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Larimer County Farms and Ranches

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Aerial of Preston Farm, c. 1950
Aerial of Preston Farm, c. 1950
Larimer County's Agricultural landscapes are rapidly vanishing as the county continues to develop. Photographic documentation of the historic farm and ranch residences, barns, and outbuildings becomes increasingly important as many of the buildings are being demolished. The Local History Archive does not have a large collection of historic photographs of these buildings; however, we do have the old Tax Assessor Record cards from 1948 to the present. Generally, the tax recorder in the field took photographs of the buildings about every 10-20 years. Our collection often includes photographs taken circa 1948, 1968, 1977, and 1987.

We have been scanning Fort Collins "Old Town" Tax records for several years and they can be accessed through our Historic Photograph Search. We are now scanning the rural farms and ranch buildings that are over 50 years old that can also be accessed through our Photo Search. We are also presenting the Farm and Ranch information to you in an exhibit/tour format. Since many of these records do not have addresses, the online exhibit/tour is organized by their Legal Description that is reflected in the Parcel Number.

Additionally, online maps (current and historic from 1899 and 1948) are available to use as a reference point for determining the location of the properties. You may access in the archive the 1914, 1915, 1940, 1956, 1959, 1968, and 1975 Larimer County property ownership maps and atlases for additional information. There are usually several buildings associated with each property (parcel number) such as the residence, chicken coop, barn, smokehouse, etc. and photographs were taken of each building or structure (ie. Silo, corral). Some of these buildings have since been demolished.

See also the 1939, 1947, and 1959 Larimer County Farm and Rural Directories. The directories include the property's legal description for each resident in the directory.

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