Northern Colorado has been home to many cultures and people, including the Arapaho, and a well-known member of the nation named “Chief Friday”.
Geological surveyor F.V. Hayden encountered Friday in 1859 or 1860 in what is now the State of Wyoming. But by 1861 Friday and his band were relocated on the Cache la Poudre River, occasionally traveling to the Big Thompson Valley as well.
In July 1862 the Friday band was camped on the north side of the Poudre River, opposite the F.W. Sherwood Ranch. In June of the following year Friday and his group, and another band of Arapaho under Many Whips, were seen in the Poudre Valley. By August of 1863 Friday was seen near Fort Laramie, to sign a treaty along with Northern Arapaho chiefs Black Bear and Roman Nose.
The agreement stipulated that the signers would abide by any treaty made by their people, the Northern Arapahoe. Given the fact they had made no treaties to that time the agreement was null and void.
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.
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.
In 1858 the well-known mountain man Mariano Medina visited the Big Thompson Valley for the first time. His subsequent visits would result in a settlement that would assist in the establishing of Loveland, CO.
In the late 1850s a growing number of explorers and settlers arrived to the Big Thompson Valley, and through their efforts established Loveland, CO.
Many farms were established west of present-day Loveland, CO. in the Big Thompson Valley, near what is now called “The Devil’s Backbone Open Space”.