Joseph Mason  LbNA # 13193

Placed DateJan 22 2005
LocationFort Collins, CO
Found By Ramdelt
Last Found May 23 2015
Hike Distance?

Joseph Mason

***This box was replaced 5/23/2015. Please note some changes in directions***
** This letterbox was replaced on 6/10/2006 in a new location within walking distance of the old one. Please see the new clues. ***

This letterbox is the fifth in a series commemorating the history of Northern Colorado, and will take you to various outdoor historical sites.

Joseph Mason was born on January 28th, 1840 in Montreal, Canada. He left home at the age of 15 to seek out his fortune, and spent the next 4 years drifting south and west. Mason had arrived at the Rocky Mountains by the time he was 19 with a government expedition that was exploring the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. He left the expedition on his own in the dead of winter and arrived at LaPorte on February 10th, 1860. Here Joseph Mason found a settlement of trappers, mountaineers, 50 or 60 strong, and four to five hundred Indians. In terms of the famous people of Northern Colorado and Fort Collins who would be the true builders, Joseph Mason was the first to arrive. He was not famous because he was the first to get here, but because he got here in the dead of winter and liked what he saw. Mason could see that very soon a lot of people would be coming here to live. People who would need things and would be willing to pay for what he had. Joseph Mason did not have the goods or the money so he set off to mining camps to get the funds, later returning in 1862. Mason bought a piece of land and settled in becoming the first resident of Fort Collins. This same year when Larimer County was formed, Mason was picked by Governor Evans to be one of three county commissioners with LaPorte as the county seat.

Joseph Mason is also responsible in part for the location of the original Camp Collins. He used his persuasion and some alcohol to talk Lt. Jim Hannah into the perfect site for the Camp, near his homestead and close enough that he could make some real money!

This letterbox is planted within view of the land that Joseph Mason purchased when he moved to Northern Colorado. Mason was a true pioneer for the city of Fort Collins and has other stories attributed to his name so feel free to look him up and learn more about this amazing man. There will be a special surprise as well as a first finder “certificate” for the first finder of this letterbox. If however, you already have one of these items, please take the first finder “certificate” but leave the other item for the first finder that does not already have one. ENJOY!


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2. From this location, if you look to the north across the river, you will see the land that was purchased by Joseph Mason.

3. Walk towards north along the front of the building admiring the nice water feature which would be really nice if it was running I am sure. You will soon come to a red brick path to your left that goes between some trees. You will notice a small dried up fountain/waterfall that is no longer being used on your right once you are on the path. From here, walk 8 paces down the path towards "Main Street", and stop at the stone wall, just before a large tree to your right. Under the brush, on the other side of the wall but within reach is Joseph Mason. Because of vegetation, you should be fairly hidden, however "Main Street is certainly visible, so take care that no one sees you. Letterboxes have gone missing from this location before so PLEASE re-hide the box better than you found it and cover with bark, leaves, or whatever you can find.

Please attempt to hide the box better than you found it as this location is in town and could be found by people that may not appreciate letterboxing the way that you an I do. Also, since this is a public place, please be discreet. Leave a message in the journal if you wish. If you want, please let me know when you find the box and it‘s condition. After you are done, check out the other letterboxes in Northern Colorado.

Planted by Ramdelt.
A handmade stamp and journal.