is a vibrant northern Colorado city of over 76,098 people,
which has retained much
of its small town quality of life.
From its origin in 1871
as a planned agricultural settlement, the community steadily
grew and became a regional, agricultural
and commercial center in
northeast Boulder County.
A new level of rapid expansion surfaced in
the 1960’s spurred substantially
by the Boulder- Longmont area’s high tech manufacturing and
advanced service industries.
Longmont is a home rule city with a Council-Manager
form of government.
The Mayor is the presiding officer of the City Council and the head of the
The seven member City Council is an elected body, which holds all legislative,
and policy-making authority.
The Council appoints the City Manager who is responsible
for the administration of the City’s departments.
Longmont has experienced periods of rapid growth
over the past twenty years.
Between 1980 and 2002 the city’s population increased
from 43,500 to 76,098. However, the population density
has decreased from 4107 people per square mile to 3408
people per square mile.
Although growth slowed in the latter half of the 1980’s, Longmont’s
annual growth rate increased to 3.8% in 1993, slowed again to less than 1%
in 1994 and 1995, and increased to 4.6% in 1998 and again slowed to 4.0%
The above information is a brief preview of a much more in- depth report done
for the City of Longmont. Visit the Longmont Community
Profile section and the Community
Data Summary section both found at the City
of Longmont website.
For Longmont business information visit the Longmont
Chamber of Commerce and the Longmont
Area Economic Council.
View a map of Longmont, Colorado
A brief history
Times-Call file photo
a group of prominent citizens in Chicago decided to found a
new settlement in Colorado. Inspired by the success of the
Union Colony (what is now Greeley, CO), they set up an organization
called the Chicago-Colorado Colony, and began to sell memberships
to interested people in New York and Chicago. The colony idea
allowed many people to pool their resources and complete large
projects, such as irrigation ditches and community buildings,
much faster than could be done through traditional town-building
January, 1871, the Colony sent out a locating committee to
Colorado, who chose a spot on the St. Vrain river with a view
of the Rocky Mountains and Longs Peak. The Colony purchased
55,000 acres of land in the area, and laid out a town just
north of the St. Vrain, not far from the village of Burlington.
Colony members were allowed to purchase a town lot, a farm
lot, and additional lots if they desired. By April of 1871,
colonists began arriving by train from Chicago, and quickly
built a small town, which Colony officials named Longmont,
in honor of Longs Peak. Soon the residents of Burlington also
joined the new city, and moved many of their buildings up to
began as an agricultural community, and soon had several flour
mills to process the large amounts of wheat grown in the area.
In 1887, John Empson, with the help of other local businessmen,
built a canning factory in Longmont, which became the largest
pea cannery in the world by 1905. Kuner purchased the factory
second major industry opened in 1903, when the Longmont Sugar
Factory began processing sugar beets. In 1905, it became a
Great Western Sugar Company plant, and supported sugar beet
farming for many miles around.
and farm workers came to Longmont from all over the world,
including Japan, Mexico, along with Germans from Russia. These
people help to make Longmont a diverse community today.
remained a small farming town until after World War II, when
dramatic growth and economic change came to Longmont. In 1952,
the Federal Aviation Administration picked Longmont as the
site for a major air traffic control center. This brought many
jobs and touched off explosive growth that did not slow until
the 1980s. The economy got another boost when IBM built a large
plant six miles from Longmont in 1965. Longmont's population
doubled from 11,000 in 1960 to 23,000 in 1970, and nearly doubled
again by 1980.
agricultural industries that had been the backbone of Longmont
for many years declined in the 1970s. The Kuner-Empson cannery
closed in 1970 due to antiquated equipment and a lack of pollution
control. The Great Western Sugar factory laid off employees
several times, finally closing in 1977. Longmont continued
to attract high-tech firms, and watched much of its productive
farmland become housing subdivisions.
is now the second-largest city in Boulder county, with a population
of approximately 77,000. It continues to attract high technology
businesses, and tries to balance growth with the preservation
of its heritage and natural resources.
courtesy of the Longmont Museum
Erik Mason, Archivist