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Berthoud, Colorado

Coordinates: 40°17′05″N 104°57′56″W / 40.284667°N 104.965504°W / 40.284667; -104.965504
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Berthoud, Colorado
Entering Berthoud from the east (2012)
Entering Berthoud from the east (2012)
The Garden Spot of Colorado
Location within Larimer and Weld counties of Colorado.
Location within Larimer and Weld counties of Colorado.
Coordinates: 40°17′05″N 104°57′56″W / 40.284667°N 104.965504°W / 40.284667; -104.965504[2]
CountryUnited States
CountiesLarimer,[1] Weld
IncorporatedAugust 28, 1888[3]
Named forEdward L. Berthoud
 • TypeStatutory Town[1]
 • MayorWilliam Karspeck[4]
 • AdministratorChris Kirk[5]
 • Total13.067 sq mi (33.844 km2)
 • Land12.933 sq mi (33.497 km2)
 • Water0.134 sq mi (0.347 km2)
5,030 ft (1,533 m)
 • Total10,332
 • Density799/sq mi (308/km2)
 • Front Range
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Code
Area code970
FIPS code08-06255
GNIS feature ID178065

Berthoud is a statutory town located in Larimer and Weld counties, Colorado, United States.[1] The town population was 10,332 at the 2020 United States Census with 10,071 residing in Larimer County and 261 residing in Weld County.[6] Berthoud is situated north of the Little Thompson River, 21 miles (34 km) south of Fort Collins and 43 miles (69 km) north of Denver in 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, several buildings of the town were loaded on wheels 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.

In October 1941, Berthoud opened the sugar beet harvest. In the area surrounding Berthoud beets were harvested to be processed in Loveland, Colorado, to the north.[8] According to the Berthoud historical society, "Berthoud growers delivered beets to several rural dumping stations where the beets were loaded into boxcars and hauled to sugar factories in nearby Loveland and Longmont."[9] This industry relied both on WWII German Prisoners of War as well as migrant farm workers from Mexico.

On June 25, 2019, Berthoud became the only municipality in Colorado to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs.[10]


At the 2020 United States Census, the town had a total area of 8,363 acres (33.844 km2) including 86 acres (0.347 km2) of water.[6]


Historical population
2021 (est.)11,71713.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census[edit]

As of the 2020 census, there were 10,332 people, and 3,983 households in Berthoud.[11] The population density was 798.9 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 90.9% White, 0.0% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race made up 12.2% of the population.[11]

22.3% of the population were under 18, and 7.0% were under 5. People over 65 made up 13.8% of the population. The gender makeup of the town was 50.8% female and 49.2% male.[11]

The median household income was $95,872, and the per capita income was $45,051. People under the poverty line made up 2.9% of the population.[11]

2010 census[edit]

According to the 2010 census,[12] 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.

Arts and culture[edit]

Berthoud is surrounded largely by farmland, and is nicknamed the "Garden Spot of Colorado".

Annual events include:

  • Berthoud Day
  • Oktoberfest
  • Arbor Day Celebration
  • Berthoud Sunfest, featuring a quilt show and art market
  • Berthoud Open Golf Tournament
  • Berthoud Snowfest, featuring a sculpting competition

Museums include:

Parks and recreation[edit]

Berthoud has 11 parks, which include a skate park, baseball fields, soccer fields, outdoor basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, and pickleball courts. Berthoud Recreation Center contains an aquatic center.[13]


Berthoud is a statutory town with a mayor-council form of government. The Board of Trustees includes all at-large elected positions serving for four-year terms and is made up of the mayor and six trustees. The board is charged with setting policy, passing the budget and creating the overall vision for the town of Berthoud.

The mayor has the same voting rights as all other trustees and is responsible for presiding over town board meetings. This position is recognized as the town government leader for all ceremonial purposes. The Board of Trustees elects, by majority vote, a mayor pro tem, who is expected to perform responsibilities of the mayor when the mayor is absent or unable to perform their duties.

The Board of Trustees meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and may schedule additional special meetings as needed. All meetings are open to the public and subject to Colorado Open Meeting Laws.

The current mayor is William Karspeck (term expires in April 2024),[4] the current town administrator is Chris Kirk.[5]


Students from the area attend the four public schools which are part of the Thompson School District: two elementary schools (Berthoud Elementary and Ivy Stockwell), a centrally located middle school (Turner Middle School), and a high school (Berthoud High School).


Police department[edit]

The Town of Berthoud contracts with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement services. The contract provides one sergeant and five deputies to provide patrol services for the town with support from all other divisions of the Sheriff's Office. Two deputies are assigned as school resource officers.


Berthoud Area Transportation Service (BATS) is the main transit system in Berthoud and provides door-to-door service rides within Berthoud, as well as trips to Loveland and Longmont. BATS is open to the public and is operated through the town. The service receives funding from the town of Berthoud, the Larimer County Office on Aging and the city of Fort Collins.

FLEX is a regional bus route that serves the communities of Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, Longmont, and Boulder. This service is operated by Transfort and is made possible through regional partnerships.[14]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Active Colorado Municipalities". Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. December 1, 2004. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Board of Trustees". Town of Berthoud.
  5. ^ a b "Town Administrator". Town of Berthoud.
  6. ^ a b c d "Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data". United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce. August 12, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  7. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on September 3, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
  8. ^ "Sugar beets dominated local news in 1941 | Berthoud Weekly Surveyor". October 17, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  9. ^ "Agriculture – Welcome to the Berthoud Historical Society". Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "Berthoud bans sale of puppy mill dogs". Loveland Reporter-Herald (Press release). June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Berthoud town, Colorado". www.census.gov. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "Berthoud, CO: Parks & Recreation". www.berthoud.org. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  14. ^ FLEX
  15. ^ https://www.reporterherald.com/2018/04/10/baseball-former-colorado-rockies-infielder-clint-barmes-an-assistant-coach-at-berthoud/

External links[edit]