Larimer County Colorado
Larimer County is the seventh most populous and the ninth most extensive of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado . The county is located at the northern end of the Front Range, at the edge of the Colorado Eastern Plains along the border with Wyoming. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 276,253 in 2006, a 9.84% increase since U.S. Census 2000.
Major attractions in the area include the Poudre River Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park. Other major visitor attractions in the County include the Anheuser Busch Brewery and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, sculpture shows and bronze foundry tours in Loveland, and the Scottish Highlands Festival in Estes Park. Loveland and Estes Park are also known as gateways to Rocky Mountain National Park, which receives over 3 million visitors each year.
History – The area was officially opened to white settlement following negotiations with the Cheyenne and Arapaho in the 1858 Treaty of Fort Laramie, by which time the area was part of the Nebraska Territory. One of the primary goals of the early citizens of the county was the courting of railroads. The first railroad finally arrived in the county in 1877 when the Colorado Central Railroad extended a line north from Golden via Longmont to Cheyenne. The town council of Fort Collins designated right-of-way through the center of town (and through the campus of the unbuilt college) for the line, creating a contentious issue to this day.
A significant increase in the agricultural productivity of the region came in the 1930s with the construction of the Colorado Big Thompson Project following the Great Depression, sort of a third boom for the agricultural industry around Fort Collins. This project collected and captured Western Slope water, and carried it over to the Front Range Colorado counties of Boulder, Larimer and Weld, along with an extensive water storage and distribution system, which significantly extended the irrigable growing season and brought substantial additional land under irrigation for the first time.