About Red Feather Lakes:
Red Feather Lakes is an unincorporated community in Larimer County Colorado. The Red Feather Lakes Village has a U.S. Post Office, a couple of small general stores with gas pump, groceries and ATM, a hardware store coffee shop and several restaurants.
Homes in the Red Feather Lakes also including the Crystal Lakes area West of Red Feather Lakes are mostly mountain homes on 1-20 acres spread over miles of mountain roads. Some residents live their year-round while some consider this their vacation getaway.
If you’re looking for quiet mountain beauty with clean fresh air and 360-degree views for mountains, this is the place to be. Lots to do including, boating, fishing, and hiking.
Other than Native Americans, only occasional hunters and trappers passed through the Red Feather Lakes area until the middle of the 19th century. The first known settler was John Hardin, who built a cabin about 2 miles (3 km) from the current Red Feather Lakes village in 1871. Other settlers, many of them families of Hardin's eleven surviving children, homesteaded and built nearby. In these early years, the settlers were primarily ranchers, but another important activity was lumbering. The trails in the area, some of which eventually became roads, were built by tie hacks, who hauled theirties lumber down to what is now Tie Siding, Wyoming, where they were used in building the transcontinental railroad.
The first government survey, in 1879, showed only one lake in the region: what is now Creedmore Lake, several miles to the north of the present community. As the area developed, networks of toll roads, lakes and water ditches appeared. By the beginning of the twentieth century water rights had become a major issue in the region, and who had ownership of the water in the various streams, man-made lakes, and diversions continued to spark legal battles until a Supreme Court decision in 1921 awarded a major portion of water being diverted from the Laramie River tributaries to competing claims in Wyoming.
In September 1886, gold was discovered a few miles south, and the town of Manhattan was platted at the site in 1887. Manhattan grew to a peak of 300 inhabitants in 1898, but substantial gold was never obtained, and it became a ghost town a few years later.
By 1895, the population was sufficient that a school district was established and a schoolhouse constructed. Timbering and sawmills grew in importance in the area, and in 1902 a National Forest Reserve (later to become part of Roosevelt National Forest) was established, principally to exercise some control over the helter-skelter timbering.
Recreation was not of much importance in the early years, and first appeared when the Fort Collins YMCA built a camp in 1919. Interest in the area as a summer retreat for urban dwellers in Fort Collins and other Front Range communities grew rapidly, and in 1923, the name "Red Feather" made its first appearance when the Red Feather Mountain Lakes Association was formed with the objective of developing recreational homes (cabins) on 4,320 acres (6.75 sq mi; 17.5 km2). The name was stimulated by Princess Tsianina Redfeather, a Native American girl who was touring in concert with the composer Charles Wakefield Cadman. Purportedly, the namesake was Princess Redfeather's grandfather, Chief Redfeather, whose grave was supposed to be in the area.