How much do you know about your hometown? Do you know how it started? How it got its name? I live within 10 miles of the town I was born and raised in, yet it amazes me how little I actually know about its history. I decided to remedy that lack of knowledge by going on a quick photo tour this afternoon with Misfit Nephew in tow. So sit back, and enjoy the show…
Longmont, CO – Established 1871
A prominent group of men from Chicago decided to start a new town in Colorado in 1870. They sold memberships to this new town (“The Chicago-Colorado Colony”) and used the money to buy land. A few city planning meetings later, Longmont was born. The name “Longmont” was used in honor of Long’s Peak, which can be seen from town.
Apparently, the soil in Longmont is very rich, so large-scale agricultural industries started to take root. In 1903, the Great Western Sugar Co. sugar beet factory was built on the West end of town. Here’s what it looks like today.
Kinda creepy, right? The sugar mill was shut down in 1977 and has been abandoned ever since. Its remnants stand tall amidst a new highway and suburban development. Here’s some info you won’t find in the history books about the abandoned building:
- Some believe the mill is haunted. When I was in high school, breaking into the sugar mill was the big “dare”. I never did it, because I was too chicken. (See any apparitions in my photos above?).
- Rumor has it there is an old homeless man who lives in the sugar mill. Apparently he collects bikes. Or motorcycles. Something like that.
- According to some, Satan worshipers used the mill to conduct certain rituals. My Stronger Half says they burned down part of the building.
- I found these photos online from someone who has been inside. Pretty interesting look!
Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of the photos from our hometown history tour. Stay tuned!
Longmont History Source: http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/museum/research/history.htm