Tour D Fat 2011

This annual costumed bike riding parade is hosted by New Belgium Brewery. This year, a record 15,000 people participated in the bike ride around old town. Here are some pictures I took. They were from my phone, so not the best quality in the world.

Poudre Valley Creamery Building

There has been some discussion recently around the demolition of the Creamery Building, so I thought I would post these pictures that I took a few days ago of the actual demolition.

After removal of the billboard. Now you can see the ghost sign.


Safe from Demolition


Jaws


The Wooden Section was no Match for Jaws


Poudre Valley Creamery

Some of the Salvaged Materials

Frank Miller

Editor’s Note: This story was provided by Captain Bevo. Frank Miller was the person driving the stagecoach on a recent Where in Fort Collins Picture.

Frank Miller with Buffalo Bill Cody's show


Buffalo Bill at the Trails End Ranch


Fair Store in the MIller Building


Frank Miller Artwork of Fort Collins


Franks Tame Elk named 7up

Frank, a Danish immigrant, came to Fort Collins from the mining town of Black Hawk in 1882. In 1888 he started building what is called the Miller Building-later known as the area called the Miller block in old town, which was finished by 1894. It was designed to house Miller’s Liquor Business and a dry goods store called The Fair Store, which served the community for 52 years. Miller’s Liquor Business disappeared in 1896 when the town went dry.

Frank was a part of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show as a trick shooter during the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. He traveled the country with the show and he and Bill became very good friends. Buffalo Bill sold the stagecoach to Frank Miller which is housed in the museum. The stagecoach was used in the WILD WEST show. Frank used the stage in parades and other Fort Collins events. The stage was later given to the city of Fort Collins.

In 1920 Frank Miller came back home to Larimer County and purchased the Trail’s End Ranch. The ranch is located at the end of Trail Creek, part of the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River, and is overlooked by local landmark, Turkey Roost mountain. Frank spent $100,000 developing the ranch into a guest ranch that had a wild animal zoo and a wild west show.

The ranch had over 1,400 different kinds of animals. There were both domestic and exotic animals, many that were tame and could be handled and even considered pets: buffalo, mountain lions, raccoons, deer, skunks, bears. It was considered the largest private zoo in the world, and the only wild west zoo in America.

Most of the animals had names. Frank could call from a quarter of a mile away and his pets would come running. The animals were spoiled. Frank would feed them sugar when they did a trick, particularly the bears. Frank’s favorite pet bear went with him everywhere. Frank would take him for a ride in his car, cruisin’ College Avenue. Frank taught the bear many tricks to entertain his guests at the ranch, even to drink beer out of a bottle.

Frank Miller’s ranch was known all over the country, and people would not only come from Ft. Collins, and Estes Park, and Denver, but from all across the nation. Frank was a very popular host and was great at entertaining. In 1925 more than 10,000 people visited Frank’s ranch, including people from 25 foreign countries. Many famous people, like Will Rogers, and actors and actresses, were guests of “Frank’s”.

Frank was also an artist and did many old west scenes. A sample is the picture of old fort collins posted here.

Frank died in 1953 in Fort Collins at the age of 87. Portions of the ranch, including the main buildings, were purchased by Wayne and Phyllis Schrader (of Schrader Oil) in 1981.

Frank and his Bear Pepper


Trails End Guest House mid 80's


Trails End Rock Wall and Fence mid 80's


Trails End Main House mid 80's

Where in Fort Collins?

Where in Fort Collins

Where in Fort Collins?


Captain Bevo recently found this photograph, and he asks of you the following questions.
First, what is this?
Second, what was it next too?

Fort Collins Thing: Annie the Railroad Dog

Editor’s Note: This post was originally on FortCollinsNouns

If you’ve been here:

003

You might have seen this:

001

Let’s take a closer look at what the plaque says…

002

But did you know that if you went here:

006

You would find this if you looked for it:

004.jpg

That is Annie’s grave. She is still resting at what is now the Downtown Transit Center in Fort Collins.

Raise your hand if you knew Fort Collins had a tiny pet cemetery at its main bus station. Read more about it here.

