Idaho Springs, Colorado

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City of Idaho Springs, Colorado
City
Idaho Springs as seen from the surrounding mountains.
Idaho Springs as seen from the surrounding mountains.
Location in Clear Creek County and the State of Colorado
Location in Clear Creek County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates: 39°44′33″N 105°30′52″W / 39.74250°N 105.51444°W / 39.74250; -105.51444
Country United States
State  State of Colorado
County Clear Creek County[1]
Founded 1859
Incorporated 1885-11-15[2]
Government
 • Type Statutory City[1]
 • Mayor Michael Hillman[3]
Area
 • Total 2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)
 • Land 2.2 sq mi (5.6 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation[4] 7,526 ft (2,294 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,717
 • Density 792/sq mi (305.8/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code[5] 80452
Area code(s) Both 303 and 720
FIPS code 08-38370
GNIS feature ID 204710
Website www.idahospringsco.com
Downtown Idaho Springs

The City of Idaho Springs is a municipality in the U.S. state of Colorado that is the most populous settlement in Clear Creek County. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,717.[6] Idaho Springs is located in Clear Creek Canyon, in the mountains upstream from Golden, some 30 miles (48 km) west of Denver. Local legend is that the name of the city derived from annual visits to the radium hot springs made by a Native American chief and his tribe who journeyed there each year from Idaho to bathe in the magic healing waters.

Founded in 1859 by prospectors during the early days of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, the town was at the center of the region's mining district throughout the late nineteenth century. The Argo Tunnel drained and provided access to many lodes of ore between Idaho Springs and Central City. During the late twentieth century, the town evolved into a tourist center along U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 40, which ascend Clear Creek Canyon through the historic mining district.

The town today is squeezed along the north side of Interstate 70, with a historical downtown in the central portion, a strip of tourist-related businesses on its eastern end, and mostly residences on its western end. It also serves as a bedroom community for workers at the Loveland Ski Area farther up the canyon. The town today is the largest community in Clear Creek County, but, for historical reasons, the county seat has remained at Georgetown.

History[edit]

The Miner Street Bridge is one of nine sites in Idaho Springs listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On January 5, 1859, during the Colorado gold rush, prospector George A. Jackson discovered placer gold at the present site of Idaho Springs, where Chicago Creek empties into Clear Creek. It was the first substantial gold discovery in Colorado. Jackson, a Missouri native with experience in the California gold fields, was drawn to the area by clouds of steam rising from some nearby hot springs. Jackson kept his find secret for several months, but after he paid for some supplies with gold dust, others rushed to Jackson's diggings.[7] The location was originally known as "Jackson's Diggings". Once the location became a permanent settlement, it was variously called "Sacramento City", "Idahoe", "Idaho City", and finally "Idaho Springs".[8]

The first placer discoveries were soon followed by discoveries of gold veins in the rocks of the canyon walls on both sides of Clear Creek. Hard rock mining became the mainstay of the town long after the gold-bearing gravels were exhausted.

A strike by Idaho Springs miners demanding the eight-hour day in May 1903 erupted into violence. This was a local struggle in a much broader fight called the Colorado Labor Wars.

The 1969 film Downhill Racer portrayed an alpine ski racer from Idaho Springs, played by Robert Redford; a brief scene was shot on location in Idaho Springs. Several scenes from the comedy film The Overbrook Brothers were filmed here in the spring of 2008.

Geography[edit]

Idaho Springs is located in northeastern Clear Creek County at 39°44′33″N 105°30′52″W / 39.74250°N 105.51444°W / 39.74250; -105.51444 (39.742456, -105.514391),[9] along Clear Creek near the confluence of its tributary, Chicago Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.09 km2), or 1.53%, is water.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 229
1880 733 220.1%
1890 1,338 82.5%
1900 2,502 87.0%
1910 2,154 −13.9%
1920 1,192 −44.7%
1930 1,207 1.3%
1940 2,112 75.0%
1950 1,769 −16.2%
1960 1,480 −16.3%
1970 2,033 37.4%
1980 2,077 2.2%
1990 1,834 −11.7%
2000 1,889 3.0%
2010 1,717 −9.1%
source:[10][11]
Colorado and Southern Railroad locomotive on exhibit in Idaho Springs
Steve Canyon statue in Idaho Springs

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 1,889 people, 841 households, and 485 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,820.1 inhabitants per square mile (702.7 /km2). There were 904 housing units at an average density of 871.0 per square mile (336.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.71% White, 0.74% Black or African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 1.54% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 5.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 841 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 105.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,643, and the median income for a family was $48,790. Males had a median income of $35,446 versus $22,688 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,789. About 2.2% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Idaho Springs Public Schools are part of the Clear Creek School District RE-1. There are two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one charter school. Students attend Clear Creek High School.

Carlson Elementary School is located in Idaho Springs.

Roslin Marshall is the Interim Superintendent of Schools.[13]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Idaho Springs, Colorado (Elevation 7,555ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
(17)
67
(19)
73
(23)
78
(26)
89
(32)
95
(35)
93
(34)
91
(33)
92
(33)
83
(28)
73
(23)
66
(19)
95
(35)
Average high °F (°C) 38.8
(3.8)
40.9
(4.9)
45.5
(7.5)
53.6
(12)
62.1
(16.7)
72.8
(22.7)
77.4
(25.2)
76.1
(24.5)
69.8
(21)
59.3
(15.2)
47.3
(8.5)
39.9
(4.4)
57.0
(13.9)
Average low °F (°C) 15.1
(−9.4)
16.0
(−8.9)
19.8
(−6.8)
27.0
(−2.8)
34.4
(1.3)
41.8
(5.4)
47.6
(8.7)
46.4
(8)
39.1
(3.9)
30.4
(−0.9)
22.3
(−5.4)
16.5
(−8.6)
29.7
(−1.3)
Record low °F (°C) −32
(−36)
−29
(−34)
−23
(−31)
−6
(−21)
8
(−13)
23
(−5)
28
(−2)
28
(−2)
14
(−10)
−5
(−21)
−21
(−29)
−24
(−31)
−32
(−36)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.33
(8.4)
0.50
(12.7)
0.90
(22.9)
1.78
(45.2)
1.94
(49.3)
1.50
(38.1)
2.59
(65.8)
2.05
(52.1)
1.36
(34.5)
0.99
(25.1)
0.64
(16.3)
0.47
(11.9)
15.05
(382.3)
Snowfall inches (cm) 5.4
(13.7)
8.5
(21.6)
12.3
(31.2)
15.1
(38.4)
5.2
(13.2)
0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.9
(4.8)
7.4
(18.8)
8.6
(21.8)
7.2
(18.3)
72.0
(182.9)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[14]

Famous residents[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ "City Council - City of Idaho Springs". City of Idaho Springs. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" (JavaScript/HTML). United States Postal Service. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Idaho Springs city, Colorado". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ Robert L. Brown (1985) The Great Pikes Peak Gold Rush, Caldwell, Ida.: Caxton, p.26-32.
  8. ^ "US Geological Survey, Geographic Names Information System". Retrieved 10 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 73.
  11. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Colorado 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Middle school principal named interim superintendent". Clear Creek Courant. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  14. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ http://www.historicargotours.com/history.html
  16. ^ http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/COIDAstevecanyon.html
  17. ^ "Historic Clear Creek County". Clear Creek 365. Clear Creek County. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°44′33″N 105°30′52″W / 39.742456°N 105.514391°W / 39.742456; -105.514391