Canopies of Cottonwoods and meadows carpeted with thick grass lured the first homesteaders to the Little Thompson River bottom in the 1860s. In 1873, Lewis Cross set the stage for the valley’s first settlement when he claimed a homestead that would later be on the course of the Colorado Central Railroad. After the line was built in 1877, a cluster of buildings was constructed on the Cross homestead, which was named Berthoud. The name honored Capt. Edward L. Berthoud.
Berthoud’s location on the river bottom proved unsuitable, and in the winter of 1883-84, the town was moved one mile north to a new townsite platted by Peter Turner. At that location, the town flourished and became an important agricultural center of southern Larimer County. By the early 1900s, Berthoud sported a bustling business district on Third Street at Massachusetts and Mountain avenues. Agriculture in the Berthoud area also flourished. Farmers diverted water from the Little and Big Thompson rivers into a network of reservoirs and ditches that irrigated the arid uplands. The town grew as merchants and shopkeepers set up businesses to serve farmers and ranchers.
Today, Berthoud is a bustling community with a quaint downtown, boutique shops and excellent schools and amenities that make it attractive to residential and commercial development. Centrally located between Fort Collins and Denver along the fast-growing I-25 corridor, Berthoud is quickly becoming a hub for residential, commercial and industrial development. These qualities are attracting a variety of new developments not the least of which is the TPC Colorado and Heron Lakes golf and residential community. With diverse business developments locating in Berthoud, the economy is healthy and the future bright for Berthoud now and years to come. Berthoud, “Come and Grow With Us.”
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Source: Berthoud’s Beginnings, Berthoud Historical Society President, Mark French.