10 Old Town Fort Collins Facts You Might Not Know

We’re proud to have our newest branch located on Mountain Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins. While our branch is new, the area has a long history that we’re excited to be part of. Check out these interesting facts about Old Town Fort Collins from our friends at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and Visit Fort Collins

5 fun facts about Old Town Fort Collins – History 

Fort to Town – In 1866, Jack Dow and Norman Meldrum surveyed and platted the original Fort Collins townsite, an area known today as “Old Town.” Old Town extended from the river south to Mountain Avenue and west from Riverside to College Avenue. 

Education Roots – In 1870, Fort Collins received the designation as School District No. 5. Local settlers raised money to build a small frame school for their children at 115 Riverside Ave.  

Frontier to Storefronts – Thanks in part to a local kiln established by Peterson and Stone, bricks became readily available to erect blocks of businesses. This is what would transform the frontier settlement into a Victorian community. In 1873, the town of Fort Collins was officially incorporated. 

Main Street USA – If you’ve visited both Old Town Fort Collins and Main Street USA at Disneyland, you may have noticed striking similarities, especially Disneyland’s City Hall and bank building. Harper Goff, who created Disneyland’s Main Street USA with Walt Disney, grew up in Fort Collins. When he needed inspiration for his project in the 1950s, Harper returned to Fort Collins and photographed the buildings in Old Town. From these Old Town photos and photos of Walt Disney’s hometown (Marceline, Missouri), Disneyland’s Main Street USA was formed.  

Preservation – Old Town Fort Collins includes over 20 restored historic buildings that are part of both national and local designated historic districts. 

5 fun facts about Old Town Fort Collins – Present Day 

Creativity All Around – Old Town has a commitment to the arts that is apparent through its Creative District, art museums, symphony orchestra, Art in Public Places initiative and Pianos Around Town. This focus on creativity has enhanced an already bustling Old Town community.  

Festival Scene – Fort Collins has a thriving music community and is home to popular festivals including FoCoMX, the Colorado Brewers’ FestivalTour de Fat and Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Find out about upcoming Fort Collins concerts and events here

Ride in Style – The Birney Car 21 is the only original trolley car west of the Mississippi. The trolley car is nearly 100 years old, and you can hitch a ride on it through Old Town at the low cost of $2 for adults, $1 for seniors and kids, and free for those under 3! It operates 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays from April to September.  

Shining On – Each year from November 1 to February 14, thousands of strands of holiday lights illuminate alleyways, sidewalks and streets throughout Old Town. It is truly a sight to behold. 

Crafted in Fort Collins – While Fort Collins had a prohibition in effect until 1969, it made up for lost time and now is the largest producer of craft beer in Colorado! For a city that was “dry” not too long ago, that is a real shift. Old Town itself boasts several taprooms where you can sample craft beers. 

On your next trip to beautiful Old Town Fort Collins, stop in and see our team at 221 E. Mountain Ave. You can also find information on all our branches including our other two Fort Collins locations here.

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