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Pueblo ( ) is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo Countymarker, Coloradomarker, United Statesmarker. The population was estimated to be 104,951 in 2008, making it the 245th most populous city in the United Statesmarker.

Pueblo is situated at the confluence of the Arkansas Rivermarker and Fountain Creek south of the Colorado State Capitolmarker in Denvermarker. The area is considered to be semi-arid with approximately of precipitation annually; however with its location in the "banana belt," Pueblo tends to get less snow than the other major cities in Colorado. Pueblo is the heart of the Pueblo Metropolitan Statistical Area and an important part of the Front Range Urban Corridor. Pueblo is one of the largest steel-producing cities in the United States; because of this Pueblo is referred to as the "Steel City." Many consider Pueblo to be the economic hub of south eastern Colorado. Due to this some people call Pueblo "Colorado's second city" even though Pueblo is the state's ninth most populous city. It is now home to a number of electronics and aviation companies. The Historic Arkansas River Project (HARP) is a beautiful river walk that graces the historic Union Avenue district. It shows the history of the Pueblo Flood.

It is the hometown of Damon Runyon, who never returned after 1911 or so, but mentioned Pueblo in many of his newspaper columns (notably his "Our Old Man" pieces). Pueblo is also the home of Dutch Clark, the first man from Colorado in the NFL hall of fame. Pueblo's largest football stadium is named after him. At this stadium is where the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi takes place, The Bell Game, which is played by The Pueblo Central Wildcats and the Pueblo Centennial Bulldogs.
Pueblo City Hall.
Pueblo is the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients - Drew D. Dix, Raymond G. Murphy, William J. Crawford, and Carl L. Sitter. President Dwight D. Eisenhower upon presenting Raymond G. "Jerry" Murphy with his Medal in 1953 commented, "What is it... something in the water out there in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes!". In 1993, The City Council adopted the tagline "Home of Heroes" because it can claim more recipients per capita than any other city in the United States. On July 1, 1993, the Congressional Record recognized Pueblo as the "Home of Heroes" (http://www.pueblo.org/homeofheroes/. There is a memorial to the recipients of the medal at the Pueblo Convention Center. Central High School is known as the "School of Heroes", as it is the alma mater of two recipients, Sitter and Crawford, more than any other high school in the country.

Pueblo is the home to Colorado's largest single event, the Colorado State Fair, held annually in the late summer, and the largest parade, the state fair parade, as well as an annual Chili Festival.

The National Street Rod Association's Rocky Mountain Street Rod Nationals have been held in Pueblo for 23 years, and this is the region's largest and premier street rod event.

Pueblo's newest event is the Wild West Fest sponsored by the Professional Bull Riders. It will be held in Pueblo during the spring and the main event will be a PBR rodeo held at the state fair events center and shown all over the world. Also, Pueblo is home to the PBR team finals held at the state fair events center during the Colorado state fair and shown all over the world. In 2008 the PBR moved their corporate headquarters to Pueblo.

The highways U.S. Highway 50 and Interstate 25 cross each other at Pueblo, possibly making it the second most important intersection in the state, after I-70 and I-25 in Denver. The local airport, Pueblo Memorial Airportmarker, lies to the east of the city. It is home to the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum (named for Fred Weisbrod, late city manager), reflecting the airport's beginnings as an Army Air Corps base in 1943. Pueblo Transit provides bus service six days a week throughout the city. Due to the growth of the Pueblo Metro Area they are considering forming a regional transportation district so they can serve some of Pueblo's fastest growing suburbs.

Pueblo may be best known as the home of the Federal Citizen Information Center, operated by the General Services Administration, and its Consumer Information Catalog. For over 35 years, public service announcements have invited Americans to write for information at "Pueblo, Colorado, 81009" (though the official address is Post Office Box 100). In recent times GSA has incorporated Pueblo into FCIC's toll-free telephone number (1-888-8 PUEBLO) and web address ( www.pueblo.gsa.gov).

The Pueblo city council is in the process of annexing over north of Pueblo, owned by a Las Vegas development company, to be called the Pueblo Springs Ranch. This development has the potential of being one of the largest planned communities in the country, and will nearly double Pueblo's land area. According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the development will include residential area as well as a major tech park.

