Longmont History - How it Got Started

Longmont history began in an unusual way. In 1870, a group of prominent men in Chicago decided to start a new town in Colorado. They sold memberships in this new town called “The Chicago-Colorado Colony” and used the money to buy 60,000 acres of land in a carefully chosen site in northern Colorado. They planned the town and brought people, lumber, and building materials to the barren site, where they built a small town by the summer of 1871. They named the new town “Longmont” in honor of Longs Peak, clearly visible from the town. [caption id="attachment_9981" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] #image_title[/caption]

Agricultural Community

As the town grew, large-scale agricultural industries arrived: first flour mills in 1872, then the J. Empson and Daughter vegetable cannery in 1887. Several leading citizens of Longmont worked together to build a sugar beet factory on the west edge of town, finally developing enough support in 1903 to build what quickly became the Great Western Sugar Company.

Longmont History Population

By 1910, the population of Longmont had doubled almost every ten years since its founding and stood at 4,256 people. Growth slowed after this, with only 5,848 people recorded in the 1920 Census. World Wars I and II, along with the Great Depression of the 1930s and a prolonged drought, had slowed the growth of Longmont, but the economy improved in the late 1930s. The agricultural business that had founded Longmont waned in the 1970s to be replaced by the technology boom in the 1980s and ‘90s. The 2000 Census measured Longmont’s population at 71,093 – a jump of nearly 20,000 since 1990. The current population of Longmont is estimated at 87,000.

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