Berthoud, Colorado

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Town of Berthoud, Colorado
Statutory Town
Entering Berthoud from the east.
Entering Berthoud from the east.
Nickname(s): The Garden Spot of Colorado
Location of Berthoud shown within the State of Colorado
Location of Berthoud shown within the State of Colorado
Town of Berthoud, Colorado is located in the US
Town of Berthoud, Colorado
Town of Berthoud, Colorado
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 40°17′05″N 104°57′56″W / 40.284667°N 104.965504°W / 40.284667; -104.965504Coordinates: 40°17′05″N 104°57′56″W / 40.284667°N 104.965504°W / 40.284667; -104.965504[1]
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
Counties Larimer County[2]
Weld County
Incorporated August 28, 1888[3]
Named for Edward L. Berthoud
 • Type Statutory Town[2]
 • Mayor Steve Mulvihill
 • Mayor pro tem Chris Buckridge
 • Total 4.1 sq mi (10.5 km2)
 • Land 4.0 sq mi (10.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  2.22%
Elevation 5,030 ft (1,533 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,105
 • Estimate (2013)[4] 5,394
 • Density 1,200/sq mi (490/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP Code 80513[5]
Area code(s) 970
INCITS place code 0806255
GNIS feature ID 0178065
Website Town of Berthoud

The Town of Berthoud is a Statutory Town in Larimer and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. The town population was 5105 at the 2010 United States Census. Berthoud is situated north of the Little Thompson River, approximately halfway between the cities of Fort Collins, Colorado and Denver, Colorado along the Front Range Urban Corridor.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 228
1900 305 33.8%
1910 758 148.5%
1920 852 12.4%
1930 811 −4.8%
1940 811 0.0%
1950 867 6.9%
1960 1,014 17.0%
1970 1,446 42.6%
1980 2,362 63.3%
1990 2,990 26.6%
2000 4,839 61.8%
2010 5,105 5.5%
Est. 2015 6,031 [6] 18.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

According to the 2010 census,[8] there were 5,105 people and 1,999 households residing in the town.

The population density was 446.7 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 93.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 2.1% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.6% of the population.

There were 1,999 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.

The town's population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.2 years. For every 100 females there were 101.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $70,292. Males had a median income of $43,676 versus $29,861 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,111. About 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line.


Berthoud is a small town surrounded largely by farmland, nicknamed the "Garden Spot of Colorado." In many parts of town, trees overarch the city streets. The town has several parks, including Berthoud Park (which has an outdoor swimming pool, playground and tennis court), Fickel Park (which also has a tennis court), and Pioneer Park. Fickel Park is also home to a growing a sculpture park, which have brought a new look to the park and the town. There is an annual community parade on "Berthoud Day", which occurs on the first Saturday in June and ends in Berthoud Park, where families gather and enjoy music in a picnic-like atmosphere. Another community event held annually in June is "Berthoud Outdoor Quilt Show", in which quilters display their works in Fickel Park. Throughout the summer, a local farmer's market is held every Saturday also in Fickle Park.[9]

Berthoud plays host to a small arts community that includes the Berthoud Dance Company, the Moon Theatre Company, the Berthoud Arts and Humanities Alliance and the Wildfire Community Arts Center, which includes a small blackbox theater. The Wildfire Theater Company is a community theater group that was founded in 2005. It has produced several full-length plays as well as youth productions, including "Brighton Beach Memoirs" by Neil Simon (2005), "A Christmas Carol" (youth production) by Charles Dickens (2005), "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley (2006), "Murder Room" by Jack Sharkey (2006), and "Proof" by David Auburn.


White settlers first came to the present-day Berthoud area in the early 1860s, following the Colorado Gold Rush. Many settlers filed homestead claims, but most bellied up and left the valley to hardier souls who ranched and farmed the arid prairie that straddled the river bottom.

In 1872, a miner-turned-rancher from Central City, Colorado, Lewis Cross, staked the first homestead claim where the Colorado Central Railroad planned to cross Little Thompson creek. When the tracks were laid through the valley in 1877 a depot, section house, and water tank were installed at this strategic site. The tiny settlement known as Little Thompson was renamed Berthoud in honor of Edward L. Berthoud, who had surveyed the rail route through the valley.

Over the next few years the settlement grew to include a handful of homes, a blacksmith shop, a mercantile store, a small grain elevator, and a log cabin that served as school and church for the community.

In the early 1880s, the Colorado Central Railroad recognized that Berthoud's location on the river bottom caused their steam-powered locomotives to labor excessively to ascend the grade out of the valley. At their urging, during the winter of 1883-84, the buildings of the town were loaded on skids and pulled by teams of draft animals to the town's present-day location on the bluff one mile (1.6 km) north of the river.

Agriculture in the Berthoud area flourished. Farmers diverted water from the Little and Big Thompson Rivers into a network of reservoirs and ditches that allowed the arid uplands to be irrigated. Harvests of alfalfa, sugar beets, wheat, corn, and barley were sold on the open market or used to fatten pens of sheep and cattle. The town grew as merchants and shopkeepers set up businesses to serve farmers and ranchers from the nearby countryside.

In 1886, the Welch Addition doubled the size of the Berthoud as town boundaries extended south beyond present-day Mountain Avenue for the first time. A year later a hose company was hastily formed to protect the town from fire after the Davis & Hartford Mercantile store burned to the ground. In 1888 a town board was elected and within a short time they hired a marshal to keep the peace and light the street lamps. By the early 1900s, Berthoud sported a business district on Third Street and Massachusetts and Mountain Avenues.

In the 1920s Mountain Avenue became part of a paved state highway system which would become U.S. Highway 287 connecting the larger towns of northern Colorado. In 2007, Highway 287 was rerouted to the north and west of Berthoud, bypassing downtown Berthoud and eliminating Mountain Avenue from the highway route.

Schools and education[edit]

Students from the area attend the four public schools which are part of the Thompson School District: two elementary schools (Berthoud Elementary and Ivy Stockwell), a centrally located middle school (Turner Middle School), and a high school (Berthoud High School).

In June 2007, Aims Community College purchased approximately 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land in Berthoud at Interstate 25 and State Highway 56, announcing plans to build a state-of-the-art regional campus.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  4. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  5. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved September 3, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "  » Berthoud Local Farmers Market". Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  10. ^ The Official Web Site of the Town of Berthoud, Colorado
  11. ^ Aims Community College: Mission Statement

External links[edit]