Fountain, Colorado

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City of Fountain, Colorado
City
Fountain Colorado circa 1942
Fountain Colorado circa 1942
Motto: " Pure Colorado "
Location in El Paso County and the state of Colorado
Location in El Paso County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates: 38°41′38″N 104°41′53″W / 38.69389°N 104.69806°W / 38.69389; -104.69806Coordinates: 38°41′38″N 104°41′53″W / 38.69389°N 104.69806°W / 38.69389; -104.69806
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County[1] El Paso County
Home Rule Municipality April 23, 1903[2]
Government
 • Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 • Mayor Gabriel P. Ortega
Area
 • Total 24.0 sq mi (62.2 km2)
 • Land 24.0 sq mi (62.1 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation[3] 5,545 ft (1,690 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 25,846
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (420/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 80817[4]
Area code(s) 719
FIPS code 08-27865
GNIS feature ID 0193616
Highways I-25, US 85, SH 16
Website City of Fountain

The city of Fountain is a Home Rule Municipality located in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 25,846.[5]

Fountain is located 10 miles (16 km) south of Colorado Springs and just east of Fort Carson. Fountain and the Colorado Springs suburbs Security and Widefield make up the "Fountain Valley" community.[6]

History[edit]

Fountain was built in 1859 as a railroad shipping center for local ranches and farms. The town was named for Fountain Creek,[7] and was incorporated in 1900.[8]

In 1999, Fountain was chosen as "America's Millennium City" by the New York Times.[9] Fountain was named an "All-America City" in 2002 by the National Civic League.[10] The city is the home of Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Fountain Valley Town Hall

Geography[edit]

Fountain is located at 38°41′38″N 104°41′53″W / 38.69389°N 104.69806°W / 38.69389; -104.69806 (38.693787, -104.698156)[11].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.0 square miles (62.2 km2), of which 24.0 square miles (62.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.15%, is water.[12] The eponymous Fountain Creek flows south through the city.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 15,197 people, 5,039 households, and 4,061 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,085.7 people per square mile (419.1/km²). There were 5,219 housing units at an average density of 372.9 per square mile (143.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.07% White, 8.74% African American, 1.41% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.55% Pacific Islander, 6.71% from other races, and 5.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.06% of the population.

There were 5,039 households out of which 49.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,121, and the median income for a family was $44,735. Males had a median income of $31,192 versus $24,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,975. About 5.9% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.

History: The Blast[edit]

A tremendous train wreck, "The Blast", as it is now known, occurred in Fountain during the spring of 1888. Just after three in the morning on May 14, 1888, a freight train carrying eighteen tons of explosives and a passenger train collided in the city. The accident killed three people: Charles F. Smith, a Fountain lumber dealer originally from Keokuk, Iowa, Henry Hutchins, a Fountain merchant and Mrs. Sarah Widrig a local hat maker from Fountain. (There are conflicting reports of who else died as a result of injuries from the crash.)[3]

The blast from the collision created a very loud explosion that could be heard from miles away. The crash destroyed a nearby church, a grocery store and created a large crater in the ground forty feet in diameter and fifteen feet deep.[4]

The cause of the wreck was attributed to a pair of unruly vagrants who were kicked off of the freight train north of Fountain in Colorado Springs. After an investigation by The Rocky Mountain News, it was later reported that one of the two vagrants murdered a third man, Frank Shipman, on the freight train. Shipman, who had only one leg, was returning from visiting his brother in Pueblo, Colorado. The unidentified vagrants and Shipman had been arguing and Shipman was struck hard in the head killing him. The men attempted to somehow dispose of Shipman's dead body and cover-up the crime by disconnecting the train car Shipman's body was in sending it down the railroad tracks. The train car Shipman's body was in, three other train cars carrying the explosive naphtha and the caboose of the freight train were disconnected by the men and sent southbound towards Fountain. Meanwhile, a passenger train was traveling northbound on the same tracks. The collision followed. Thirty riders on board the northbound passenger train were able to escape the locomotive before the collision thanks to a frantic warning from the conductor. Twenty-eight people were injured. The vagrants suspected at the root of Shipman's murder and the train wreck were never found and no one was ever charged with a crime.[5]

"The Blast" remains a legendary event in the city's history. It is commemorated with an annual street dance held at Fountain's City Hall Plaza each July.

In the news[edit]

Recently, in a controversial move, the city of Fountain purchased a 480-acre (1.9 km2) ranch, the H2O Ranch in Custer County, for $3.5 million. The city was interested in the prime water rights on the property totaling 700 acre feet (860,000 m3) a year. Fountain is in the process of drying out the ranch and moving through the water courts to actually receive some of that water. They claim that they should be able to successfully receive 600 of that 700 acre feet (860,000 m3) after the water courts have made their decisions. It is expected that Fountain will separate the water from the ranch and then sell the ranch separately.[14]

Notable residents (current and former)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. August 18, 2007. Retrieved August 18, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Fountain city, Colorado". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "Profile for Fountain, Colorado, CO". ePodunk. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Fountain, Colorado". City-Data.com. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ Bennet, James (December 5, 1999). "A Few of Our Favorite Things". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Fountain city, Colorado". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ "City buys Valley water rights". Wet Mountain Tribune. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 

10. http://chamber.fountaincolorado.org/index.htm

11. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DEEDA163CF936A35751C1A96F958260&scp=1&sq=fountain,%20colo.%20december%205,%201999&st=nyt

12. http://chamber.fountaincolorado.org/Millennium/index.htm

External links[edit]