Early Car Dealers

Ghent Motors

Captain Bevo and myself have been wondering about the history of this building. Captain believes it was originally Ghent Motors, with the showroom being on the corner (where City Drug is now), with this side being the mechanics shop. However, the recently revealed ghost sign does not really say that. Then again neither one of us can decipher what the first word says here.

Across the street was Markley Motors at one time. I also thought that the current city building at 281 N. College was connected with an automobile dealership as well. I do know that Pederson’s was further north on College Avenue until the early 90′s.

We would love to hear what others recall from the early auto dealers in town.

Where in Fort Collins?

Lets see how many of you can figure out where these are. While unintended, would this classify as art now?

Where in Fort Collins?

Thinking of Spring – Fort Collins Gardens

Old Town Yard

If you are anything like me, this time of year you are getting cabin fever big time, anxiously awaiting for spring for the first signs of greenery. To hold you over, peruse the pictures of some of my favorite gardens in Fort Collins. Most of these I took last June In the westside neighborhood.

I do know there are fabulous gardens all over Fort Collins. This year I hope to photograph some more.

Linden Press

No Grass!

Great Composition

I love Iris

More Iris

I like this one for the front yard garden

Just a little red

Fabulous Lupine

Northern Hotel

Commercial Hotel 1893

The Northern Hotel has been one of the iconic buildings in Fort Collins since its construction in 1873. When it was built though, it looked much different than it does today, originally it was built as the Agricultural Hotel with what I believe to have been three floors. In the 1880′s it was changed to the Commercial Hotel, and then finally to the Northern Hotel around 1905.

Northern Hotel 1905

In 1936, the building was extensively remodeled and given the art deco appearance that is has now. The Northern operated as one of the finest hotels in Fort Collins and catered to people who traveled by train, being only a block from the train station. After World War II, the hotel slowly declined as train traffic declined. A fire in 1975 severely damaged the upper two floors, causing the hotel operations to cease. However, the ground floor remained opened with several viable businesses. A 1975 facelift to the ground floor introduces a continuous row of arches on the College Ave street front, and a blank brick facade to the Walnut Street Facade.

1932 Northern before Art Deco remodeling

During its heydey, the Hotel was visited by such notables such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Wayne, Olivia DeHaveland, and Vincent Price. Being a luxury hotel, the Northern was also adorned with an incredible indoor dome that provided natural light into the dining room. The northern has been home to a variety of restaurants and businesses over the years.

Captain Bevo has other memories “In the early sixties my dad and his coffee group would meet at the Northern daily (except Sundays) periodically, I would go with him. As a kid I always thought the fish pond in the lobby was the coolest thing ever. The pond consisted of rock with a waterfall that dropped about 5 feet or so. It’s odd what stays with you-I can still remember the smell of the area and vision the large gold fish or koi that swam amongst the pocket change that had been tossed in.

1905 Banquet for Hotel Opening

The coffee shop was a place where anyone and everyone would meet. Bankers, attorneys, judges, politicians, farmers, merchants, travelers, college professors, college students and just about anyone else you can think of. Downtown was the place to be.

During the 70s the Northern housed a pretty cool night club (for its time) disco, rock and patchouli oil replaced the din of clanking dishes.”

1930 Dome

In the late 1990′s the Northern was closed all together and was totally vacant for a few years. In 1999, it was acquired by Funding Partners for Housing Solutions, who with the help of several grants, creative financing, and Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits the entire building was restored to is Art Deco 1936 appearance. The upper three floors were converted to 47 apartments for low income seniors, with the first floor occupied by businesses such as Starbucks, Spoons, The Mountain Shop and a few others. It is a beautiful building inside and out and once again takes its place as a prominent building in downtown Fort Collins.

1930 Dome


Northern Hotel in 2011


Northern Hotel Sign in 2011


Dome is it Looks Today


Stained Glass Ceiling in Lobby


Lobby in Northern 2011

Spudnuts

Spudnuts Ad

Given the recent comments on Spudnuts, Captain Bevo dug this up and asked that I post it.