The History of the Fort Lupton School District

The information on this page was submitted by Wendy Sarazen of the Weld County RE-8 Public Schools.

This history of Fort Lupton Schools is brief and is not to be considered as exhaustive, but will give a general background of the Fort Lupton Schools.

While there may have been earlier schooling in the area, the Fort Lupton School district was formally organized as Weld County School District No. 8 on May 31, 1873. The first school building was located on the corner of First Street and Denver Avenue (the Total Service Station is located at this site currently.)

In 1897, the first year of high school was developed for the school program. In 1909, the four-year high school was organized. The first graduating class of Fort Lupton High School was in May of 1914, and had three graduating members. Those members were Norma Hardenburg, Charles St. John and Philip Apel.

Growth of the Fort Lupton School District boundaries was in two general stages. In 1913, District No. 8 and District No. 9 were consolidated. District No.9 was located to the west of town.

The next change in boundaries took place in 1959. In October of 1959, due to a
re-organization law passed by the Colorado Legislature, additional districts were consolidated with Fort Lupton to form the present Fort Lupton School District Re-8.

Districts reorganized in 1959 were:

District No. 31 - lone

District No. 104 - Vollmer

District No. 100 - Porter

District No. 8 - Fort Lupton

District No. 23 - Independence

District No. 19 - Wattenberg

District No. 102 - Pleasant Valley

District No. 43 - Mountain View

The year 2001 saw the largest Fort Lupton School District class graduation to date: 147. The total number of graduates from this school district from 1914 to date is 6,356


The Fort Lupton School District is uniquely located in the southern part of Weld County, 25 miles northeast of Denver. Boulder and Greeley are also within close proximity to Fort Lupton. The main community is situated in the South Platte River Valley, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 85 and State Highway 52. The South Platte River flows immediately to the West of Fort Lupton. To the East are rolling hills of the dry land farming country, with an expansive view of the Colorado Rockies.

Fort Lupton became an incorporated community on January 15, 1890, 54 years after the establishment of a fur trade business on the banks of the Platte River. Credited with this establishment is Lancaster P. Lupton, a West Point graduate. After nine years of problems, Lupton turned his efforts to farming the fertile soil of the Platte River Valley.

The town of Fort Lupton was founded about 1870 with agriculture as its main industry. Fort Lupton developed into a prosperous farm trade center, attracting manufacturing procedures for agricultural products.

Prosperity appeared to continue until the late 1940's when the decline of agricultural business was made apparent by the closure of the sugar factory. Also in the early 1980's, the large vegetable production for the canning factories ended which resulted in a declining need for agricultural workers and an increase in mechanization.

Approximately in 1976, we saw the growth and development of oil and gas fields in the Fort Lupton area. The potential is still quite available for continued growth, but due to economic pressures, wells in this area have not been in full production nor has there been very many new wells drilled.

The oil and gas trend is continuing today, evidenced by the decline in migrant workers in this area. The number of Fort Lupton residents has increased because of migrant workers becoming residents.

Did You Know?
In 1914, Fort Lupton high school held its first graduation; the graduating class was made up of three students.

In the News

Fort Lupton Press, 1992(PDF, 238KB)

Fort Lupton School, 1894-1895(PDF, 238KB)