From Saturday's NY Times:
In many ways, Rocky stories and Denver stories are synonymous, partly because the paper’s unabashed mission, especially in its early days, was to help Denver grow and prosper, sometimes even at the expense of the facts.
The first owner and publisher, William Byers, who founded the paper on the second floor of a saloon, decided early on, for example, that Eastern moneyed investors would want Denver to have good steamboat access — a profoundly unrealistic prospect here on the High Plains. So he simply invented it. Shipping news, complete with the made-up names of arriving and departing vessels, heading out on the South Platte River, bound east with made-up loads of freight, became a fictional staple.