The current histories of the Mead Community that are listed on this page, encompass letters, interviews, and small family histories that individuals wrote. It is hard to separate what would be considered a letter or a history at this point, so I am including both under the heading of "Family Histories" Later if more items are donated to this are of the site I may divide them up into more categories.
The Daily Times-Call March 27-28, 1971
The history of the town of Mead truly begins with the founding of its one-time sister community, Highland Lake. L.C. Mead, known as Deacon Mead, came to Longmont late in 1871 from Chicago after the disastrous fire in Chicago all but wiped him out. He surveyed the county and selected a farm site about seven miles northeast of Longmont which he homesteaded. Mead commuted from Longmont every day while he was building his house.
Mead aided the Highland Ditch Co. in surveying their ditches and used 60 acres of his homestead to build a reservoir known as Highland Lake. From this lake over 500 acres are irrigated and the Highland ditch system is one of the largest in the area.
By 1874, a community was settled on the banks of the lake and, although the community never grew to any degree, it was a favorite resort area for Longmont residents. In the next 20 years Highland Lake had a bank, post office, church, school, meat market, general store, hotel, livery stable, and two blacksmith shops.
In 1906 the Great Western Company built a railroad to within two miles of Highland Lake to ship sugar beets to their factory in Longmont. A terminal was built on the corner of property belonging to Paul Mead, a nephew of Deacon Mead. It was a natural site for a town and buildings were soon erected on the Mead property and the adjoining property to the east owned by Louis Roman. A stipulation on the Mead property stated that no saloons or sale of liquor were allowed on the property so bars were built on the Roman property.
The first building built in Mead was constructed by a man named Adams on the corner of Third Street and Welker Avenue. It was first used as a store but in later years was converted to a bar and is still used for that purpose.
The town of Mead was platted Feb. 19, 1906 and was incorporated on March 17, 1908. The first town board meeting was April 13, 1908 at which time M.S. Adams was elected mayor and C.V. Holmes, Dr. W. E.. Dillingham, I.O.O.F Hayes, C. B. Goodwin, John Dalgetty and C.A. Smith were elected trustees. J.E. Kitts was elected clerk pro-tem.
Shortly after the town was organized a school was built. Within a few years the Highland Lake school and the Mead school had a working arrangement in which the grade school students attended class at Highland Lake and the high school students attended the Mead school. George Kistler of Longmont was one of the first bus drivers. In 1918 the two schools consolidated.
During the succeeding years as roads and transportation improved more country schools were consolidated into the Mead district and several of the small school buildings were moved to Mead. Pearl Howlett and Victor schools are still being used by the Mead school. During the depression a gymnasium was built by WPA labor.
For nearly 30 years the town of Mead was a bustling community. At its peak, Mead had three general stores a hotel, a combination grocery store and meat market, two saloons, a butcher shop, filling station, two auto garages, an implement company, two livery stables, a lumber yard, blacksmith shop, a drug store with the post office situated in the back, a shoe and harness repair shop and two doctor's offices.
The telephone office was first in the dry goods store and was later moved to Mrs. Mamie Howlett's home. Mrs. Howlett was for many years the operator. Mead had the first dial telephone system in the state.
Mead also had its own newspaper, the Mead Messenger, and its offices were in the building which now houses the liquor store. The name was later changed to the Mead Gazette.
A bank was established and was known as the Mead State Bank, later the First National Bank of Mead.
Industries built on the outskirts of Mead included a pickle factory a hay mill and a pea hulling factory. Two factors, the depression and improved transportation, led to the general demise of Mead. Many of the businesses closed their doors and people moved form the area. Mead's present population is about 200 people and about 10 businesses. The residents of Mead have not considered the future of their town to be anything but optimistic. In 1969 a water filter plant was installed improving Mead's water supply. The city has its own sewer system and is supplied by a natural gas line.
Used on this website with permission from the Longmont Daily Times-Call
Copyrighted 2015-2016, Historic Highlandlake Inc. All rights reserved. Photos may be used for personal research only and may not be reproduced for profit, commercial or otherwise, without written permission. Most photos are available for purchase. Contact us here. This page was updated on: March 19, 2016