Fort Collins Stories

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend! It’s dry here, but too much water isn’t any better, as illustrated by this excerpt from “Talking About Fort Collins: Selections from Oral Histories,” a joint project of The Friends of the Library and the Local History Department of the Fort Collins Public Library (1992). Transcripts of the oral histories are also available at Fort Collins History Connection.

"The first year we were here, 1904, was the time of the flood. It was the last day of school, and we had a ball game. About four o’clock we were dismissed. In the meantime there had been as bad-looking a cloud as you could imagine in the west, and we knew of course it was raining there. But it never did rain much here on the valley. When we got down to the crossing, Eaton Ditch, which we would have to cross to go home, the river was running right across the ditch as though it wasn’t there, and the whole south of that was under water. And the water kept coming up.

"My father stayed with the cows, the pony, and the chickens. He stayed to take care of things, the water started going down and he thought he had everything safe. Then he looked up and here was a wall of water five or six feet high, which was the result of the Chambers Dam going out. It just came down and knocked out everything.

"Our house was on lower ground; so naturally we went up to our cousin’s house which was on higher ground. The water surrounded the house but never got into it. When this wall of water came it didn’t follow the river bed, it just swept right down the valley. There was only one bridge left on the river from the farther hills to Greeley, and that was the bridge on Lincoln by the old mill. Until the bridges were rebuilt, people just had to ford the river.”
--Glenn Brolliar, 1974

Mystery Photo:
Last week's photo was of a sculpture on Center Avenue, west of Shields, by New Mercer Commons. (I couldn't find the name of it. If you know, please leave a comment.)

Where in Fort Collins was this week's picture taken?


April Moore said…
Is it that CSU building? Can't think of the name though!
Anonymous said…
It's the old CSU Track/Field House. Old, but new. I remember getting my body fat measured in there during a college course. Funny thing to remember, I guess I must have been traumatized by the number! :)

That's an amazing story about the flood. There's a great idea for a historical novel set in that period.

Your blog is looking great, Jenny. I really like this snowy background...are you going to change the background with the seasons?
Jenny said…
Marcie, I would have been traumatized, too!

Thanks, Pat. Yes, the idea is to change with the seasons. Spring is coming soon!

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