Wie die Stadt wuchs: The Fort Collins area is just south of the famous Oregon Trail, a pathway for settlers headed West, for fur trappers and gold-seekers. In the mid-1800’s the first settlers here came from the eastern US, including some French-Canadians.
A fort (now long gone) was established, a mail route, and the town grew to a prosperous agricultural community along with western expansion, irrigated farming technology and especially when the railroad reached Fort Collins in 1877.
A brief mid-1920s oil and gas boom in the county expanded the population a bit, but remained fairly homogenous, including a large number of German-Russian farmers. Hispanic workers and their families were eventually drawn to Fort Collins by job opportunities in the sugar beet industry. It would seem the largest growth spurt began just around the time that the State Agricultural College became a university in the 1950’s.
Back then the population stood near 15,000, and grew steadily: 1960 – 25,027, 1970 – 43,337, 1980 – 65,092, and as I mentioned earlier, we hit 143,986 in 2010.