The name Lakewood originated long before the city existed, and it came from a subdivision that William Loveland, owner of the Colorado Central Railroad, established in 1889 near West Colfax Avenue and Harlan Street. In the early years, residents in the area ranched, raised turkeys and operated dairies. In the 1940s, the federal government acquired the land now known as the Federal Center, and in the decades that followed, agriculture gave way to neighborhoods, each establishing a sense of pride.
Jeffco Public Schools serves Lakewood and has more than 86,000 students in 155 schools, including nine option schools and eighteen charter schools. It is the second-largest school district in Colorado.