Swansea and Elyria have their own unique histories, yet the two neighborhoods share common historical features. In the mid-19th century, Denver was a miners' town, and settlements began to form around it. The Swansea-Elyria area was the site of two of these early settlements. People and industry liked the area because it was close to the South Platte River and its land was flat. Among those attracted by the expanding economic opportunities were Slavic immigrants who settled in Swansea and Elyria in the mid-19th century, when the two neighborhoods were part of Arapahoe County.

Elyria was platted on March 29, 1881, by A. C. Fisk and C. F. Liner, President and Treasurer of the Denver Land and Improvement Company. Elyria was named by Mr. Fisk after his hometown of Elyria, Ohio. Elyria residents voted in favor of incorporation as a village on August 2, 1890. Elyria's focal point was the Town Hall, built in 1894 at the corner of East 47th Street and Brighton Boulevard. Elyria was annexed to Denver in 1902. There are three structures in Elyria that have been deemed historically significant. The first is the Chapel Building, constructed in 1876 at the corner of East 52nd Avenue and Race Street. It is located in the Riverside Cemetery, which itself was founded in 1870, approximately 10 years before the Village of Elyria was established. The second structure is the Livestock Exchange Building, built in 1916 and located at 4701 Marion Street. This facility followed the establishment of the Denver Union Stockyards, which opened in 1910. The third structure is the old Elyria Elementary School at 4705 High Street, built in 1924.

The total population of Elyria-Swansea is 6,920 [2016]. 24.13% [2016] of families are in poverty, as compared to 8.59% [2013] of families in poverty in the entire Denver Metro region. The residents are 83% Hispanic [2016]. Aside from its large amount of industrial and commercial development, the greatest influence on the Elyria-Swansea area environment has been Interstate 70, which was built directly through both neighborhoods in the early 1960s, despite the objections of area residents and business owners. They opposed the imposing viaduct because, they said, it was an eyesore that would hurt property values. Despite the encroachment of the interstate, the physical character of both Swansea and Elyria has remained basically stable since the end of World War II. Small sections of well-maintained, single-family homes are interspersed with larger areas of commercial and industrial development such as Denver Union Stockyards, Cudahy Meatpacking, Denver Pepsi Cola Bottlers, and numerous other firms.

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