History of Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado is a beautiful resort town on the historic Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Many tourists come here each year to explore this charming town. The history of Fort Collins is rich in local culture and heritage. It was a trading post for traders when the United States first came into contact with Native Americans. Today, you can still hear Indian language speakers making music and sharing stories with you in Indian Country.
Two centuries ago, the fort came to be known as Pueblo, after a Spanish expeditionary force landed at the mouth of the Colorado River near what is now known as Fort Collins. The Spaniards built this fort to protect their settlements along the river from hostile tribes. In the years that followed, gold was discovered in the area and the fort became even more important as a trading post. By the time the Civil War approached, Fort Collins was busy being one of the best train stations west of the Mississippi River.
When Colorado was created, there were a few frontier railways that went through and one of those was the route to Fort Collins. Many trains would stop at this station to load wagons and other cargo and then take them to the silver mines of Colorado. Some of these trains, such as the famous Crystal Train, would become the stomping ground of many future world renowned railroad engineers. These engineers would help build some of the tracks that have run into and around Fort Collins today. The history of the town is incomplete without the names of these notable engineers.
In addition to the very popular railroad, another famous train accident took place here in 1920. This happened near Canon City and the train ran into an oil tank. The tank exploded and destroyed part of the engine house. The train actually came to rest behind a fallen tree, forcing the engine crew to abandon the train and walk away.
Fort Collins was also a significant spot for mining during the early days of the town. Gold was found in what is now known as Pikes Peak. It was not until the 1930s that mining became a major portion of the economy of the town. By the 1940s, the entire mines operated on a cash basis.
Today, the town of Fort Collins is still active in the outdoor sports industry. It offers many different types of outdoor activities for all ages. As a result, the history of the area is still very much alive. Whether you are looking for a family friendly hiking trail or a challenging mountain biking trail, there are options available to explore in Fort Collins.