Did you know there are four places in America with the name Fruita? There is a Fruita in Florida, Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. Today, Fruita, Colorado, is a fun place known for the National Monument, the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, and even the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival.

Read More: A Detailed History of Fruita Colorado

In 2024, conversations about agriculture in Western Colorado involve Palisade Peaches and Olathe Sweet Corn, so how did a town that produces potatoes, sugar beets, and winter wheat end up with a name like Fruita?

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WTF - Welcome to Fruita

Fruita is a fun place to live in Western Colorado and is home to just over 14,000 residents. Increasing from 4000 to over 12,000 residents from 1990 to 2010, Fruita has won multiple state awards for smart growth and development. Today, Fruita is known for mountain biking, horseback riding, and floating the Colorado River. You may look around and wonder, where is all the fruit?

Early Settlers of Fruita, Colorado

In the 1880s, some of Fruita's first residents lived in wood cabins with dirt floors. Most were farmers of one type or another, and many wanted to join William Pabor's (founder) new Town and Land Company.

After seeing the potential for growing fruit in the Grand Valley, Pabor authored a 300-page account titled Colorado as an Agricultural State, then founded a community to include 80 acres with a park in the center. For $500, farmers could move to a scenic town on the western slope and receive five acres of land, 200 fruit trees, and water.

Read More: Is There A Correct Way To Eat Your Corn ?

The Miracle of 1909-1910

According to Fruita.org, The Fruita Town and Land Company helped farmers plant a variety of apple, peach, and pear trees, vine fruits such as grapes and strawberries, and even potatoes and vegetables. From 1909 to 1910, more apples were grown in Fruita, Colorado, than in any place on earth. Fruit from the western slope was shipped nationwide and as far away as France. By 1911, the fruit crop in Mesa County was valued at over one million dollars.

Harsh Winters and the Codling Moth

Just as soon as Fruita seemed to hit its stride, harsh winters and the arrival of the codling moth began to destroy the success. By the end of the next decade, the FDA called the codling moth infestation in Western Colorado the worst they had ever seen. By 1921, most of Fruita's beautiful apple trees had to be ripped out by the root, and many of the farmers moved their efforts closer to Palisade, where warmer winds from the canyons helped better protect their crops.

KEEP GOING: Seven Facts You May or May Not Know About Fruita Colorado

Nestled just west of Grand Junction, Colo., rests the small town of Fruita. First settled by a couple in 1882, it's grown into one of Colorado's best tourist destinations.

MORE: See How Much Fruita's Population Has Grown Over the Years

How big is Fruita, Colorado? Here is a look at how this western Colorado has grown through the years.

Gallery Credit: Zane Mathews

LOOK: What's Inside this Creepy Door in Fruita Colorado's Devils Trail System?

It looks like the devil left a door open inside the Devils Trail System in Fruita, Colorado. Where did we find it and what was inside? Scroll through the photos to see what else we found along the D4 trail.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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