Windsor, Colorado

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The Town of Windsor is a Home Rule Municipality in Larimer and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado.[5] According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town was 14,874.[6]

The Cache la Poudre River runs through the town, which lies on high ground suitable for a railroad. It is approximately half-way between Fort Collins and Greeley on the BNSF Railway, and somewhat near the midpoint of a triangle formed by those two cities and Loveland. The centralized location of the town has given rise to rapid growth in the last two decades.

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A rich wheat farming district, the area around Windsor first drew permanent residents in the early 1870s. Two factors were to play a critical role in stimulating Windsor's development: irrigation and the railroad. Irrigation increased crop variety and production and the railroad shipped this bounty to market. The town was platted in 1882, the same year the Windsor Railroad Depot was built, and incorporated in 1890. It was named for the Rev. Samuel Asa Windsor.[7] By 1900, tariffs on foreign sugar had created a market for new sources of sugar. Research in the improved cultivation of sugar beets was taking place at Colorado Agricultural College in Fort Collins, and the capital to advance production and manufacture of beet sugar was coming together. In 1903 a factory for producing sugar from sugar beets was built in Windsor. Sugar beet cultivation required large numbers of "stoop laborers", a need that was met by ethnic German immigrants from Russia. With large families and a strong work ethic, the German-Russians who settled in Windsor and other sugar beet areas would achieve financial success within one generation and own the highest producing beet farms. The Great Western Sugar Company fueled Windsor's economy through the mid 1960's, when the Windsor factory closed. Plentiful water and land drew Kodak to Windsor where it opened a manufacturing plant on the heels of the sugar factory's closing.

Kodak's opening spurred economic development in the town, and a population surge as the sugar beet factory closed. Later in the 1980s Metal Container Corporation opened a can factory and Deline Box Company opened factories that primarily served the Budweiser facility in Wellington, Colorado.

In the last two decades, its central location among the population centers of northern Colorado, together with its proximity to Interstate 25, have made it the site of rapid urban growth, particularly on the western edge of town, as it grows towards the interchange on I-25. In the 1990s, the town limits were westward into Larimer County. The incorporated town limits west of Interstate 25 are now contiguous with Loveland, and are separated from southeast Fort Collins by the Fossil Creek Open Space[8], public lands of Larimer County acquired through a county-wide vote-approved sales tax.

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