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Loveland City


Loveland City Hall is located at 500 East Third Street, Loveland, CO 80537; phone: 970-962-2000.

Beginnings [1]

The city of Loveland was founded in 1877, and named for its founder, William Austin Hamilton Loveland, president of the Colorado Central Railroad, W. A, H. Loveland's Railroad, founded in Golden, Colorado, in 1876, already had a network of rails in several part of Colorado much of which fed into the Union Pacific lines. In 1877, the feeder railroad, with help from the Union Pacific, was involved in the expansion of the rails from Longmont, Colorado, to Wyoming, There was a need for a station north of Longmont, and the site where Loveland now stands was chosen. The railroads benefited from the considerable number of farmers already in the Thompson Valley, and the farmers from the proximity of a trade center.

Tracks were completed from Golden to the Valley by fall of 1877 and a depot, consisting of tents, was set up for the station master and the section gang. A small red brick depot was completed the following year. Demand for railroad service continued to grow along with the number of settlers in the area. The greatest period of expansion began toward the end of the century with the introduction of sugar beet cultivation.

The newly organized Great Western Sugar Company built a factory nearby in 1901. By that time it had become evident that Loveland needed a larger railroad station. Newspaper articles of the day pointed to the fact that passengers had to compete with pigs, chickens, and other livestock and freight for space inside the building. Most passengers did not care to go inside because of the dirt and confusion. The Colorado and Southern Railway, successor to the old Colorado Central, and owner of the station, issued a statement in 1901 that officials were fully aware that a new building was needed and believed that a new station would very soon be commenced.

Early in 1902 a survey for the new depot was made. Charles B. Martin, an architect employed by the railroad, designed the building, and it was completed at a cost of $19,949 by the end of November, 1902. The old depot was torn down and the brick used to pave the walks and platform for the new depot. Loveland's small, but grand and sophisticated depot, with its classical lines and details, was erected only twenty-five years after the founding of the town by the same railroad.

  1. Lee Morrow, West America Funding, Inc., Colorado and Southern Railway Depot (Loveland Depot), Larimer County, CO, nomination document, 1980, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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