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Town of Berthoud, Colorado
Entering Berthoud from the east.
Entering Berthoud from the east.
The Garden Spot of Colorado
Location of Berthoud shown within the State of Colorado
Location of Berthoud shown within the State of Colorado
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
Counties Larimer County
Weld County
Incorporated August 28, 1888
Named for Edward L. Berthoud
 • Type Statutory Town
 • 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%
5,030 ft (1,533 m)
 • Total 5,105
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,245/sq mi (486.2/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP Code
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 5,105 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.


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%
Est. 2015 6,031 18.1%
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.

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