Fort Collins History: How Busy Lemay’s Name is Actually a Mistake
It runs north and south throughout most of Fort Collins. Millions drive on it every year, seeing some of the great neighborhoods of The Choice City, along the way. What's the deal with Lemay's name?
If you're looking for an efficient way to get from one side of town to the other in Fort Collins, you can't go too wrong with Lemay. Sure, there's that dog-leg at Horsetooth, but overall Lemay is great. After all of these years, when it applies to Fort Collins history, Lemay's name isn't exactly straight.
Poudre Valley Hospital is just one business/facility that you'll find along Lemay, not far from Elizabeth. Hundreds of thousands of people have been in PVH over the years; If the hospital made a mistake on your bill, you'd be pretty upset. This name-thing with Lemay hasn't caused any such uproar.
Your drive along Lemay includes Collindale Golf Course. Of course, there's netting so that you don't get hit by errant balls, but it's still pretty. The course opened in 1971; it would be interesting to get an estimate on how may golf balls have been hit at Collindale versus how many cars have driven by the course, since then.
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Drake and Lemay is an intersection that holds many memories for long-time residents of Fort Collins, with Woodword [Governor[ being there, Scotch Pines Shopping Center (with Toddy's back in the day) the church, and Williams Lake all being there.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH LEMAY'S NAME?
According to the City of Fort Collins, the street/avenue was named due to the efforts of Bob Everitt and Bill Tiley, who had helped to shape the city as we know it. The City Manager at the time, was renaming what was known as "Hospital Road," and wanted their names to be a part of it.
The two men, decided that a combination of Bob's father's name, "Les," and Bill's mother's name, "Mae," would be the way to go.
WHAT WAS LEMAY SUPPOSED TO BE?
They named it, 'LeMae."
According to the City of Fort Collins, an error was made when entering that, and it became what we know today: "Lemay.'
So, the next time you travel down Lemay with a passenger, you can let them know it's named not after one person, but two: Bob's dad, and Bill's mom. LeMae.