Pueblo is becoming the region's renewable energy capital. Vestas just announced that it would build the largest plant in the world which manufactures the towers for wind turbines at Pueblo's industrial park at close to 700,000 square feet. Also, a number of scientific studies now list Pueblo as the state's best place for solar energy and a good place for solar companies locate. Because of this a number of solar companies are looking to move to Pueblo at the old Pueblo Army Depot, one such company possibly the largest in the world.

History

George Simpson, among other traders and trappers such as Mathew Kinkead, claimed to have helped construct the plaza that became known as El Pueblo or Fort Pueblo around 1842. George married Juana Maria Suaso and lived there for a year or two before moving; however, Simpson had no legal title to the land. The adobe structures were built with the intention of settlement and trade next to the Arkansas River, which then formed the U.S./Mexico border. About a dozen families lived there, trading with Native American tribes for hides, skins, livestock, as well as (later) cultivated plants, and liquor. Evidence of this trade, as well as other utilitarian goods, such as Native American pottery shards were found at the recently excavated site. According to accounts of residents who traded at the plaza (including that of George Simpson), the fort was raided sometime between December 23 and December 25, 1854, by Native American Ute Tribe and Jacarilla Apache tribes. They allegedly killed between fifteen and nineteen men, one woman, and captured two children. The trading post was abandoned after the raid, but it became important again between 1858 and 1859 during the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859.

The current city of Pueblo represents the consolidation of four towns: Pueblo (incorporated 1870), South Pueblo (incorporated 1873), Central Pueblo (incorporated 1882), and Bessemer (incorporated 1886). Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo legally consolidated as the City of Pueblo between March 9 and April 6, 1886. Bessemer joined Pueblo in 1894.

The consolidated city was once a major economic and social center of Colorado, and was home to important early Colorado families the Thatchers, Ormans and Adams. Until a series of major floods culminated in the Great Flood of 1921, Pueblo was considered the 'Saddle-Making capital of the World'. Roughly one-third of Pueblo's downtown businesses were lost in this flood, along with a substantial number of buildings. Pueblo has long struggled to come to grips with this loss, and has only recently begun a resurgence in growth.

The economic situation of Pueblo was further exacerbated by the decline of American steel in the 1970s and 1980s, and Pueblo still actively seeks to diversify its economic base. The City features a river walk, extensive trail system, industrial park, and revitalized downtown area to this effect.

The steel mill

The foundation, stoves, and powerhouse of A-Furnace
main industry in Pueblo for most of its history was the Colorado Fuel and Ironmarker (CF&I) steel mill on the south side of town. The steel-market crash of 1982 lead to the decline of the company. After going through several bankruptcies, the company was acquired by Oregon Steel Mills and recently changed its name to Rocky Mountain Steel Mills. Since the acquisition, the company has been plagued with labor problems, mostly due to accusations of unfair labor practices. The problems culminated with a major strike in 1997, leading to most of the workforce being replaced.

Of the many production and fabrication mills which once existed on the site, only the steel production (electric furnaces, used for scrap recycling), rail, rod, bar, and seamless tube mills are still in operation. The wire mill was sold in the late 1990s to Davis Wire, which still produces products such as fence and nails under the CF&I brand name.

The facility operated blast furnaces until 1982, when the bottom fell out of the steel market. The main blast furnace structures were torn down in 1989, but due to asbestos content, many of the adjacent stoves still remain. The stoves and foundations for some of the furnaces can be easily seen from Interstate 25, which runs parallel to the plant's west boundary.

Several of the administration buildings, including the main office building, dispensary, and tunnel gatehouse were purchased in 2003 by the Bessemer Historical Society. They are currently undergoing renovation. In addition to housing the historic CF&I Archives, the first phase of the project has been turned into the Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture.

Presidential visits

President Woodrow Wilson, on a speaking tour to gather support for the entry of the United States into the League of Nations, collapsed on September 25, 1919 following a speech in Pueblo. He suffered a stroke a week later which incapacitated him for the rest of his presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the Pueblo Union Depot in order to lay the first brick down for the Y.M.C.A., and also check the water resources in Colorado.

President George H. W. Bush (when he was Vice President) visited the Pueblo Nature Center's Raptor Center to release an American Bald Eagle that had its wings healed.

