The Pueblo County Offices
Fort Pueblo was established near the junction of the Fountain and Arkansas Rivers in 1842. Built primarily of adobe, El Pueblo served as a trading center along the boundary between Mexico and the United States until it was attacked by Indians and everyone inside was killed the day before Christmas, 1854. Neighboring ranchers came to the fort just long enough to bury all the victims they found and then the area was abandoned for years.
The discovery of gold and silver upstream along the Arkansas River saw the reestablishment of Pueblo as a real settlement with businesses, schools and churches. In 1870, Pueblo was incorporated as a town with a population of 2,265.
In 1873, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad incorporated South Pueblo just beyond the south edge of Pueblo. The railroad here enabled access to all of the nearby mining operations and the two Pueblos became the "Smelting Capitol of the World." The first smelter was built in 1878 and was followed by the Colorado Coal and Steel Works Co. (later to become Colorado Fuel & Iron - CF&I) in 1879. Soon there weren't enough workers to fill the jobs so the companies began recruiting in Europe and elsewhere, telling potential employees "America is the land of milk and honey and the streets are paved with gold." Desperate workers were sorely disappointed when they arrived in America but at that point, what could they do? Most just went to work in the jobs that were available. By 1880, the two Pueblos had a combined population of 7,617, of which one in any nine people was a newly arrived immigrant.
Central Pueblo, located between Pueblo and South Pueblo, was incorporated in 1882, reputedly to avoid taxation from the other Pueblos. In 1886, Bessemer, the town which grew up around the steel mill was incorporated. That same year the citizens of the three Pueblos voted to consolidate, believing that unity was the key to more prosperity. In 1894, the town of Bessemer was finally annexed into the city of Pueblo. By that time the population of the city had surpassed 31,000, making Pueblo the second largest city in the state.
In 1908, John D. Rockefeller took over Colorado Fuel & Iron and the working and living conditions of the coal miners and steel workers deteriorated still further, if that can be imagined. Eventually this led to the Colorado Coalfield War of 1913-1914. As prosperous as Pueblo was, the coal camps that supported Pueblo weren't. As Andrew Carnegie once said, “God gave this fortune into my hands for safe-keeping. If I paid my workers more than they need to stay alive, they would simply squander it. And what do I say to God when it's all gone?” At least Carnegie had an epiphany and returned some of the fortune to the workers who made it for him in the form of libraries that he had built in many of the larger coal towns.
The Historic Vail Hotel
In the older Union Street District
Angelo's Pizza Parlour in the Union Street Historical District (our favorite Italian restaurant in Pueblo)
On Santa Fe Avenue in Downtown Pueblo
On Main Street in Downtown Pueblo
Today, Pueblo is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Downtown Pueblo, with its wealth of Victorian and Territorial architecture, is also going through a renaissance and renewal. Many of the old office buildings and warehouses are being refurbished in period appointments as they are being turned into townhomes, lofts and new office space.
The Downtown Bus Terminus
In south Pueblo, near Pitkin Place
The Public Library in south Pueblo
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The Sangre de Cristo Arts & Convention Center complex is located at the intersection of 1st Street and Santa Fe Avenue in downtown Pueblo. Included in the complex is the Buell Children's Museum.
Lured west by the promise of adventure and opportunity, John Thatcher of Pennsylvania did really well in Colorado. As a merchant and banker with interests in cattle, mining and agriculture, he amassed a considerable fortune. This 24,000 square foot, 37-room mansion was the family home of John and his wife Margaret. Margaret named the property for her favorite flower.
The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project (HARP) is a beautiful renewal project in downtown Pueblo. Concessions along the Riverwalk offer munchies and drinks, paddle boats, and riverboat tours. Several waterfalls and fountains adorn the route. At the downstream end are the public restrooms, in the vicinity of the memorial to Zebulon Pike.
The original settlement at the juncture of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River was lost for many years, until 1988, when Dr. William Buckles (of CSU-Pueblo) began an archaeological excavation to locate the remains of the original trading post. The investigation uncovered partial remains in the middle of the downtown business district. The Museum opened very near that site in 1990 and features some great displays showing Native American lifestyles and trade routes, and the history of European settlement in southeastern Colorado. In the yard is a reconstruction of what El Pueblo originally may have looked like.
Mid-August to Labor Day is the time of the State Fair. This is one of the larger State Fairs in America with a full range of exhibits, demonstrations, carnival rides, rodeo and agricultural competitions, and evening concerts by big-name entertainers.
Pitkin Place is the only surviving example of an exclusive 1890's subdivision. Roe & Shutt, the well-known local architects who designed the block, made a significant contribution to upscale planning and development by visually connecting each house to the others by their grandeur and yet, each is distinctive in its individual design. Other builders and architects got in on the act a bit later and similar designs began to appear on several of the blocks around the original Pitkin Place site. Most of the photos below are of Pitkin Place but some are from the surrounding neighborhood.
Zip Codes: 81001-81015
Incorporated: November 15, 1885
High School or Higher: 78.6%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.8%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 5.9%
2011 Cost of Living Index for Pueblo: 93.7
Estimated Median Household Income: $30,200
Estimated Median Home Value: $118,600
Median Resident Age: 36.5 Years
Health Care, Government, Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Educational Services, Waste Management Services, Finance & Insurance Services, Metal Manufacturing, Retail Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 12.4%
Population Demographics: 2010
|Population by Age|
|18 & over||80,983|
|65 & over||16,717|
|Population by Ethnicity|
|Hispanic or Latino||53,098|
|Non Hispanic or Latino||53,497|
|Population by Race|
|Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||112|
|Two or more||4,345|
Holly Dot Golf Course - Walking Stick Golf Course
Lake Pueblo State Park - El Pueblo Museum - Rosemount Museum
Arkansas Riverwalk - Sangre de Cristo Arts & Convention Center
San Isabel National Forest - Wet Mountains - State Trustlands & Wildlife Areas
National Park Service Sites - BLM Sites - National Wilderness Areas - Unique Natural Features
Outdoor Sports & Recreation - Ski & Snowboard Areas - Photo Galleries - Colorado Mountains