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Fort Collins Early Settlement/Town Beginnings Tour

    • Writing in 1884 from Pine Ridge Agency in Dakota Territory, former trapper and guide Antoine Janis described the place where he and his Lakota wife, First Elk Woman, spent their winter and spring seasons.
      “I thought then that the [Cache la] Poudre valley was the loveliest spot on earth, and think so yet.” Permanent Euro-American settlement began here in 1859 and slowly over the ensuing years the population increased. The U.S. Army, serving a protective role for civilians, drew still more settlers. After the military abandoned the area in 1866 the colony town of Fort Collins took shape and was later incorporated in 1873.

      This van tour showcases the fascinating story of some the earliest settlers in the Cache la Poudre River valley, how they came to be associated with the founding of the fledgling community of Fort Collins, and where the settlement occurred along the Poudre corridor.