Concrete and Cement

Concrete and cement processing significantly shaped the area along the Cache la Poudre River because many of the materials required to make both concrete and cement came from sites near the river. Gravel quarries near the banks of the river provided rock for concrete but also created gaping holes. Cement, the binding agent that holds […]

Water For Urban Development

Initial Fort Collins urban development in the nineteenth century relied on raw river water, small-scale farming, and quickly constructed wooden buildings. Implementing long-term solutions required time and money that the new town lacked. While the growing population used the various local ditches for irrigation water, residents also used the same ditches for sewage disposal and […]

Coy Ditch

In 1865, John Coy excavated an irrigation canal from the Cache la Poudre River to his farm. The canal was roughly 1.5 miles long and would become known as the Coy Ditch. The Coy Ditch irrigated the Coy family farm located in the bottomlands along the Cache la Poudre River, starting near College and Vine […]

Water Shapes Neighborhoods

The Cache la Poudre River and its tributaries have shaped many of Fort Collins’ neighborhoods in significant ways. The dramatic difference between how waterways affected and continue to affect some neighborhoods is not merely happenstance. In Fort Collins, socioeconomic class has affected where residents located neighborhoods and how exposed they were to the dangers posed […]

Beer in Fort Collins: The Brewmuda Triangle

In 2012 Colorado’s craft breweries produced 1.4 million barrels of beer or roughly forty-four million gallons of beer. Together, Fort Collins’ breweries (large, regional, and micro) produce approximately seventy percent of all beer brewed in Colorado.[1. Brewer’s Association, “Statistics: State Craft Beer Production and Sales Date, 2013,” Brewer’s Association, (accessed June 11, 2014); Denver […]

Alternative Agriculture in Fort Collins: Growing A Local Food Production Ethic

In the 1970s and 1980s, significant changes occurred in Colorado’s agricultural sector. As cities annexed land and purchased water rights traditionally used for agriculture, farmers felt the full weight of urban development. Many farmers felt squeezed by dropping crop prices, making the cost of farming increasingly difficult to sustain, and some opted to sell-out and […]

Great Western Sugar Company

In 1901, a syndicate of sugar investors composed of local community members and primarily led by James B. Arthur, Peter Anderson, and Henry O. Havermeyer, created a company to build Fort Collins’ first beet sugar factory. Built in 1903, the town’s factory quickly came under the ownership of Great Western Sugar Company in 1905. In […]