Old Images of Fort Collins, Colorado

Old image of Fort Collins, Colorado, circa 1865

Glimpse history through old images of Fort Collins, Colorado, in the USA.

Fort Collins in 1899


Beet Farmers

In 1915, the National Child Labor Committee interviewed and photographed adults and children living and working in Fort Collins.

Family poverty and child labor was having a detrimental impact on the education of youngsters who worked in the beet fields more than they attended classes in school.


Fatal Floods 1997

On the night of July 28, 1997 the City of Fort Collins experienced severe flooding along Spring Creek. Unfortunately, five local people lost their lives.

Fort Collins Flood of 1997 – City of Fort Collins on YouTube


History of Fort Collins

This video walks through key aspects of Fort Collins’ history during the years 1870 to 1920. It includes lots of old photos and vintage postcards.

The intriguing stories behind the city’s original commercial hotel, its transformation and relocation to the flat iron corner, and the subsequent changes in its name and architecture are uncovered, revealing the hotel’s beautiful Victorian building and the attempt to modernize it in the early 20th century.

At Jefferson Street, we discover the historical significance of various buildings such as a boot and shoe maker shop, the Stone Hotel, and a cabin turned hotel.

Other notable buildings such as the Bon Ton Billiard Hall, Tedman House, and the old grout livery barn, are also discussed, including the balcony’s ties to the city’s fort-building past.

There’s also the famous painting of Fort Collins by Frank Miller, depicting Benjamin Webby in front of the town’s first store and post office. Discover the story behind this painting, its connection to the Linden Hotel, and the intriguing debate over whether it was payment for a bar bill or rent.

Moving forward, you’ll discover the history of Fort Collins’ opera house, the unique uniforms worn by the fire department’s hose cart team, and the transformation of the building that housed the team into senior housing.

There’s also an exploration of the sugar beet industry and the immigrants it brought to the area.

Get to know the early town officers and learn about the pivotal role of Mister Avery in the town’s development.

Discover the impact of irrigation ditches, ponds, and windmills on the city’s early water supply and the establishment of an extensive irrigation system.

And finally, there’s the intriguing history of the Northern Hotel, its transformation from a rundown building into a monthly and weekly rental property, and the hope of restoring its original charm.

Wanderin’ Through Fort Collins’ Past – 1870 – 1920 – City of Fort Collins on YouTube

The original commercial hotel and its move to the flat iron corner

Key topics in this video:

  • Location at Mason and Mountain
  • Move to Walnut and College
  • Name change to the commercial hotel
  • Reconstruction and Victorian features of the hotel
  • Reconstruction using brick and stone
  • Unique features of the Victorian building
  • The addition of the Walnut Street wing
  • Modernization attempts and the preservation of the hotel as a three-story building
  • Historical buildings on Jefferson Street
  • Boot and shoe maker shop
  • Stone Hotel
  • Cabin turned hotel
  • Mentioned buildings: Bon Ton Billiard Hall, Tedman House, and the old grout livery barn
  • Significance of the balcony on the old grout building
  • Frank Miller’s painting of Fort Collins in the early 1880s
  • Depiction of Benjamin Webby and the town’s first store and post office
  • Based on a photograph from the time
  • Purpose of the painting and its connection to the Linden Hotel
  • The completion and history of the opera house
  • The fire department’s host cart team and competing uniforms
  • Restoration and different uses of the building where the team resided
  • Transformation of the building into senior housing
  • The sugar beet industry and its impact on Fort Collins
  • Immigration of Russian immigrants to work in the sugar beet fields
  • Being the first people to work the fields in the area
  • The town board of trustees and Mister Avery’s involvement in the town’s development
  • Mister Avery’s town layout and its alignment with baselines and meridians
  • Influence of the fort’s location on the early street layout and angled streets
  • Mister Avery’s use of the compass in town layout, including diagonal streets
  • Importance of Jefferson Street in relation to the town layout
  • Creation of the Larimer County Land Improvement Company
  • Sale of land to the town company and establishment of the town
  • The first building on College Avenue and the first brick house near the mill
  • The Harmony mill and the workshop built by Mr. Peterson
  • Building of Judge House for people living on former military reservation land
  • Establishment of irrigation ditches and the beginning of the irrigation system
  • The Yeager ditch and its water priority
  • Creation of small ponds and wells for water
  • General Cameron leading the gathering of residents after the fort was opened
  • Evolution of the Northern Hotel and its features
  • Tile floor and beautiful staircase in the lobby
  • Desire to restore original furniture in the lobby
  • State of disrepair and attempts at modernization of the hotel
  • Installation and subsequent removal of a glass dome in the dining room for acoustic purposes.

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