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Berthoud, Colorado
Town of Berthoud
Entering Berthoud from the east
Entering Berthoud from the east
The Garden Spot of Colorado
Location of the Town of Berthoud in Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado.
Location of the Town of Berthoud in Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado.
Berthoud, Colorado is located in the United States
Berthoud, Colorado
Berthoud, Colorado
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Colorado
Counties Larimer County
Weld County
Incorporated August 28, 1888
Named for Edward L. Berthoud
 • Type Statutory Town
 • Total 13.067 sq mi (33.844 km2)
 • Land 12.933 sq mi (33.497 km2)
 • Water 0.134 sq mi (0.347 km2)
5,030 ft (1,533 m)
 • Total 10,332
 • Density 799/sq mi (308/km2)
 • Front Range
Time zone UTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-06255
GNIS feature ID 0178065

The Town of Berthoud is a Statutory Town located in Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado, United States. The town population was 10,332 at the 2020 United States Census with 10,071 residing in Larimer County and 261 residing in Weld County. Berthoud is situated north of the Little Thompson River, 21 miles (34 km) south of Fort Collins and 43 miles (69 km) north of Denver in the Front Range Urban Corridor.


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.


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%
2020 10,332 102.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to the 2010 census, 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.

Community & Culture

Berthoud is a small town surrounded largely by farmland, nicknamed the “Garden Spot of Colorado”. Berthoud is known for its small-town feel, abundance of trees and open space, mountains views and a great location northern Colorado.

Parks & Recreation

The Town of Berthoud has a total of 10 parks, developed and undeveloped, which includes a skate park, baseball fields, soccer field, outdoor basketball courts, sand volleyball courts and the town swimming pool. The Town also offers a wide variety of programs for youth and adults in the community.

Berthoud has been a Tree City USA for 33 years.

Local Parks

  • Bein Park
  • Bein Park Baseball Complex
  • Collins Park
  • Fickel Park
  • Hillsdale Park
  • Pioneer Park
  • Railroad Park
  • Roberts Lake
  • Skate Park
  • Town Park

Annual Events

Berthoud is home to several annual events organized and sponsored by various organizations.

  • Berthoud Day – first Saturday in June
  • Oktoberfest – first Saturday in October
  • Arbor Day Celebration
  • Berthoud Outdoor Quilt, Art & Craft Show
  • Berthoud Open Golf Tournament
  • Local farmers market held every Saturday throughout the summer


The Berthoud Historical Society manages two museums in the community: The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum and the McCarty-Fickel Home.

Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum

Located in A.G. Bimson’s historic blacksmith shop and Elmer Carlson’s garage building, the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum brings Berthoud’s heritage to life. An array of exhibits reveals the town and surrounding rural districts as a bustling agricultural center of Colorado since the 1880s.

Originally built in 1893 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bimson’s Stone Shop also serves as the gateway to museum grounds that feature unique exhibits and comfortable gathering places.

McCarty-Fickel Home

An elegant residence erected in 1916 by Berthoud’s Dr. and Mrs. D.W. McCarty, the McCarty-Fickel Home is the setting of a historic house museum that explores the domestic, professional and civic lives of members of the McCarty and Fickel families from the 1890s to present—including the onsite medical office from the 1930s.

Designed by noted Colorado architect Glenn Huntington, the home was constructed in the Denver Square architectural style and still contains original woodwork, numerous family artifacts and original furnishings purchased from the Daniels and Fisher department store in Denver.

Arts & Culture

As of 2016, there are efforts to create arts and cultural leadership and organizations, but at this time, the community relies on regional arts and cultural activities and venues.

Schools and education

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.

Berthoud is located about 35–40 minutes from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Front Range Community College and Aims Community College. These higher education options provide advanced training, research and career placement assistances for students and graduates.

Notable people

  • Tyler Carron - American ice sled hockey player
  • Nikko Landeros - American ice sled hockey player and skier
  • Eric Conn - American biochemist
  • Rennie Davis - American anti-war activist
  • Gerry Shishin Wick - Soto Zen roshi and abbot of Great Mountain Zen Center in Berthoud

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Berthoud (Colorado) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Renowned Hispanic physicians
Alexander De Soto
Maria J. Merino
Raquel Eidelman Cohen
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
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