Niwot is the Arapaho Indian word for "left hand," and this is where Chief Niwot (born circa 1820) and his tribe lived along the banks of Left Hand Creek until the early 1860s. European settlers arrived in the latter half of the 1800s to take up farming, after gold mining in the mountains became less lucrative. The town’s importance grew once the railroad came in the 1870s. These days its most famous business is Crocs footwear, which was started in Niwot in 2004. Antiques aficionados have made Niwot a prime destination in Boulder County. The historic district, full of brick buildings decorated with flower boxes, runs along 2nd Avenue between the cross streets Franklin and Murray.