Another landmark in Fort Collins, is the gravesite of Annie the Railroad Dog, but I never even knew where it was until I looked into her story. Annie was an ill-treated mix-breed dog that a railroad crew adopted from a blacksmith’s shop near the tracks, and took back to the station in the caboose. That was in the mid 1930’s. They crewmen took her on their daily run of the inspection and repair of their section of tracks. At the station they kept a box near the basement furnace for her, where she even gave birth to a litter of 3 puppies. When one of the brakemen retired he still came and took Annie on walks about the town, where she would be greeted by locals, offered restaurant scraps and ice cream licks, even an occasional bone from the butcher along the way. She died in her sleep, in her box by the furnace, in 1948 when she was 14 yrs. old.
This bronze statue was made in her honor, with one paw raised to ‘shake hands’. It sits between the two large pines in front of the Old Town branch of the library, where Olivia and her brother would greet and visit with her, on our way in and out! When Olivia volunteered as a Library Pal during the summers between 5th and 7th grade, one Pal would often dress in an Annie costume and walk about the children’s section of library giving kids hugs, and ‘shaking hands’. For thirteen years the city featured a walk in her honor: a 1.5 mile walk with dogs, a pancake breakfast and Annie look-alike contest.
Click on the photos to link back for further topics (and more photos!) about Fort Collins history and community: http://www.lostfortcollins.net/