Gunnison, Colorado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
City of Gunnison, Colorado
City
Vienna Bakery-Johnson Restaurant in Gunnison
Vienna Bakery-Johnson Restaurant in Gunnison
Motto: " Base Camp Of The Rocky Mountains "
Location in Gunnison County and the State of Colorado
Location in Gunnison County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates: 38°32′40″N 106°55′42″W / 38.54444°N 106.92833°W / 38.54444; -106.92833Coordinates: 38°32′40″N 106°55′42″W / 38.54444°N 106.92833°W / 38.54444; -106.92833
Country United States
State Colorado
County Gunnison[1]
Incorporated March 1, 1880[2]
Named for John W. Gunnison
Government
 • Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 • Mayor Jonathan Houck
 • City Manager Ken Coleman
Area
 • Total 3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
 • Land 3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[3] 7,700 ft (2,347 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,854
 • Density 1,800/sq mi (710/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP codes[4] 81230-81231 & 81247
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-33640
GNIS feature ID 2410674
Website City of Gunnison

The City of Gunnison is the county seat and the most populous city of Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.[5] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,854.[6] It was named in honor of John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.[7] Gunnison is a Municipal home rule which reserves the right to choose how it is governed. Citizens of every municipality in Colorado have an option available to them — creation of a home rule charter.[8]

History[edit]

Gunnison residents isolated themselves from the surrounding area during the Spanish Influenza epidemic for two months at the end of 1918. All highways were barricaded near the county lines. Train conductors warned all passengers that if they stepped outside of the train in Gunnison, they would be arrested and quarantined for five days. As a result of the isolation, no one died of influenza in Gunnison during the epidemic. This served as partial inspiration for the novel The Last Town on Earth.

Geography[edit]

Welcome to Gunnison sign for travelers on Hwy 50 entering Gunnison from the east.

Gunnison County is situated at an altitude of 7,703 feet (2,348 m).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2). All of it is land and none of it is covered by water. Gunnison is near Blue Mesa Reservoir. One can travel to Gunnison from the towns of Salida and Buena Vista by going over Monarch Pass. U.S. Highway 50 is the main east-west thoroughfare through the town. At the 2010 Census the there was a population of 15,324 within the county.

Climate[edit]

Gunnison is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the United States, especially when snowpack is present. The average January low is −8 °F (−22 °C), and the average July high is 82 °F (28 °C). The record low is −60 °F (−51 °C), recorded at Blue Mesa Reservoir. The record high is 98 °F (37 °C), set on August 15, 1931.[9]

The city typically experiences moderate snowfalls, with an average of 50 inches (130 cm) per year. Early fall and late spring snows are not uncommon, and snow can remain on the ground in town from as early as November to as late as April. Surrounding mountains experience very heavy snowfall with longer periods of snow on the ground. Many locations average 300–400 inches (760–1,020 cm) of snow annually. The snow is welcome to the area, as it is beneficial to water supplies and local ski resorts. Total liquid precipitation averages nearly 11 inches (280 mm) per year in the city of Gunnison, while surrounding mountains may receive anywhere from 15 to over 40 inches (380 to 1,000 mm) annually, depending upon elevation and local topography.

Climate data for Gunnison, Colorado (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 26.6
(−3)
31.9
(−0.1)
44.2
(6.8)
56.1
(13.4)
66.3
(19.1)
75.6
(24.2)
80.4
(26.9)
78.0
(25.6)
70.8
(21.6)
59.7
(15.4)
43.4
(6.3)
29.2
(−1.6)
55.2
(12.9)
Average low °F (°C) −6.2
(−21.2)
1.1
(−17.2)
14.8
(−9.6)
22.8
(−5.1)
30.5
(−0.8)
36.7
(2.6)
43.8
(6.6)
42.6
(5.9)
33.4
(0.8)
22.2
(−5.4)
11.5
(−11.4)
−1.5
(−18.6)
21.0
(−6.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.68
(17.3)
0.69
(17.5)
0.49
(12.4)
0.73
(18.5)
0.81
(20.6)
0.72
(18.3)
1.35
(34.3)
1.57
(39.9)
1.21
(30.7)
0.77
(19.6)
0.63
(16)
0.92
(23.4)
10.57
(268.5)
Snowfall inches (cm) 9.5
(24.1)
8.8
(22.4)
5.8
(14.7)
4.1
(10.4)
0.7
(1.8)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
1.1
(2.8)
5.1
(13)
10.4
(26.4)
45.5
(115.6)
Source: NOAA[10]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 5,409 people, 2,083 households, and 904 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,684.6 people per square mile (650.6/km²). There were 2,276 housing units at an average density of 708.9 per square mile (273.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.49% White, 0.78% African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.91% of the population.

There were 2,083 households out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.6% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.1% under the age of 18, 39.0% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 13.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 120.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,768, and the median income for a family was $41,761. Males had a median income of $27,016 versus $21,194 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,196. About 10.1% of families and 24.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

View of Tenderfoot Mountain taken from Gunnison in September 2009. The "W" signifies Western State Colorado University.

Gunnison is home to Western State Colorado University which received its third renaming since its beginnings from an approval of Governor John Wright Hickenlooper on August 1, 2012. The college was originally founded as The Colorado State Normal School for Children by a bill signed on April 16, 1901 by Governor James B. Orman. In 1923, the college's name was changed to Western State College because its role expanded from a teaching institution to a liberal arts college. Historical papers in the Leslie Savage Library on campus state that the school was the first liberal arts college west of the Continental Divide.

