Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is a state in the state of Colorado, located along the Cache la Poudre River and at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, approximately sixty-five miles north of Denver. The city lies 5,003 feet above sea level, surrounded by irrigated farmlands. The city lies between picturesque surroundings. Horsetooth Mountain, a tooth-shaped granite rock that serves as Fort Collin's geographic landmark, dominates the city skyline on the west, at the spot where the Rocky Mountains begin. Fort Collins was settled in the late 1850s. Originally named Camp Collins, it grew around a US military post established in 1864. The County Seat of Larimer County, it was incorporated in 1873.

Fort Collins is an important agricultural region in Colorado. The city receives an average of 15 inches of precipitation annually, making the place an ideal environment for growing grains. Fort Collins is one of the state's top producers of crops such as alfalfa, sugar beets, barley, wheat, and corn. The city also engages in livestock-raising, particularly lamb. Other important products of the city are plastics and machine parts. In the last decade, the city has also diversified its economic base into IT and software technology, as it became the home to top tech industries such as Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard. It also is home to the Colorado State University. The city routinely appears on lists of America's best places to live.

Fort Collins is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Fort Collins History

As the name of the city, Fort Collins started as an army post. It started as an encampment located along the Cache La Poudre River called "Camp Collins", named in honor of Lt. Col. William Collins, a commander of the Ohio Cavalry. The encampment was erected by the 9th Kansas Cavalry in 1862 to protect travelers and settlers along the Cherokee Trail and Overland Mail Route during the Indian War. However, a devastating flood destroyed the camp in 1864. After the flood, the post was relocated to a higher ground several miles farther down the river. The name of the post was changed to Fort Collins. Soon, settlers arrived and built a community around the fort. Livery, local stores, a school, and a church were opened. Farmers cleared the outlying areas, developing them into farms. By the time the army was dismantled in 1867, Fort Collins had already established itself as a center of trade. The town was incorporated in 1873.

The early part of 1870s was a period of growth. A school house, post office, lodging house, a mill, a brickyard, and general store were opened. The first buildings of the Colorado Agricultural College, which was later renamed to Colorado State University, were erected. A new wave of settlers arrived, increasing the agricultural colony's population.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the already-thriving economy of Fort Collins received further boost with the establishment of the Colorado Central Railroad. Irrigation canals were also developed during this period, allowing farmers to grow many more kinds of crops. Farmers grew barley, oats, wheat, sugar beets, and alfalfa.

In the 1880s, residents built elegant homes. The number of commercial building also increased. Large flocks of sheep were brought to the city to be fattened with sugar-beet tops. Fort Collins was given the nickname "Lamb Feeding Capital of the World".

In the 20th century, Fort Collins was reputed as a conservative city, as alcoholic beverages were prohibited there beginning the late 1890s. The prohibition only ended in 1969, after massive student protest. The Great Depression of the 1920s hit the city, but Fort Collins continued to show slow yet steady growth owing to its constant agricultural productivity. In the middle of the 20th century, the city underwent revitalization. Many old buildings were torn down and replaced with buildings of modern design. In the 1960s, however, citizens organized groups aimed at preserving and restoring historic buildings that add unique charm and flavor to the city.

In 1989, Fort Collins' first microbrewery, the Dell Brewing Company, was opened. That same year, Doug Odell (owner of the Dell Brewing Company) organized the first Colorado Brewers Festival to celebrate the beers of Colorado. This remains a yearly tradition in the city of Fort Collins.

Today, Fort Collins offers a wonderful mix of history and modern progress, agriculture and high tech industry, beautiful cityscape and natural landscape. In 2003, Men's Journal named it America's best place to live.

About Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins has a vibrant cultural scene. Dozens of events and festivals are held here annually, beginning with the St. Patrick's Day celebration in March. In May, the Hispanic community hosts a Cinco de Mayo celebration, which includes food, dancing, and entertainment. In June, thousands of patrons attend the Colorado Brewers Festival to sample different types of beers from dozens of Colorado breweries. During the Fourth of July, residents gather at the City Park to watch a grand firework display. August comes to life with the Larimer County Fair and the New West Fest. Festivity continues with Oktoberfest, a celebration that features German food, music, entertainment, and Colorado Beer. December brings out art and craft exhibits, carolers, and Christmas celebrations. The year concludes with a city-wide New Year's celebration called First Night.

Performance arts are experienced in many forms through various local art groups, including the OpenStage Theater Company, Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, Canyon Concert Ballet, Front Range Chamber Players, and Fort Collins Children's Theater. Broadway shows, plays, poetry performances, drama, musicals, comedies, and dance are performed throughout the year in various facilities in the city. The most prominent site for performance arts is the Lincoln Center. One of Colorado's largest performance art venue, it includes a 1,180-seat performance hall, two mini-theaters, and four exhibit galleries. The Lincoln Center brings nearly two thousand theater, music, dance, and Broadway shows each year. On Pine Street is the Bas Bleu Theater, a limited 48-seat venue designed to provide an intimate setting for plays and musical performances.

Other city highlights include the Fort Collins Museum. The museum includes thousands of artifacts that date as far back as pre-Cambrian Folsom era. There are also exhibits displaying the history of Plains Indians and the beginnings of Fort Collins as a trade post and agricultural center. Also in downtown Fort Collins is the Sweatsville Zoo, a park that features scrap metal sculptures by Mr. Sweat, a local farmer.

Every year, thousands of participants from Fort Collins and other nearby cities join the annual Colorado Marathon. This running event starts at Poudre Valley and ends in downtown Fort Collins. Fort Collins also participates in many walking, swimming, and bicycling events, youth and adult hockey, and public ice skating. Some of the most popular venues for these kinds of participation sports are the Lory State Park, the Edora Pool and Ice Center, and Mulberry Pool. For fishing opportunities, anglers head to the Cache Poudre River. Spectator sports such as football, softball, baseball, golf, track and field, etc. are college sports; they are hosted by the Colorado State University.

At the Historic Old Town, restored turn-of-the-century buildings give a historic feel to the specialty shops, boutiques, galleries, and al fresco cafes. Shoppers can browse the many antiques stores, flea markets, or major malls in downtown Fort Collins.

About Larimer County, Colorado

Larimer County is an agricultural county located at the northern end of the Front Range in the state of Colorado. It is one of the most populous counties of the state, with a total population of nearly 277 thousand people. It is an extensive region that spans from the Rocky Mountains to the Continental Divide. Its diverse geography includes forests, cliffs, tall mountain peaks, rivers, and lakes. It also encompasses stretches of the finest irrigated lands and ranch lands in Colorado. Larimer County is part of the Fort Collins-Loveland Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county seat of Larimer County is Fort Collins.

Larimer County was created in 1861 by the Territorial Legislature. It was named in honor of General William Larimer for founding the city of Denver. Legends have it, however, that General Larimer never set foot in the county. Larimer County remains an important agricultural region in the state, but it is also now the site of high-tech industries such as Hewlett and Packard, LSI Logic, and Anheuser Busch. Major attractions include the Rocky Mountain Park Range, the Fort Collins Museum in Fort Collins, and bronze sculpture shows in Loveland.

History: Before the arrival of European explorers, the region was inhabited by Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The area became a part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase, but was opened only for white settlement in 1858.

While other regions in Colorado mined mountains, Larimer County irrigated lands in order to farm crops. The establishment of sustainable agriculture in the region paved the way for widespread settlement of the region in the 1860s.

Economy of Agriculture: In 1902, farmers started growing sugar-beets. Sugar beet production boosted the economy in two ways. One, it allowed the county to diversify to livestock-raising. Sugar beets were discovered to be an abundant and good source of food for lambs. Two, it encouraged the Great Western Sugar Co. to open a processing plant in Loveland.