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Although the modern history of Grand Junction, Colorado, and the entire Grand Valley does not begin until the late 18th century, the land has been inhabited by native Indians for thousands of years.
It is believed that the Grand Valley’s first inhabitants were the Fremont Indians, from which scientists have found archeological evidence dating back as far as the 3rd century A.D. Some of the petroglyphs made by the Fremont Indians can still be seen on rock faces in the area. The Fremont days in the valley ended some time around the 14th century.
After the Fremont Indians came the Ute Indians, who arrived to the valley in the middle of the 1300’s. The Ute Indians lived in the valley some 200 years, during which time they survived by hunting, which was made easier by the introduction of horses by the Spanish.
The first European settlers to explore the Grand Valley were the Spanish, who arrived sometime in the late 18th century and claimed the land for themselves. A few decades later, in 1881, the land would become part of Mexico.
Americans first explored the Grand Valley during the 1850’s. During the 1860’s, the Ute Indians were given the land as a reservation by the U.S. Governement. Ten years later, in 1878, Colorado became a state of the U.S., and settlers soon moved into the valley.