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Longmont City

Longmont City Hall is located at 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont, CO 80501; phone: 303-776-6050.

Beginnings [1]

Longmont was founded in 1871 by the Chicago Colorado Colony, which had been formed the year before in Chicago. The company officers purchased a large tract of land in Colorado and platted a new town called Longmont. These founders then sold memberships to persons wishing to come West to farm. These first colony members arrived in 1871 and stayed at a hotel built by the colony until they could disperse to their own parcels of land. Some of these founding members chose also to have a house in town and still others came to the new town as merchants. Lots in the original townsite of the town were also sold by the Colony. Property abstracts indicate that Section 3, which was platted as the original townsite, was originally purchased from the government by John Bertwhistle, who sold the property to D.S. Coffman in 1865. Coffman was a founding officer of the colony (primarily because he owned the land), and he in turn deeded the property to the Colony. The Chicago Colorado Colony was as much a real estate venture as an agricultural one.

These founding colony members were not the first settlers in the area. Farming had begun in the St. Vrain valley as early as 1859 by disenchanted miners. These miners grew hay and crops for sale grew up to support the shipping and supply needs of these farmers. When Longmont was platted, Burlington chose to merge with the new town, and all the residents and businesses moved.

At about the turn of the century, it was found that Colorado was conducive to the growing of sugar beets, and a large scale effort was pursued in the northern Front Range to convince farmers to grow sugar beets and to build sugar factories in towns. Longmont entrepreneurs had just such a plant built in 1902. In 1905 it was purchased by Great Western Sugar Company which successfully operated these plants throughout northeastern Colorado. The company in fact had its own railroad that carried the processed sugar from the sugar beet factory in Longmont to Denver where the product was shipped.

  1. Ellen T. Ittelson, Hammer, Siler, George and Associates, West Side Historic District, Longmont, CO, nomination document, 1986, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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