F: Fort

I have a quick pop quiz for your Saturday.

My hometown of Fort Collins began as a:
a) snow fort
b) pillow fort
c) military fort

If you answered (c), you are correct. If you answered (a), I can see that during the winter. And if you answered (b), well, I like your style. 

Camp Collins, named for Lt. Col. William O. Collins, was established a few miles up the river in 1862. Two years later it flooded out and was relocated on higher ground near what is now Old Town. Fort Collins wasn't much of an active military fort, serving more to protect travelers and settlers who came along the Colorado branch of the Overland Trail. In 1867, it was decommissioned, and farmers and ranchers that had come to the area took things from there.

The military buildings are no longer, but the cabin of "Auntie" Elizabeth Stone, who provided lodging and food for soldiers, sits in the courtyard of the former museum. The cabin was the first private home in Fort Collins, so it's pretty cool to still have it around.

The site of the fort is marked with a sandstone kiosk just a stone's throw away from the Energy Lab featured in yesterday's E post. (No, I did not throw a stone to measure; I'm just guessing. But that would have been kind of fun.)


Mark Means said…
I like visiting the old forts. We had a few up in Northern Kentucky that were pretty cool.

Great post!
Tex said…
Of all the "stunners" of history, I think what gets me most about these places - and especially the ones like Fort Collins, that started as one thing and morphed into something quite different! - is how things must have been *constantly* changing, right from day one. It's not like medieval Europe, where sleepy little hamlets stayed sleepy and hamletty for centuries at a time. Even within a single person's lifetime, Fort Collins must have changed so much that Rip van Winkle wouldn't have recognized it. I love that there are still bits and pieces of the old fort still around, and that we have you to collect them for all of us virtual visitors!
Donna Sexton said…
You do such an amazing job of showing off your hometown.

Donna at Donna's New Day
Unknown said…
Enjoy hearing about your hometown.
What a great idea sharing your hometown! I'm really enjoying it so far!
DA Cairns said…
Interesting bit of local history.

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