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Ask Uncle Norm: The landfill before

” Do you remember where the old landfill was? I believe it was also on Taft, but on the east side and closer to town” -Harry


As I remember, the landfill of the 60’s was just south of the
southeast intersection of Harmony and Shields. This intersection no
longer exists as several years ago the city sent Harmony to the north
and then west out to Taft Hill Road. That landfill was later replaced
by the present Larimer County Landfill farther south and on the west


norm_profile[What happens when you ask the Lost Fort Collins blog a question? Typically, I just go ask Norm for the answer. Norm Cook has lived in Fort Collins since the mid 1940s, and he remembers EVERYTHING!

Now, you can cut out the middle man and ask Uncle Norm yourself. Just write Norm@lostfortcollins.com.  Answers appear here on the Lost Fort Collins blog]

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9 comments to Ask Uncle Norm: The landfill before

  • sgltrak

    I had heard that it was located where the present day Taft Canyon subdivision is located, at the south-west corner of Taft Hill and County Road 38e.

  • There was also a landfill where the north side community center presently sits. As a child I remember playing on the banks of the poudre and finding medicine jars from the early 1900’s. All of that mess was cleaned up when they built the new community center a few years ago and rehabbed the river front.

  • catfc

    Grow: That was the original landfill and I hear lots of stories about how fires burned there constantly, helping to define what was bad about our bad neighborhoods. That is, the smoke that blew off the landfill wafted over to Buckingham to the east and Cherry street to the west.

    Sgltrak: You might be right. Let me check with Norm and see if he meant Taft Hill. Because he says the road was moved, and if you look on the map, you can see 38e (Harmony) takes an abrupt north turn just before Taft Hill…and then goes on to the reservoir. When we talked about it, he told me they rerouted Harmony because the intersection proved incredibly dangerous.

  • It was Taft Hill. I remember walking around in the piles of trash, salvaging a Big Little Book or two (I think it was “Kazan: King of the Pack” and “Red Barry”). There were fires here and there. It was on the south side of the intersection where Harmony ran into Taft Hill at the top of the hill, before they moved it. And it wasn’t the landfill, we just called it the dump. Location-wise, it was pretty convenient to our house, which was on Horsetooth Road before they decided to rename our stretch of Horsetooth (which actually went up toward, like, Horsetooth) to County Road 38-E and give our street’s name to the road that went to the Barnes farm.

  • To clarify about Horsetooth Road: the road used to coincide with Taft Hill on the stretch between the trailer/prefab park and Imperial Estates (& Westfield) before turning again and going up to the Deerheart Inn. Every so often, someone would get tanked at the Deerheart and manage to speed as far as the turn onto Taft Hill before wiping out on the partial curve there. I never saw one of these take place, but I’d go out the next day and see if there was anything interesting left behind. (There never was.)

    For a while in the early 70s, our stretch (we lived in the house next to the two-story house on the south side of the street — it’s brown now and it was red then) was officially named Horsetooth. The first sign they put in said “Horshtooth,” and I phoned this fun fact in to the Coloradoan, who had Joel Draut come out and photograph it, then take credit for spotting it himself. Maybe they could rename that part and the part that goes up the hill Horshtooth now.

  • SMS

    There was a dump on the NE corner of the intersection of Taft and old Harmony. You can still find the vents used for testing on then site. It is completely buried now, but clearly shown on maps from that age. if you go lookig, watch for the many rattlesnakes that now infest that hill.

  • catfc

    Okay, well then, consensus from people who know says it’s Taft and old Harmony. But I’m not going to fire Norm. Because in the end, the, um, “team” did get the right answer. Thanks for helping.

    [Retreating to rebuild cred.]

  • Suzy

    Thank you all for the input! Does anyone know if there are any old maps online that might show the exact location?

  • Terence

    There might be some old maps around. I will see what I can find. I was part of the design team that rerouted Harmony to its current location. This was done due the dangerous old intersection with Taft Hill on the hill that blocked views of oncoming traffic. I had no idea there was an old dump here. I did know about the one under what is currently Azatlan.