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History of Loveland, Colorado

Loveland, Colorado, located in Larimer County, is a fast-growing city that has shed its agricultural past for a high-tech future. Loveland has grown from a census population of 6,773 in 1950 to 50,608 in 2000.

The first settler in the area was Mariano Medina, who established himself at a place called Namaqua, west of the present city of Loveland. In 1867, a flour mill was established at Old St. Louis township, a few miles downstream. Following the construction of the Colorado Central Railroad, a station was established about a mile west of Old St. Louis, in 1877. A farm owned by a resident named David Barnes was chosen as the site for the new town, which was named for W.A.H. Loveland, the president of the Colorado Central Railroad. The town was incorporated on April 30, 1881.

During its initial years, Loveland depended on agriculture as the main source of livelihood. Sugar beets and sour cherries were the major crops. The Great Western Sugar Company, established in 1901, served as an important employer of the local people. Another major employer was the Spring Glade Orchard, which was the largest cherry orchard west of the Mississippi River during the late 1920s. The cherry industry greatly declined in a series of droughts and cold waves, and by 1960 had stopped completely. Later, Loveland saw a gradual shift of its economy from agriculture to high-tech industries. Such major modern companies as Hewlett-Packard, Teledyne, and Hach, have selected Loveland as their manufacturing site.

The Loveland Museum/Gallery is a focus of culture and history for Loveland. Timberlane Farm Museum is a new facility that features living-history farm life.

Benson Sculpture Park has been showcasing sculpture outdoors since 1985. Here, the Loveland High Plains Arts Council hosts its "Sculpture in the Park" each summer. About 100 pieces of sculpture are on permanent display. Boyd Lake State Park provides recreation on 1,700 acres of water about three miles northeast of Loveland.

Loveland's First Congregational Church was organized in 1901. Its current church dates from 1915. Saint John's Catholic Church was constructed in 1903 in the Late Victorian/Romanesque Revival style. The congregation moved to a new church in 1957 and the old church building eventually was purchased by the Lutheran church.

Off-site search results for "History of Loveland, Colorado"...

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