The Downtown Loveland Historic District is the city’s commercial center that began in 1877. Loveland developed initially as a railroad town, but soon also became a major agricultural center and a regional center of commerce and government.
Strategically located in the Big Thompson River Valley, Loveland was established as a key stopping point on the Colorado and Central Railroad line which ran between Golden, Colorado to the south and the Union Pacific Railroad main line at Cheyenne, Wyoming to the north. Loveland was named in honor of Colorado and Central’s president, William A. H. Loveland. The rail line became part of the Colorado and Southern Railway in 1898, and it continued as a key facet of Loveland’s socioeconomic development throughout most of the twentieth century.