The history of Lafayette is a lot about the gumption of one hell of a lady. Mary Miller was a proverbial one-woman-show: She worked her family farm after her husband Lafayette died, helped bring coal mining to the area, platted the first 150 acres of Lafayette (and named it after her husband), founded the town’s first bank and was elected president of that bank. She was our kind of gal. These days, downtown Lafayette is a sweet, friendly community where big, beautiful trees shade suburban roads, middle-age hippies converge in older homes with raised gardens and chickens, and families find refuge in the recreation center, skate park, ball fields, downtown square, walking trails and eateries. It’s a great mix of old and new—where historic churches have become homes to young families, where neighbors bond over similar gardening styles and where you might even see chickens crossing the road.
Most historic green
Efrain’s vs. Santiago’s
Just a block a way, these two Mexican food hubs impress big crowds with their spicy goods.
Best showing of
Lafayette High School/Pioneer Bilingual Elementary School.
The community protested a potential remodel of this 1925-built school, and
saved it from gentrification in 1991.
Best place to find
This consignment shop on South Public Road has it all.
Year Lafayette and Mary Miller moved to the area: 1871
Year coal was discovered on the Miller Farm: 1884
Year the last coal mine in Lafayette was closed: 1956
Perks: The leather couches at Cannon Mine Coffee Shop; walking on the Coal Creek Trail; Peak to Peak Charter School; the Rueben at Hanna’s; wandering through shops like pARTiculars and Elizabeth’s Embellishments; cocktails at Tutti; Lafayette Peach Festival; the lazy river in the Lafayette Rec Center.