Purchase of Original Church

Bishop Machebeuf

During his visit in 1878 Bishop Machebeuf authorized Frank Michaud to purchase the first public school building in Fort Collins, built in 1870, for the purpose of converting it into a church. The location was 115 Riverside and the purchase price was $400. The school house-church-home still stands today, though the addition of a screened-in porch trimmed with a clover-leaf design in the wood, the changed windows, and a different exterior finish make it quite unlike the original simple structure. The transfer of title was made on January 6, 1879, and the deed reads in part: “…the following described lots or parcels of land, situate, lying, and being in the County of Larimer and State of Colorado, to-wit: Lots three (3), four (4), five (5), And six (6) in Block one hundred fifty-one (151) in the town of Fort Collins, According to a plat of said town filed in the office of the Recorder of Deeds, etc. …”Mr.

Sketch of first church, and photo of first church, taken in 2004.

W.J. Prednergast along with Mr. Michaud held part of the land until approximately 1881, when all of the property was turned over to Bishop Machebeuf. The school was used as a church until 1900.

Fort Collins continued to grow during this period. John L. Routt, after whom a national forest in Colorado is named, was governor of the state at the time the schoolhouse was purchased.

Frank Michaud’s name was significant in the history of Larimer County, Fort Collins and the Church. Born October 13, 1837 in Quebec he came to Colorado in 1857 and in 1871 arrived in Larimer County and Fort Collins to stay. On August 19, 1867 he married Aurella Paradis. Their four children were Joseph and Anna Michaud, Mrs. Helen Willox, and Mrs. Mary Bogard. Eleven years as road overseer and twenty years as school director manifested his interest in the public affairs of Fort Collins. Many of his descendants live in Fort Collins today.

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