Gilcrest - Small Town, Big Ambitions

Posted by Lynnsy Diekman - Saddle Up on Mar 1st 2023

Saddle Up originated in Longmont, Colorado, which is a pretty well known city. While we loved our location, space was becoming an issue for our fast growing company. We went on the hunt for a new place to call home and we came across the perfect spot! We packed up the saddle shop and moved to Gilcrest, Colorado. Have you heard of it? Not many people have. It is a very small town in Colorado, but we have fallen in love with it. We have already been in Gilcrest almost 3 years! With that being said, I thought it would be fun to learn about the history of our small town, especially for future customers who aren’t familiar with our location. Let’s saddle up in the past and embrace what makes our small town so unique!

Gilcrest is a small town within Weld County and it is located right off of highway 85. If you head north towards Greeley, you will pass right through! This quiet, little town originated in 1887 and has been striving for greatness ever since.

Gilcrest originally started out as the town of Nantes (1887-1907). The small town started its roots right along the Union Pacific Railway. I believe there were high hopes that the railroad would make it the next booming city. However, the railway began to fail. In 1907, a man named W.K. Gilcrest, purchased most of the land of Nantes. He had big dreams of building up this community. One of the first steps was renaming the town to Gilcrest, after his father. This young man from Iowa saw something in this little town and in 1912, he incorporated Gilcrest, Colorado.

To start off, all Gilcrest deeds prohibited the sale of liquor. A few years later, 1,000 trees were planted to make up the Gilcrest park. They planted trees in the new park and along the streets of the town. A handful of businesses opened and were enjoyed by the 300 residents. In 1915 W.K. Gilcrest became a Colorado state legislator. He was also involved in completing the Greeley/Denver highway, now known as U.S Highway 85.

Greeley’s Great Western Sugar Factory conducted a sugar beet dump at the Gilcrest railroad station in 1913-1975. Gilcrest was also becoming known for potatoes that were harvested nearby and stored in town. In the following years, the oil and gas production in Weld County has impacted Gilcrest. This has enhanced the population and businesses in the town. Gilcrest is currently thriving and continues to progress as a community.

Originally, our location was a hardware store. The family sold anything and everything to provide for the community. You could find propane, hardware, tools, ammo, firearms, coffee, and friendly company. Now, it is home to one of the largest saddle companies in the industry! We have loved learning about this town and meeting folks who have seen it transform. It is a small community, but it is full of big town ambition.