|Prior to 1850||Buffalo and American Indians roamed the eastern Plains of Colorado and gathered at a buffalo wallow, a natural low area that collected water during the rainy season, currently known as Barr Lake|
|1866||Buffalo wallow used as a stop along the Goodnight-Loving Cattle Drive trail bring cattle from Texas to the trailhead in Cheyenne, WY|
|1883||Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad linking Denver and Chicago completed. The final spike was driven at Platte City, later named Barr City, on May 14, 1883.|
A small dam was built at the north end of the buffalo wallow forming the Oasis Reservoir. The Burlington Canal was built to bring water from the South Platte River to the Oasis Reservoir.
The Barr City Land Company was formed by several Denver businessmen to sell land in the newly plotted Barr City west of the Oasis Reservoir. Residents of Denver traveled by train to Barr City to relax, fish, and hunt at Barr City and the Oasis Reservoir.
Emil Burderin built a stone house north of the west end of the Oasis Reservoir dam. The stone was brought by train from Dome of the Rock west of Colorado Springs. The house was built in the design of a Swiss chalet, the home country of Emil Bruderlin. The house is currently referred to as the Old Stone House.
In the early 1900’s Oasis Reservoir became a popular birding spot. Hersey and Rockwell conducted extensive bird studies in the area of the reservoir.
Construction of the new dam built over the old dam was completed. The new dam increased the size of the reservoir and quadrupled its capacity. To accommodate the increase capacity of the new reservoir the O’Brian Canal was built and brought water into the southern portion of the new reservoir. The new reservoir was renamed Barr Lake after a civil engineer who worked on the railroad completed in 1883.
Due to the rapid population growth of Denver post WW II raw sewage from the overflow of the Denver sewage treatment plan, slaughter houses, and packing plants along the banks of the South Platte River flowed into the South Platte River and ultimately into Barr Lake. Barr Lake became known as the largest open sewage lagoon in the nation.
|1931||First Colorado Breeding record of double-crested cormorants at Barr Lake|
First recorded Colorado nest of snowy egrets at Barr Lake
A powerful thunderstorm over the headwaters of the South Platte River swelled the waters of the river and adjacent canals. To protect the dam at Barr Lake the valves north of the dam were opened and the polluted water was drained from Barr Lake. After repairs to the head gate on the South Platte River, canals, and dam fresh water flowed into Barr Lake. The clean water afforded Barr Lake a chance of renewal. New water quality laws and construction of the new sewage treatment plant down stream from the Burlington Canal head gate improved the quality of the South Platte River water and the water in Barr Lake.
|1973-1975||The Division of Parks obtained a recreation easement on Barr Lake. The state legislature allocated $2,000,000 to purchase land around Barr Lake in order to form a state park.|
|1977||Barr Lake State Park opened to the public.|
Barr Lake Volunteer Naturalist Program started by State Parks and Division of Wildlife (DOW). DOW began construction on Barr Lake Nature Center.
The Neidrach Trail completed and Dedication ceremony. Neidrach, an Ornithologist, studied birds in the Barr Lake vicinity 1950s.
Bald Eagles began nesting at Barr Lake
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (then called Colorado Bird Observatory) headquarters was founded at Barr Lake State Park.
Pioneer Trail built and opened in September.
Gazebo and boardwalk completed. Neidrach observation decks and boardwalk completed at same time.
Barr Lake State Park assumed operation of the Nature Center through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DOW.
|1999||Bridge at inlet and new trail to bypass inlet structure completed|
RMBO restored Old Stone House and occupied as new headquarters.
Neidrach Nature Trail interpretive signs were installed.
|2004||The Nature Center parking area was paved, and the Meadowlark Group Picnic Pavilion were completed.|
Prairie Welcome Trail was completed
Resident Park hosting program was created
|2010||The Adams County Open Space playground near the Boat Ramp opened.|
The Environmental Learning Center opened at the RMBO headquarters, the Old Stone House.
|2012||The self-service kiosk installed and the parking lot at RMBO completed.|
Bald Eagle Gazebo & boardwalk were renovated
|2013||Archery Range opened|
Heron Rookery Trail & Gazebo opened
|2009-14||A new water well and water system were completed|
|2015||Niedrach boardwalk renovation was completed.|
|2015||The walking 3-D archery range opened in the Spring|
|2016||The Nature Center renovation was completed and opened on April 1, 2016.|