Water was the backstory to Littleton’s development. Way before Colorado was a state, Richard Sullivan Little, father of Littleton, arrived in Colorado Territory in 1860. He was chief engineer for Capital Hydraulic Company constructing an irrigation ditch drawing water from the South Platte running north and south through the town. By 1879, construction began on the Highline Canal that wends its way through Littleton providing water westward from the Platte.