All right everyone, this is a post for all of you that are curious about Fort Collins, our new to be hometown.
What is so cool about Fort Collins, or what are a few fun things and good to know things about Fort Collins? You’re about to find out, if you didn’t know about those things already.
1. History of Fort Collins
Legend has it that in the early 1800s, French-Canadian fur traders were caught by a tremendous snowstorm. To lighten their load, they buried large amounts of gunpowder (“poudre” in French) in a hiding place (“cache”) along the banks of a river – the Cache la Poudre River, which runs through modern-day Fort Collins.
In 1862, Camp Collins was built by the 9th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry to protect travelers and settlers along the Colorado branch of the Overland Trail. A flood in June 1864 sent the soldiers to higher ground near present-day Old Town. Less than three years later, the fort was abandoned.
By 1872, the former fort site had a small hotel, general store and post office, a mill, school and brick yard.
In 1876 President Ulysses S. Grant declared Colorado the 38th state of the union. This was the 100th year after the U.S. Declaration of Independence so Colorado became known as the “Centennial State”.
The Colorado Central Railroad arrived in 1877, and Fort Collins became a thriving agricultural center. Colorado Agricultural & Mining College constructed its first classroom building, later called Old Main, in 1879, further establishing Fort Collins as the economic and cultural center of the region. The school was renamed Colorado State University in 1957.
Thanks to the efforts of local citizens and the city’s historic preservation program, modern-day visitors to Fort Collins can stroll back through time to the town’s earliest days in and around Old Town. The district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978; the majority of the buildings within Old Town are part of both national and locally designated historic districts, and Fort Collins was named a Preserve America city by the White House in 2005.
2. Fort Collins: The city of choice!
The city’s nickname is the “Choice City” and it’s easy to see why. The climate is ideal with ample days of sun and gentle breezes. On average Fort Collins experiences 300 days of sunshine per year. Fort Collins is also only a few hours away from the heart of Rocky Mountain ski country. Less than three hours away there are a few of the world’s finest ski resorts including Vail, Cooper Mountain, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Other more distant Colorado ski resorts include Aspen and Steamboat Springs.
Fort Collins has 40 parks within the city, 23.14 miles of trails that include paved and unsaved walking and bike trails, 3 city golf courses and there are 2 marathons held in the city each year. Fort Collins is located just minutes from the Cache la Poudre Canyon which provides great hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing and whitewater rafting opportunities.
4. Fort Collins: recognitions
Fort Collins seems to be recognized for something almost each year. Look at the list bellow that includes recognitions just from 2012 and 2013. Impressive, if I might say so myself!
- Ranked 7th on Best Places for Business and Careers: Forbes – Aug 2013
- Ranked 2nd on Top 10 Metro Areas for High-Tech Startup Density:Kauffman Foundation – Aug 2013
- Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community: League of American Bicyclists – May 2013
- Gold Level Certification: Solar Friendly Communities – Apr 2013
- 2012 Tree City USA: The Arbor Day Foundation – Apr 2013
- Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government recognizing the Sustainability Services Area formation: Alliance For Innovation – Mar 2013
- 4th Healthiest Mid-Size City in U.S.: 2012 Gallup-Healthways Survey – Feb 2013
- 2012 Project Award Winner, Re-construction of the SH 392 & I-25 Interchange: American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter – Jan 2013
- 2012 Top Downtown in the Country: Livability.com – Nov 2012
- Ranked 3rd on Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report: AllState – Sep 2012
- One of the Ten Best Vacation Cities for Beer Lovers: Yahoo! Travel.com – Jul 2012
- Ranked 3rd in the nation on Best Places to Do Business list:Forbes.com – Jun 2012
5. Fort Collins: home of a billionaire that supports bilingual education
Patricia Stryker, born 1956, is a billionaire listed in the Forbes and she lives in Fort Collins.
Her grandfather surgeon Homer Stryker, invented mobile hospital beds.
The low-profile heiress has been more active in civic life in recent years, with an interest in liberal causes. Among many donations that she has done along the years, she donated $3 million to defeat a 2002 ballot initiative regarding bilingual education in Colorado.
Now that is a cause that it’s very interesting to me – trying to raise a child at least bilingual and preferably trilingual – I would support bilingual education too.
Franklin and Sarah Avery built the Avery House in 1879 where they raised their children Edgar, Ethel, and Louise. The house belonged to Avery descendants until 1962. In 1972, the Poudre Landmarks Foundation was formed and the old Avery House was purchased by them in 1974. The Avery House is open to the public on Sundays and Wednesdays from 1-3 PM. It can also be reserved for special events.
8. Fort Collins: Piano city
If you happen to walk around down town Fort Collins, you can not miss it, you will see at least one piano that is vibrant painted and is there just to be admired as art work or for you to play it. There are quite a few piano’s scattered around down town, they are all part of a project called Pianos About Town.
Pianos About Town is intended to be a fun experience that creates an additional element of whimsy and surprise to Old Town Fort Collins. The concept behind Pianos is twofold: (1) for residents and visitors to experience seeing art in action as the pianos are painted in public by local artists, and (2) for residents to have the opportunity to both play the pianos and enjoy them as works of art as we rotate the finished pianos about town.
9. Fort Collins: close to an awesome open air amphitheater – Red Rocks
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a rock structure near Morrison, Colorado10 miles west of Denver where concerts are given in the open-air amphitheater. There is a large, tilted, disc-shaped rock behind the stage, a huge vertical rock angled outwards from stage right, several large outcrops angled outwards from stage left and a seating area for up to 9,450 people in between. The amphitheatre is owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, Colorado and is located in Red Rocks Park.
Geologically, the rocks surrounding the Amphitheatre are representative of the Fountain Formation. Originally the place was known as the “Garden of the Angels” (1870s-1906) and then as “Garden of the Titans” (1906–1928).
10. More and more Fort Fun” FactsIf you haven’t had enough from the list above, here are some more fun facts about Fort Collins.