Fruita Colorado Historic Downtown Walking Tour

A walk in Fruita's historical past

Fruita Colorado Historic Downtown Walking Tour

Fruita, Colorado 81521, United States

Created By: Local Historic Preservation Board

Tour Information

Fruita, Colorado

A brief look at Fruita's history is a great introduction to a walking tour of the town's main streets.

William E. Pabor, the founder of Fruita, was a representative of Horace Greeley's Union Colony. In 1870, he scouted this area with an interest in the development of towns in the west. Years later he spoke of his dreams that came "in the spring of 1884, lying on the bare floor of a log cabin on the site of what is now the town of Fruita." For Pabor, " ... visions of the possibilities of the future swept before me ... I saw vineyards and orchards and rose-embow­ered cottages in which love, happiness and contentment abode ... "

Not only as a poet, but as a scientist, Pabor recognized the great promise of the Grand Valley. He wrote a 300 page volume, "Colorado As An Agricultural State," in which he spoke glowingly of the fruit growing potential of the area. On May 1, 1884 the Fruita Town and Land Company was incorporated. Pabor was so con­vinced orchards would flourish here that he named the town's streets after varieties of trees. In 1886, five-acre tracts including 200 fruit trees and water could be purchased for $500.

Fruits and vegetables from Fruita were of impressive size and quality, winning many awards and blue ribbons.

One year a 23 pound sugar beet won an award at the Denver Exposition, and Mable Skinner of Fruita was crowned the National Apple Queen in 1910.

Fruita launched an ambitious project in 1906 that brought water through a 23 mile pipeline from Pinon Mesa. The clear mountain water was the envy of the entire valley, and people traveled great distance just to have a drink.

In the early 1900s, when the fruit industry was at its peak, the coddling moth invaded, destroying the apple and pear orchards. Beets, tomatoes and general farming eventually replaced the fruit industry.

Fruita has had a steady growth for over a century, and descendants of many of the origi­nal pioneers still live in the area. Today, Fruita is a progressive community that appreciates its western heritage and its scenic setting at the foot of the Colorado National Monument.

This Walking Tour includes the best photos available of the town's historic structures - most of which have been home to a number of different businesses over the years. Take a step into the past; leave today behind for a moment. Imagine Fruita as it once was, in simpler - sometimes harder - times.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The original building on this site at 199 Aspen, built near the turn of the century, was a mercantile store. When this photo was taken the First National Bank occupied the structure. Today it is the Mid-Valley Building.
The Beach Block at 201 Aspen was built in 1910 and is owned by Hesperia Lodge 120, which still meets upstairs. In this photo Bollinger Hardware occupied the first floor. Today the first floor houses Cavalcade.
A dapper young man, circa 1930, outside of the Loeffler's Clothing Store at 217 Aspen. The building was constructed in 1910 and today is home to The Fruita Times.
This photo, taken in the 1920s or 30s shows the John Deere store of its day at 225 Aspen Avenue. Today the building houses Video Home Theater.
The building at 229 Aspen has been home to many businesses since the turn of the century. In this 1930s photo, it was the Union Trading Company Store. In recent years it has been a number of restaurants.
Originally built as Central Grade School in 1912, this classic structure on Elm, north of Aspen, is today's Fruita Civic Center. It was lisied on the Colorado register of Historic Places in 1993.
The United Methodist Church originated in Fruita in 1888. The church at 405 Aspen-pictured here-was built in 1909.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church at the corner of Aspen and Maple was built of locally-quarried stone in 1921 at a cost of $16,000, and still serves the Catholic population of the Fruita area.
Originally built by the WPA in 1938 as a Museum, this unique structure was made of rocks from the western slope, and from as far away as Hawaii. It is owned by the City of Fruita and was added to the state and national Register of Historic ... Read more


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