Wellington’s History: Water, Agriculture, and the Railroad

Wellington's Historic Train Depot Mural. Photo Credit Brian Graves, Graven Images, 2019.

Annie Lindgren

North Forty News

Wellington’s namesake is Charles L. Wellington, the Colorado & Southern Railway traffic manager in 1902. The town of Wellington was founded in January of 1903 after the railway’s completion allowed real estate to boom and created a marketplace need. The mural painted on the west-facing side of one of Wellington’s oldest standing business buildings is of the original Wellington Train Depot that used to stand near there.

Beet farming was the most significant crop for the Wellington area in the early 1900s. At the time, the only way to get crops to market was via horse-drawn vehicles and unpaved roads. So, they extended the railway north of Fort Collins in order to transport the beets to the sugar beet factory more quickly.

The North Poudre Irrigation Company owned all the land of what would become Wellington as of 1901 and was responsible for bringing water to Wellington’s farmland. Water allowed for agriculture, and the railroad allowed for a way to efficiently transport things in and out of the Wellington area. The town of Wellington blossomed and grew from there.

If you want to learn more about Wellington’s agricultural history, visit the Bee Family Centennial Farm and Museum. They are open for the season as of May 1 and will remain open until October, on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Spring is a great time to visit because you are sure to find baby animals. For more information, visit their website at http://www.beefamilyfarm.com

The Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum is the historic preservation of an original homestead founded at the start of the development of Northern Colorado. It has been maintained as an active family farm since 1894 and is designated as a “Centennial Farm” by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Historical Society. In 2002, the farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located at 4320 East County Road 58, Fort Collins, CO 80524.

Historical information in this article was obtained from a historical survey completed through the Wellington Main Streets Program. Find more details at https://wellingtonmainstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Downtown-Survey-Intro.pdf

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