Our History


We have a unique community of artists, creative businesses, and history with a “New West” approach to innovation, and friendly, inventive people. Our story started as a crossroads for Native American tribes symbolized by  The Council Tree , later the Cache la Poudre River attracted trappers and pioneers and eventually the military built their “Camp Collins” encampment along her banks. In the late 1800’s our town soon filled with characters like Auntie Stone and later architect Montezuma Fuller. Fort Collins was “dry” until the 1960’s and now produces a majority of Colorado’s beer, and is one of the most successful revitalized downtowns in the nation. We have a vibrant music scene, art galleries and state of the art museums, festivals almost every weekend, 20+ craft breweries, a 60+ year old Fort Collins Symphony and outstanding Art in Public Places programs. And our story is just beginning…

Fort Collins Band photo – Courtesy of the Archive at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery


Read and explore all the history of our district with these wonderful sites: the Fort Collins History Connection, Native Americans in Larimer County, Black and African American History in Fort Collins, Northern Colorado History and Fort Collins Historical Society.

Warshinun, Chief Friday of the Arapaho tribe 1870 – Courtesy of the Archive at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

And if you want to take a walking tour of our historic sites and architecture consider these tours: Visit Fort Collins History & Tours, for more self guided tours about specific interest areas Black/African Americans in Fort Collins: Tour, Trails of Northern Colorado: The Foothills/The River/The Trails,


Watch all the videos of the history and heritage of our area from local historians and experts telling our stories of our downtown and its rich culture. Watch our videos!