10 things about Fort Collins our new to be hometown

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.

3. Fort Collins: The Napa Valley of Beer!From the King of Beers to Fat Tire, Fort Collins is home to 11 award-winning craft breweries and one of the best known large breweries in the world, Anheuser Busch. Whether you are here for the day or here for the week, you will find just the thing to wet your whistle. Fort Collins produces 70% of Colorado’s craft beer and 7% of the US’s.

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!


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.

6. Fort Collins: Inspiration for Walt Disney Main Street
Inspired by Walt Disney’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri (as in the film Lady and the Tramp), Main Street, U.S.A. is designed to resemble the center of a turn-of-the-century (c. 1910) American town.
According to Harper Goff, who worked on Main Street, U.S.A. with Walt, he showed Walt some photos of his childhood home of Fort Collins, Colorado. Walt liked the look, and so many of the features of the town were incorporated into Main Street, U.S.A.
7. Fort Collins: Haunted Places – Avery House – spooky!
Franklin Avery surveyed Fort Collins in 1873 and is known for having made certain the city was developed with wide streets. Franklin also established the First National Bank and developed water and agricultural projects in Colorado.
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.
There have been reports of feelings of uneasiness and apparitions of a young child at this location. Those are classified as paranormal reports.

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” Facts
If you haven’t had enough from the list above, here are some more fun facts about Fort Collins.
  • More than 60,000 Canadian geese winter in Fort Collins each year.
  • Bears have been known to frequent the mountains west of town. In a drastic attempt to thwart any plans of attack, a giant lake was built between them and the town.
  • A Gold Medal Trout Route up Poudre Canyon provides excellent fishing. An average of 170,000 pounds of trout are harvested out of Larimer County waters each year.
  • The upper Poudre River was the filming sight for the first episode of “Centennial” as well as the filming sight for portions of the TV series “Walker: Texas Ranger.”
  • 75 miles of the upper Poudre River are protected by the Wild Scenic Rivers Act, which preserves the natural character of the land
  • Colorado State University´s Moby Gym and Hughes Stadium are locations for numerous spectator sports. Colorado State is a Division 1 member of the Western Athletic Conference.
  • In the early 1900s, Fort Collins was known as the “Lamb Feeding Capital of the World”.
  • The world famous “Daddy of ?Em All” Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo is held annually just 45 miles north of Fort Collins in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • The average relative humidity in Fort Collins in the summer is 30% and 43% in winter.
  • An hour’s drive south to Denver puts you amid NFL football action with the Denver Broncos at Invesco at Mile High Stadium, NBA basketball competition with the Denver Nuggets at the new Pepsi Center Arena, major league baseball with the Colorado Rockies at the new Coors Stadium, and NHL hockey action with the Colorado Avalanche.
  • In international circles, Fort Collins is fondly tagged “Poster City, USA” as we host the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition bi-annually. It draws artwork from nearly 30 countries. The newly finished Budweiser Events Center adds not only world class entertainment but also minor league hockey to add to this reputation.
  • Horsetooth Reservoir gets its name from a particular rock formation overlooking the city that resembles a horse´s jaw with several large teeth jutting forward.
  • Fort Collins has a trolley car. It is a restored 1919 Burney Safety Car that sat in the Library Park for 26 years, where it eventually fell apart. After seven years of restoration work by the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society, the trolley is now restored to its original condition. It runs from City Park down Mountain Avenue to Sherwood Street and back. The track on which it runs is part of the car´s original route.
  • The “A” on the foothills above Hughes Stadium was first painted in 1942 by students at Colorado Agricultural College and stood for the school’s nickname, “Aggies.” Students continue to periodically repaint the “A” as a way of maintaining the schools tradition.
  • A civil war is brewing between the Liberal North FoCo and Conservative south Ft. Collins.
    -Southerner “Get your damn bikes of my road!!”

    -Northerner “Take this, and just chill man”

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