Christened for the orchards that made Mesa County the fruit basket of Colorado, Fruita (1884, 4,498 feet) was platted by William E. Pabor, a D&RG publicist and one of Colorado's early proponents of agriculture. Pabor promoted Fruita as a producer of almonds, apricots, apples, grapes, nectarines, and peaches. Plagued by insect pests, alkali seepage, and over-irrigation, many of the orchards were removed during the 1920s and 1930s. A traffic circle at the intersection of Mesa and Aspen avenues defines a round park with a 15-foot-tall avocado-green Tyrannosaurus rex (1950s), constructed of stucco and restrained by a leg iron.
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