Other national leaders to visit Pueblo include President John F. Kennedy, President Bill Clinton, Senator John Kerry, and Vice President Al Gore.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, both major party candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, visited Pueblo as part of their campaign. Colorado was considered a key swing state in that election, with Obama becoming the first Democratic candidate in 16 years to win the state.

The State Hospital

Historically the other major employer in Pueblo was the State Hospital, which formerly served the entire state. Established in 1879 as the Colorado State Insane Asylum it was known as the Colorado State Hospital after 1917. In 1991, the name was changed to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP). Currently under construction is the new Forensic Medium and Maximum Security Center, a 200 bed, state-of-the-art high security facility.

Education

Higher Education

Pueblo is home to Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo), a regional comprehensive university. CSU-Pueblo was formerly the University of Southern Colorado. It is part of the Colorado State University System, with about 6,000 students. On May 8, 2007, CSU-Pueblo got approval from the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System to bring back football as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The first game was played in the fall of 2008 at the Thunderbowl, a new stadium at CSU-Pueblo which holds over 12,000 people.

Pueblo Community College (PCC) is a two-year, public, comprehensive community college, one of thirteen community colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). It operates three campuses serving a widely dispersed eight-county region in Southern Colorado. The main campus is located in Pueblo and serves Pueblo County. The Fremont Campus is located approximately west of Pueblo in Canon City and serves Fremont and Custer Counties. The Southwest Campus, southwest of Pueblo, serves Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, San Juan, and Archuleta counties. PCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution as designated by the Federal Government. Approximately 5,000 students attend PCC per semester.

Pueblo City Schools

Pueblo County has thirteen high schools. Pueblo Centennial HS was founded just north of downtown on Eleventh St. in 1876, the year Colorado became a state. Centennial was rebuilt on a new site to the northwest in 1973. Pueblo Central HSmarker was founded in Bessemer in 1882. Central's present campus on E. Orman Ave. was built in the 1920s and expanded in the early 1970s. Its original building still stands four blocks away on E. Pitkin Ave. Pueblo South HS and Pueblo East HS were built in the late 1950s to accommodate the Baby Boomers. Pueblo County HS, east of the city in Vineland, serves rural residents. Ryemarker HS is in a foothills town southwest of Pueblo. Pueblo West HS is the newest, in the northwestern suburb of Pueblo Westmarker. The former Pueblo Catholic HS became Roncalli Middle School in the early 1970s. Other Pueblo area high schools include Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School, Southern Colorado Early College, Pueblo Technical Academy, Parkhill Christian Academy, and the Health Academy.

Geography

Pueblo is located at (38.266933, -104.620393) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it (0.66%) is water.

Pueblo is home to Colorado State University-Pueblo, formerly known as the University of Southern Colorado.

Demographics

The river walk, still under construction, is popular among residents and sits in the shadow of the city's industrial past.
As of the census of 2000, there were 102,121 people, 40,307 households, and 26,118 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,265.5 people per square mile (874.6/km2). There were 43,121 housing units at an average density of 956.6/sq mi (369.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.21% White, 2.41% African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 15.20% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Latinos made up 44.13% of the population. 10.1% were of German, 8.1% Italian, 6.0% Americanmarker, 5.5% English and 5.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

According to the 2005 Census estimates, the city had grown to an estimated population of 104,951 and had become the ninth most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 245th most populous city in the United Statesmarker.

There were 40,307 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,650, and the median income for a family was $35,620. Males had a median income of $29,702 versus $22,197 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,026. About 13.9% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.

Aviation

Pueblo Museum building sign, 2007.


Notable natives and residents



Pueblo in popular culture

  • In the South Park episode "The Losing Edge", Pueblo is one of the towns in which the South Park team competes.
  • Pueblo as a frontier town is the setting for Louis L'Amour's 1981 western novel Milo Talon.
  • The opening scene in Bo Edwards' 2008 novel Live to Ride (ISBN 978-0-9801345-0-6) is set in Pueblo. The two protagonists are Pueblo natives.
  • Pueblo is portrayed as a ghostly, radiated ruin in the Darwin's World novel Burning Lands.


Sister cities



See also



References

Bibliography


External links




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