Welcome Center at Fort Vasquez


The Platteville Welcome Center at Fort Vasquez is located at 13412 Highway 85 on the south side of Platteville and is dedicated to celebrating and publicizing our history to the residents of Platteville and the travelers and tourists of Northern Colorado.  Doors are open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

The Town of Platteville is one of the oldest towns in Weld County with a long and deep history in the area.  The community was originally settled by the establishment of Fort Vasquez, an 1835 Buffalo hide trading post located on the East bank of the South Platte River near the mouth of St. Vrain Creek.  A trading license was issued in St. Louis on July 31, 1835, by William Clark, Indian Agent, who licensed all the Trading Forts in the Western Territories. 

The late 1850’s brought further settlement to the area with one of the most prominent being Marshall Cook.  Marshal Cook, part Cherokee Indian, left Omaha in 1858 in the same wagon train as Andrew J. Williams and Chief Left Hand on their way to Denver.  Late1868 brought the Denver Pacific Railway to Denver from Cheyenne via land grants to finance the railroad.  The Railroad sold a land grant to a town developer in Chicago who founded Platteville and laid out the town and platted it in 1871.  

1910 began the community celebration of “Pickle Days” and the completion of paving Highway 85 to Greeley.  The celebration was financed by Heinz Pickles when the Platteville Harvesting crews out picked the Heinz crews. 

1937 brought the idea of restoring the Fort Vasquez ruins by the Work Progress Administration creating jobs in the area to combat the depression of the 1930’s after the crash of 1929.  The Town Board members pledged $20.00 every other year to support the program and assistance in plastering the old fort every two years.  The deed and statement notated in it was signed by every member of the Board and is filed with the Weld County Clerk’s office.

Mizpah Cemetery is the oldest operating public cemetery in Weld County today and was originally operated by the Sandhill Women later known at the Mizpah Club in 1926.  The earliest burial is about 1854 with an “Unknown” resident.  At Mizpah Cemetery is the Platteville Veterans Memorial, a wonderful military memorial built in 2017 to honor the men and women who are buried at the cemetery and who have served our country since 1864.

Welcome to the Platteville Welcome Center at Fort Vasquez, established March 20, 2023 through a lease agreement between the Town of Platteville and History Colorado.  

Fort Vasquez Entryway

Buffalo Statue Outside of Fort Vasquez

Fort Vasquez Historic Site Sign