The Gunnison Valley is also served by the Gunnison Watershed RJ1E School District[12] which includes Public and Non Public schools.[13] The public schools in the RJ1E school district are located in Crested Butte and Gunnison; Marble Charter School is located in the Statutory Town of Marble in northwest Gunnison County. Public Schools in Gunnison Watershed RE1J School District:

The law concerning non public schools, 22-33-104, C.R.S., requires that a sequential program of instruction be provided by an independent or parochial school. Such program shall include, but not be limited to, communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, and science.[14][15] Some of the non-public schools in Gunnison County adhering to these C.R.S. are:

Media[edit]

Gunnison's newspaper, Gunnison Country Times, is published weekly.[16] There are also various radio stations that serve the area, including KWSB-FM (91.1), which is affiliated with Western State College.[17] KBUT of Crested Butte also simulcasts NPR broadcasts at 89.9 FM.[18]

In the movies[edit]

Gunnison County is the setting of the science fiction film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, although the film was actually shot in the towns of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, British Columbia.[19][20]

On television[edit]

Gunnison is the setting of the 1960-1961 syndicated western television series, Two Faces West.

Gunnison is the birthplace of the American actress Donna Anderson, a supporing cast member of the ABC western series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963-1964).

In literature[edit]

In 2009, Gunnison appeared as a launch site and mission control facility in Stephen Baxter's post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, Ark.

Gunnison is the setting for Eternal Starling, the first book in the Emblem of Eternity trilogy by Angela Corbett.

Transportation[edit]

Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport

The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport serves the valley and nearby Crested Butte with both commercial airline and general aviation flights. Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) operates bus service between Gunnison and Crested Butte serving Western State Colorado University and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Charter bus service to Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction from the Gunnison Valley is provided by Alpine Express.[21] This service is scheduled by reservation and is not a daily scheduled run.

The League of American Bicyclists has awarded Gunnison the silver level in bicycle friendliness.

Activities[edit]

Winter[edit]

Winter activities for Gunnison include skiing at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, skiing at Monarch Ski Area, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, ice fishing Blue Mesa, hunting, and snowshoeing.

Summer[edit]

Activities during the summer in Gunnison include fishing on the Gunnison River, Tomichi Creek and Blue Mesa Reservoir. Hiking in any of the numerous areas within a short distance of town like Curecanti National Recreation Area, Tomichi State Wildlife Area, Sapinero State Wildlife Area, McIntosh State Wildlife Area. Biking activities include road biking and mountain biking; Hartman's Rock has many bike trails for mountain biking as well as motorcross and rock climbing. One rafting practice is to rent a raft in Almont and drift 10 miles (16 km) down the Gunnison River to the town of Gunnison. Below the Hwy 50 bridge on the Gunnison river is the kayak park. The Gunnison Ranger District Office located at 216 North Colorado Street offers maps and information about details particular to vehicle access, private, BLM, federal and state properties, trails, and other areas of interest.[22][23][24]

Gunnison also hosts festivals and farmers markets during the summer months.

Cattlemen's Days[edit]

A rodeo in Colorado takes place over a 10-day period in July featuring PRCA Rodeo activities as well as family-based activities. Cattlemen’s Days celebrated its 112th year of rich western heritage in a first class and nationally recognized rodeo event for the year 2012.[25] In 2011, this rodeo was nominated as one of the five finalists for Mid-sized rodeo of the year. It continues to be a leader in PCRA rodeos in fund-raising for breast cancer with their Tough enough to wear pink campaign.[26] Cattlemen’s Days also offers scholarships to support and further the education of 4-H and FFA exhibitors.[27]

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. ^ a b "City of Gunnison". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  4. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved September 28, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Gunnison city, Colorado". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ "History of Gunnison". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ Retrieved July 01, 2012, Home rule charter, http://www.mountainlawfirm.com/contact-us/
  9. ^ "GUNNISON 1 N, COLORADO Period of Record General Climate Summary - Temperature". Western Regional Climate Center. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Retrieved July 01, 2012, List of School Districts by size, Colorado Department of Education Website
  13. ^ Retrieved July 01, 2012, Legal Requirements for Non Public Schools, Colorado Department of Education Website
  14. ^ Minimum standards which apply to non-public schools under state law include compulsory attendance, health standards, local building codes, zoning requirements, and fire safety standards.
  15. ^ retrieved July 01,2012,Neither the State Board of Education nor any local board of education has jurisdiction over the internal affairs of any non-state independent or parochial school in Colorado.
  16. ^ Newspaper homepage GunnisonTimes.com. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  17. ^ KWSB website KWSB.org. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  18. ^ KBUT website KBUT.org. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  19. ^ "Alien vs. Predator Sequel's R-rated Secrets Revealed". MTV.com. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  20. ^ "Oh, the places she's been". The Block. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  21. ^ Alpine Express bus service Retrieved August 09, 2012
  22. ^ Gunnison Field Office Retrieved August 09, 2012
  23. ^ Information in this section has been extracted from the Forest Service Series Map Gunnison Basin Public Lands 2008 - ISBN 159351132-9
  24. ^ Another good map depicting seasonal designation table (road use) is the Motor Vehicle Travel Map - Gunnison Basin Public Lands - Colorado 2011, published by United States Department of Interior and United States Department of Agriculture
  25. ^ http://www.cattlemensdays.com/president.htm From the President, Brett Redden - Retrieved July 31, 2012
  26. ^ Rodeo calendar for the tough enough to wear pink campaign Retrieved August 09, 2012.
  27. ^ Cattlemen’s Days Scholarships – Retrieved July 31, 2012

External links[edit]