Larimer County Farms and Ranches

Sheep pens on the farm of W. F. Taylor
Legal Descriptions     Maps     Directories     Photographs

The following resources at the Fort Collins Local History Archive and beyond can help you explore farms, ranches, and other rural properties in Larimer County.

Understanding Legal Descriptions

(Adapted from the guide by Boris Vasilev, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix, Arizona)

Colorado uses the Township, Range, and Section method of land measurement and description. The Township and Range system, sometimes called the "Public Lands Survey System," was developed to parcel out western lands as the country expanded. The system takes many western states and divides them using a base line and a principal meridian.

As you go to the east or west of the principal meridian, the range increases in that direction. If you go north or south of the base line, the township increases. This system divides the land up into townships and ranges that are 36 square miles each.

Each township and range is then subdivided into 36 smaller squares called sections. Each section is one mile square. Individual sections are then subdivided into half sections and quarter sections and so on.

Sections are numbered within a township from the upper right to the lower right in an alternating manner (1 to 6 are numbered from right to left, 7 to 12 from left to right, and so on). The squares are quartered, and then the quarters are quartered again, as shown below.

Legal Descriptions

The ranges of Larimer County start at the eastern border of the county with Range 68 West and proceed west until they end with Range 78 West at the county's western border. The principal meridian used to measure our ranges is the 3rd Principal Meridian which is in the eastern part of Kansas and Nebraska. Therefore we are west of that principal meridian.

Principal meridians and base lines
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Fort Collins encompasses the area that consists of Townships 6, 7, and 8 N and Ranges 68 and 69 West. The legal description for Old Town Fort Collins is "Township 7 North, Range 69 West, Section 12".

The Tax Assessor parcel numbers are ten digits and reflect legal descriptions. For example, the breakdown for parcel number "34012-21-108" would be:

Parcel example

Parcel grid

As mapped out above, the legal description for parcel number 34012-21-108 is: Township 4 North, Range 73 West, Section 1.


Maps

Listed below are maps showing sections, townships, and ranges in Larimer County:

Property Ownership Maps

The Fort Collins Local History Archive has several property ownership maps and atlases, including:

Rural Directories

The following Larimer County rural directories at the Fort Collins Local History Archive include legal descriptions of properties. These directories are not online and must be viewed by visiting the Archive:

  • 1939 Rural Directory
  • 1947 Rural Directory

Farm and Ranch Photographs

The online photographs in this collection were scanned from original Tax Assessor Records that were transferred to the Fort Collins Local History Archive after they were microfilmed for the Assessor's office. These cards date from 1948 to circa 1990; this online collection includes photographs taken circa 1948, 1968, 1977, and 1987.

The photographs are organized into groupings according to the legal descriptions of the properties.

Legal Description

Range 68 West, Township 10 North, Section 30
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 08
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 1
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 11
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 12
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 13
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 14
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 15
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 18
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 19
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 21
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 22
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 3
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 4
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 5
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 6
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 7
Range 68 West, Township 6 North, Section 8
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 1
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 10
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 11
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 12
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 13
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 14
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 15
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 16
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 17
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 18
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 19
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 2
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 20
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 22
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 23
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 24
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 25
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 26
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 27
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 28
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 29
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 3
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 30
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 31
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 32
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 33
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 34
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 35
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 36
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 4
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 5
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 6
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 7
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 8
Range 68 West, Township 7 North, Section 9
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 01
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 02
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 04
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 10
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 12
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 13
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 14
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 15
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 16
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 17
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 18
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 19
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 20
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 21
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 22
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 24
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 25
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 26
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 27
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 28
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 29
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 3
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 30
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 31
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 32
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 33
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 34
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 35
Range 68 West, Township 8 North, Section 36
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 06
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 20
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 21
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 30
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 32
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 33
Range 68 West, Township 9 North, Section 34
Range 68West, Township 7 North, Section 26
Range 69 West, Township 4 North, Section 13
Range 69 West, Township 4 North, Section 15
Range 69 West, Township 5 North, Section 29
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 01
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 02
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 03
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 06
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 08
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 10
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 11
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 12
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 13
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 14
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 18
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 2
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 20
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 23
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 24
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 34
Range 69 West, Township 6 North, Section 35
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 02
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 03
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 04
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 05
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 09
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 10
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 11
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 12
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 13
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 17
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 21
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 23
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 24
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 25
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 26
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 27
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 29
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 31
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 33
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 34
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 35
Range 69 West, Township 7 North, Section 36
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 01
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 03
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 04
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 11
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 12
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 13
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 15
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 18
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 19
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 20
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 21
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 22
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 24
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 25
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 29
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 30
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 31
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 32
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 33
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 34
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 35
Range 69 West, Township 8 North, Section 36
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 01
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 02
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 09
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 23
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 26
Range 69 West, Township 9 North, Section 27
Range 70 West, Township 5 North, Section 3

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