Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins is a Home Rule Municipality situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, and is the county seat and most populous city of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Fort Collins is located 57 miles (92 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2010 census population of 143,986, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado. Fort Collins is a large college town, home to Colorado State University. It was named Money magazine's Best Place to Live 2006, #2 in 2008, and #6 in 2010.
Fort Collins was founded as a military outpost of the United States Army in 1864. It succeeded a previous encampment, known as Camp Collins, on the Cache La Poudre River, near what is known today as Laporte. Camp Collins was erected during the Indian wars of the mid-1860s to protect the Overland mail route that had been recently relocated through the region. Travelers crossing the county on the Overland Trail would camp there, but a flood destroyed the camp in June 1864. Afterward, the commander of the fort wrote to the commandant of Fort Laramie in southeast Wyoming, Colonel William O. Collins, suggesting that a site several miles farther down the Poudre would make a good location for the fort. The post was manned originally by two companies of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and never had walls.
Settlers began arriving in the vicinity of the fort nearly immediately. The fort was decommissioned in 1867. The original fort site is now adjacent to the present historic "Old Town" portion of the city. The first school and church opened in 1866, and the town was platted in 1867. The civilian population of Fort Collins, led by local businessman Joseph Mason, led an effort to relocate the county seat to Fort Collins from LaPorte, and they were successful in 1868.