Colorado early commerce was in full swing long before gold was discovered in the territory.
Explorers traded with the Native Americans in the 1600's. The natives gave them furs and food in exchange for the horses so desperately needed to hunt and move their camps.
New settlers to the area, the mountainmen and fur trappers, lived off the land. These hardy souls also traded with the natives and with each other.
Annual rendezvous, where the trappers and mountain men gather to trade, tell tales and improve their trapping and marksman skills, began the need for locations around the state to sell their wares.
Trading posts were soon established. Not only could the trappers and natives sell their goods, settlers new from the east could rest here from their long journey, obtain supplies and continue on their journeys.
Many Colorado towns sprang up as a result of the trading posts built in the territory. As soon as the trading posts were built, traders came from all over, usually by freight wagons or wagon trains, to sell goods the new settlers would need to survive.
Speaking of wagon trains, many people from the east wanted a new and exciting life. They would pack up all their belongings and head for Missouri, where the wagon trains would start the long journey west.
Soon cattle ranching and agricultural endeavors were seen all over the plains and foothills of Colorado. In the towns, gold fields and tent cities, saloons were springing up everywhere.
This was the beginning of Colorado's early commerce. Sometimes it took weeks to get to the trading posts to obtain supplies.
Very different from today, when we jump in our cars and head to the mall.
Can you imagine hitching up the horse and wagon and starting your trek over the plains to the nearest trading post or town, days away?