Wellington has long been a farm town. It was founded as a farm town, mainly growing sugar beets, and was aided by early irrigation and railroad connections. For many years, the town's population remained stable at about 500. While the town grew slowly in the mid-20th century, it boomed in the late 1990s and early 21st century.
As part of Colorado's Front Range, Wellington is part of a boom affecting many communities in the Denver area and beyond. However, Wellington is unique in that, for the most part, residents and leaders alike welcome growth. The more places like Fort Collins put up barriers to residential and commercial growth, Wellington's mayor says, the more Wellington will grow and prosper.
For Wellington this means bringing back a hardware store and full-service grocer, businesses lost to Fort Collins years ago. Yet challenges remain for the town -- town officials worry about a disconnect between new residents (most commute to Fort Collins, Denver, and Cheyenne) and the town. Participation in local government tends to come more from residents of unincorporated land surrounding the town, who oppose its expansion, than from the town itself.
|See a slideshow of photos of Wellington>>>|
Newcomers to Old Towns: Suburbanization of the Heartland, by Sonja Salamon, 2007, University of Chicago Press.
North Forty News: Wellington Centennial (A series of 2005 articles about the town's history)
The Pace of Sprawl and Growth on the Northern Front Range (PDF, Sierra Club)