Mac Head and ShouldersI’m Mac McNeill and I’m a collector. It sounds like an AA sentence and, in a way, collecting is an addiction for me. I collected baseball cards and coins as a kid, books as an adult, and images of Fort Collins since I retired to Fort Collins in 2001. I love collecting. The only thing that comes close to the joy of finding a new image for my collection is the fun of sharing the images with others.

I’ve shared some of my images through a series of local history books, co-authored with my friend, Barbara Fleming. There are three of them – Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs, Then and Now: Fort Collins, and Images of America: Poudre Canyon. I’ve also privately published two other books in areas of special interest to me; The Automobile Comes to Fort Collins and The Early Photographers of Fort Collins. And I’ve shared images through presentations for various local history organizations and at the Discovery Museum. Now I am sharing them with you through this blog.

This is a photo-blog, a blog that leads with images. But I also like our early history and try to add some interesting facts with each image.

As I update this page, Fort Collins Images has just turned one-year old. To give you an idea of the kinds of images and stories I post, below are links to the top five posts of the first year, ranked by numbers of views.

5. Sugar Beet Dumps

01 Johnstown Beet Dump pm 1909 Blog 640When Northern Colorado began raising sugar beets, Carroll beet dumps were the rage. These beet dumps consisted of a ramp and a mechanism to tip the wagon load of beets into a rail car. Timothy Carroll had invented and patented the dump in California but, in 1901, he came to Northern Colorado to install his new dumps for the Loveland sugar beet factory.

4. The Poudre Canyon: Ted’s Place

Teds c1940 Night Scene Mid Blog 640

When E. I. (Ted) and Nellie Herring opened the Poudre Canyon Filling Station on May 25, 1922, it was a small place by today’s standards. Almost immediately, it became known as Ted’s Place, becoming one of the few businesses to earn a place on Colorado maps.


3. Johnston Creamery

Johnston Creamery Full Blog 640l

The creamery was started by W. C. Johnston in 1911. It is on a 1911 list of “new industries for Fort Collins,” along with the Electric Light Company and the Poudre Valley Elevator Company. It was located at 128 Laporte Avenue, on the north side of the road, in the Myron Akin building.


2. The Cornucopia Restaurant

03a Cornucopia Restaurant 1880 B640


“The [Cornucopia Restaurant] is the name given to the elegant ice cream parlor, opened last Friday, by our energetic townsmen, Mr. A. B. Ogden. It is situated on College Avenue, opposite the Commercial [Hotel], in the tasty brick block just finished by the proprietor.”




1. Water Wagon at the Northern Hotel

Water Truck Blog 640

The image is from a real photo postcard, postmarked 1912. We have a great image of the Northern Hotel, at the corner of College Avenue and Walnut Street, when it was three stories high. In 1924, a fourth floor was added. There is a horse drawn water wagon front and center in the image.



If you love the history of Fort Collins, I think you’ll enjoy these pictures and stories. Please use the Comments section to share your love or to tell me when you think my facts are wrong. You are also welcome to email me at the address shown below. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for looking at Fort Collins Images,

Mac McNeill