Erie is a Statutory Town in Boulder and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. The population as of the 2010 census was 18,135, up from 6,291 at the 2000 census. Erie is located just west of Interstate 25, with easy access to Interstate 70, Denver International Airport and Colorado's entire Front Range. Erie's Planning Area spans 48 square miles (120 km2), extending from the north side of State Highway 52 south to State Highway 7, and between US 287 on the west and Interstate 25 to the east. Erie is approximately 35 minutes from Denver International Airport, 25 minutes from Denver and 20 minutes from Boulder.
The town was named after Erie, Pennsylvania, the former home of an early settler, Richard Van Valkenburg.
Although it was settled and named in 1867, Erie was not officially incorporated until November 16, 1874. The very first board of trustees consisted of five permanent and prominent members of the community; George Meller, Richard Van Valkenburg, John T. Williams, Joseph J. Wharton and John A. Rowe. Erie was unique among local coal mining towns because the local coal miners actually owned land or houses in town, instead of setting up temporary camps.
Coal was discovered in the region in the 1860s and by 1870, the Denver-Pacific Spur Railroad stopped in Erie for passengers. In 1871, the first commercial railroad reached the town. The railroad made it much easier to transport coal to the surrounding communities and to Denver, helping the town grow quickly.