The South Platte River was what first drew pioneers to the area that is home to the neighborhoods of Bow Mar, Bow Mar South, and Columbine Valley. Richard Sullivan Little of New Hampshire was hired as the chief engineer for the Capital Hydraulic Company to construct an irrigation ditch drawing water from the South Platte in 1860. He and others filed for homestead land claims along the South Platte Valley. Crops flourished. Littleton was reportedly the beekeeping capitol of Colorado territory. Farmers had hogs and sheep. Fred Bemis introduced the first heard of registered Jersey cattle to Littleton in 1884 and soon afterwards the Littleton Creamery opened selling dairy products to residents as far away as Denver.

The land west of the Platte remained rural farmland until post WWII when Lloyd King, founder of King Soopers in Arvada in 1947, built the first residence in the development that would become known as Bow Mar, named for nearby  Bowles Lake and Marston Lake, in honor of two large landholders and farmers Joseph Bowles and John Marston. King and a Denver Realtor bought the 575-acre subdivision with the dream it would become a luxury neighborhood. The single-story homes built in Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie style stood on acre-large plots. Well into the 1970s, parents would drive their little ones to trick and treat on Halloween at the King family home known to pass out “real” size candy bars from a silver tray.

Bow Mar South was established in the 1960s on smaller lots than adjacent Bow Mar. Bowles Avenue remained a two-lane route until the early 1970s maintaining an country sensibility with growing urban traffic. 

Columbine Country Club was built on the 295-acre Heckendorf Farm along the South Platte between Littleton and Bow Mar in 1955. The championship golf course is surrounded by 200+ homes. Catastrophic struck on June 16,1965 when the Great Flood of the South Platte River destroyed and severely damaged 25 of the homes in the 100-Year Flood.

The natural farmland in the area with its meandering streams meant that a lot of rag trees—cottonwoods—grew up thick and wild in the area. Maturing into hollow-trunk trees, the cottonwoods demanded professional arborists to keep them safe and healthy.

Today the homes in these communities sell for upwards of millions. Landscaping around the residences is the first visual clue of seriously the residents take their home investment. It’s the rare yard that hasn’t been updated with newer shrubbery and trees. 

Contact Donovan Arborists to maintain your evergreen and deciduous trees well into their 80s and beyond.


We offer free estimates for tree planting, pruning, removal, cabling and bracing. We also specialize in trimming, transplanting and fertilizing shrubs and bushes. Contact us now, we are ready to help you

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