Mesa Verde National Park, located in southwest Colorado, is home to some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world. These ancient structures were built by the Ancestral Puebloans over 700 years ago and provide a glimpse into the lives of these ancient people.
Larimer County, located in northern Colorado, has a rich and diverse history that dates back thousands of years. Native American tribes such as the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne initially occupied the region, relying on the abundant natural resources for their livelihoods. The area became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and later the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851.

In the mid-19th century, the Colorado Territory was established, and Larimer County was officially founded in 1861. It was named after General William Larimer Jr., a prominent figure in the early settlement of Denver. The county's first settlements were primarily mining communities, attracted by the discovery of gold in the nearby Cache la Poudre River. However, as the gold rush declined, agriculture took center stage in the region.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought significant development to Larimer County. The arrival of the Colorado Central Railroad in the 1870s spurred economic growth and facilitated the transportation of goods. The county's population steadily increased, and towns like Fort Collins and Loveland thrived. Agriculture became the backbone of the local economy, with sugar beet farming, cattle ranching, and dairy production becoming major industries.

Larimer County also played a role in the conservation and preservation movement in the early 20th century. The establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915 brought attention to the county's natural beauty and led to an increase in tourism and outdoor recreation. Today, Larimer County continues to embrace its heritage while also experiencing dynamic growth in areas such as technology, education, and outdoor industries. It remains a vibrant and diverse community with a deep appreciation for its history and natural surroundings.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Larimer County, Colorado.

  • 1800 - Native American tribes, including the Arapaho and Cheyenne, inhabit the area now known as Larimer County.
  • 1820 - Fur trappers and traders start exploring the region, establishing early contact with Native American tribes.
  • 1858 - Gold is discovered in the area, leading to a gold rush and the establishment of numerous mining camps.
  • 1861 - Larimer County is officially established as one of the original counties in the Colorado Territory.
  • 1875 - Fort Collins is founded as an agricultural colony and becomes the county seat.
  • 1881 - The Colorado Central Railroad reaches Fort Collins, stimulating further growth and development in the county.
  • 1901 - The Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University) is established in Fort Collins.
  • 1930s - The construction of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project brings water from the west slope of the Colorado Rockies to Larimer County, enabling agricultural expansion.
  • 1990 - The City of Loveland becomes the second-largest city in Larimer County, surpassing Fort Collins in population.
  • 2000 - Larimer County's population reaches over 250,000, reflecting significant growth and development in the area.