The saga of Florence started in 1870 with the arrival of the great railroads heading West.
The first trains hauled coal from the coal stamps of Rockvale and Coal Creek. In 1874 Florence consisted of an orchard, a couple of stores, and a small railroad depot.
In 1881 oil was discovered and Florence boomed as wells were drilled and fields developed. In 1887 the town incorporated with a population of 450 and the first brick building on Main Street was also built that year. By 1890, with 50 oil wells producing, 60 new homes and many new businesses appeared.
In 1890 gold was discovered in Cripple Creek north of Florence. By 1892 Florence’s Fathers built a road to the gold mines that hauled the miners in and hauled the ore out. On July 4, 1894 a narrow gauge railroad opened up Phantom Canyon to bring down the riches from the mines to the railhead in Florence. This was to become known as the famous Gold Belt Line.
By 1898 Florence entrepreneurs had built 8 reduction mills to process the gold ore which stood beside 7 oil refineries and 5 brick factories. These local industries were soon joined by the Ideal Cement Plant. Florence was enjoying its finest hour as a western boom town.
By the turn of the century ore production slowed down and oil recovery became too expensive.