Location: West side of the Westin Hotel, north of 104th Avenue, east of Westminster Boulevard.
Artist: Communication Arts, Boulder, Colorado.
Year Installed: 2000.
How Acquired: Funded by the City of Westminster.
Comments: The history panel is located at the base of one of sixteen custom-designed light towers.
Bountiful Fruits of Westminster
Farms remained the economic background of Harris (Westminster) as it grew. Settlers within the present city limits produced oats, barley, and alfalfa. A large truck garden located west of Lowell Boulevard, along Clear Creek, contributed thousands of dollars worth of produce. Fred Thompson raised some of the first dry land winter wheat on summer fallow ground in the United States in 1901. Settling in the area in 1882, Thompson began farming near the Sunset Ridge Subdivision. The area was also known for its orchards. Two large fruit orchards spread across the northern section of the community. The Madison Orchard, which contained both cherry and apple trees, covered more than 750 acres of land in the area now known as Shaw Heights. Residents of the area often said that the orchards were “among the largest in the world.” Produce from the prosperous orchard was shipped to New York by railroad. To handle the large amounts of fruit, a special track was built into the orchard from the present railroad track. There was also the Shaffer Orchard, which covered approximately 75 acres of land between Lowell and Federal Boulevard, from 76th to 80th Avenues. Begun in the 1890s, the orchard produced apples until about 1950, when the land was sold to make room for homes and the Boulder Turnpike. The present area is named Apple Blossom Subdivision as a reminder of rows of beautiful trees that once blossomed there.