Tag Archives: Big Thompson River

A Voice of Colorado No. 207 Version 5.0:

Washburn Station, established in 1864 by settler John Washburn, served as the beginnings of a new settlement in northern Colorado. In 1867, because of the settlement, John Douty built a flour mill near the stage station, and the new town was known as “Old Saint Louis” or ‘Big Thompson’. In 1874 a plat was filed for the community, with the name “Winona” – for John Washburn’s daughter, Winona.

The stage station did not last long because in 1869 The Transcontinental Railroad was undertaken and the need for long distance travel by stagecoach and wagon was eliminated.

“Old Saint Louis” remains within the boundaries of present-day Loveland, CO., by way of a street name.


A Voice of Colorado No. 205 Version 5.0:

In 1864 a stage station and bridge were established by John Washburn on his homestead, located roughly two miles downstream of Namaqua Station on The Big Thompson River – near the intersection of the river and present-day United States Highway 287. The name of the station was expected – Washburn Station.

A Voice of Colorado No. 149 Version 5.0:

By the mid-1860s settlers in the Big Thompson Valley, where Loveland, CO. is located began to use irrigation methods for farming, and encouraged growth to the region.

A Voice of Colorado No. 147 Version 5.0:

In 1860 the well-known mountain man, Mariano Medina, and his family, along with a small group of Spanish settlers returned to the Big Thompson Valley area. He acquired land near The Big Thompson River, and established the community of Namaqua, named for the town post office. Eventually Namaqua would give away to Loveland, CO. A small cemetery and a park marked the approximate location of Namaqua.

A Voice of Colorado No. 125 Version 5.0:

Loveland, CO. owed much in its early days to David Barnes, who established a flour mill in the area, with his wife, Sarah. They previously lived in Golden, CO., and acquired 320 acres north of the Big Thompson River, and between Namaqua and St. Louis. Barnes moved to the Loveland area in part because his friend, William A.H. Loveland, told him that a newly-constructed rail line would pass through the area, bringing prosperity.

Barnes raised wheat on his farm, but found time to survey and plat a new town on an 80-acre site near the surveyed line for the railroad that passed through his wheat field. In 1877 he donated a portion of his farm to the railroad for a right-of-way, and by December 1877 the railroad had established a depot.

In the spring of 1878 development of the town of Loveland began. With development came changes, including the arrival of merchants from nearby St. Louis who decided Loveland was more to their liking. Some made this known by moving their businesses and buildings to the new town site. On May 11, 1881 the residents of Loveland voted to incorporate. Many wanted the new town to be named for Mr. Barnes, who had been so instrumental in establishing – Barnesville, but he declined the honor, and requested it be named for his good friend, W.A.H. Loveland.

In 1886 Mr. Barnes, whom many called “Uncle Dave” passed away. His original home remains, and is a private residence.

A Voice of Colorado No. 101 Version 5.0:

Loveland, CO. was founded in 1866, in relation to the Colorado Central Railroad, near the line crossing with The Big Thompson River. The name was derived from an honor for William Austin Hamilton Loveland, the president of the Colorado Central Railroad.