations and present special exhibits and programs, based on our artifact and photograph collections.

We invite you to join us and become involved in our many projects!

Membership includes free entrance to the " Niwot, Now & Then" lecture series, along with our quarterly newsletter, Niwot Gazette.

1947 Aerial View of Niwot

Niwot Historical Society Collection Aerial View of Niwot - 1947

Mission Statement

The Niwot Historical Society’s mission is to preserve, collect, and protect the history of Niwot, the surrounding area, and Chief Niwot through the preservation of artifacts, documents, and photographs relating to their history. The Society encourages the conservation of these resources through publications, programs, and other related activities, and brings people together who are interested in the history of Niwot.

Niwot Historical Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization qualified under Section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax deductible.

Board Members

Board of Directors

President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Membership Chair
Meri Gibb Darwyn Herbst Mary Claire Collins Katherine Koehler

Board Members-at-Large


Please contact us at info@niwothistoricalsociety.org, or write to us at:

Niwot Historical Society
P.O. Box 354
Niwot, Colorado 80544

© 2012-2013 Niwot Historical Society. Hosting provided by the Rotary Club of Niwot. Designed by Niwot High School International Baccalaureate students Zach Thomas and Kit Goncharov.