Loveland’s rich history begins with the first settler, Mariano Medina, in 1858. Medina picked a location on the Big Thompson River near Namaqua just West of where the city sits today. In 1877, the Colorado Central Railroad established a line from Denver to Cheyenne. A local farmer, David Barnes, learned of the railroad plans, purchased land along the line and began to plan the beginnings of a town that would eventually become the city of Loveland. Barnes named the town after his good friend and President of the Colorado Central Railroad, William A.H. Loveland.
Loveland’s roots are in agriculture, mainly sugar beets and sour cherries, with the railroad acting as the farmer’s lifeline. In addition, the railroad provided cattle ranchers and lumber companies the opportunity to do business from the Loveland locale. The Great Western Sugar Company opened its doors in 1901 and employed many in and around Loveland until its closure in 1985. The Spring Glade and other cherry orchards produced millions of dollars in cherries until miserable weather conditions began to wither the industry.
Towards the end of the 20th Century, Hewett-Packard, Teledyne, Hach and other manufacturing facilities moved in and became the primary employers of the region. The arrival of Centerra has created many new jobs. The city of Loveland has been growing steadily since its inception and continues to grow each year.