South Fork, Colorado

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Town of South Fork, Colorado
Town
South Fork as seen from the summit of Agua Ramon Mountain
South Fork as seen from the summit of Agua Ramon Mountain
Location in Rio Grande County and the state of Colorado
Location in Rio Grande County and the state of Colorado
Coordinates: 37°40′9″N 106°38′34″W / 37.66917°N 106.64278°W / 37.66917; -106.64278Coordinates: 37°40′9″N 106°38′34″W / 37.66917°N 106.64278°W / 37.66917; -106.64278
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County[1] Rio Grande County
Incorporated May 19, 1992[2]
Government
 • Type Statutory Town[1]
Area
 • Total 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6.1 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[3] 8,209 ft (2,502 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 604
 • Density 251.7/sq mi (99/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code[4] 81154
Area code(s) 719
FIPS code 08-72395
GNIS feature ID 0203420
Website Town of South Fork

South Fork is a statutory town in Rio Grande County, Colorado, United States. It is at the conflueince of the South Fork and Rio Grande rivers. The population was 604 at the 2000 census.

Geography[edit]

South Fork is located at 37°40′09″N 106°38′34″W / 37.669065°N 106.642829°W / 37.669065; -106.642829.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all of it land.

History[edit]

South Fork was once the site of timber milling operations.[6]

South Fork was founded in 1882, by which date its location was already marked by the presence of a coaching post dating from the construction of the railroad connection of the Rio Grande Western Railroad line to Creede which had been built to support the Creede silver mine. It was only in 1992 that South Fork achieved independent statutory town status, making it the youngest statutory town in the state. Originally the principal economic activities involved forestry and mining, but in recent decades these have been overtaken in the employment statistics by tourism.

On June 21, 2013, a wildfire burning 6 miles (9.7 km) from the town prompted mandatory evacuations for all South Fork residents. Firefighters initially said the fire would likely consume the town.[7] In subsequent days it was reported that the town probably would not burn, although the fire came as close as 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the town.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Housing on the outskirts of town

South Fork has about 600 permanent residents, but a substantially larger summer population due to seasonal residents and visitors.[6]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 604 people, 274 households, and 187 families residing in the town. The population density was 255.2 people per square mile (98.4/km²). There were 580 housing units at an average density of 245.1 per square mile (94.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.88% White, 0.17% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 2.98% from other races, and 3.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.42% of the population.

There were 274 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,667, and the median income for a family was $45,417. Males had a median income of $32,188 versus $19,063 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,128. About 4.1% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 1.6% of those age 65 or over.

Cultural references[edit]

In the 1983 movie National Lampoon's Vacation starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, the Griswold family spend the night at a camping ground in South Fork.

Climate[edit]

South Fork has an alpine climate, typical of the Colorado mountains. Due to its altitude, summer days are warm but mild. Temperatures drop sharply after sunset. Even in the summer, nighttime temperatures can drop close to freezing. Winters are cold, with freezing temperatures during the daytime and lows at night often below zero. South Fork typically receives about 11 inches of precipitation a year, and receives moderate amounts of snow in all seasons except summer.

Climate data for South Fork, Colorado 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 38
(3)
42
(6)
67
(19)
71
(22)
72
(22)
83
(28)
84
(29)
84
(29)
78
(26)
71
(22)
61
(16)
49
(9)
84
(29)
Average high °F (°C) 24.9
(−3.9)
34.2
(1.2)
49.4
(9.7)
55.5
(13.1)
63.5
(17.5)
74.7
(23.7)
77.5
(25.3)
77.7
(25.4)
70.9
(21.6)
61.5
(16.4)
50.7
(10.4)
25.9
(−3.4)
55.53
(13.08)
Daily mean °F (°C) 9.9
(−12.3)
19.4
(−7)
34.9
(1.6)
40.2
(4.6)
48.3
(9.1)
57.5
(14.2)
62.9
(17.2)
61.8
(16.6)
54.0
(12.2)
42.5
(5.8)
32.1
(0.1)
14.0
(−10)
39.79
(4.34)
Average low °F (°C) −5.2
(−20.7)
4.5
(−15.3)
20.4
(−6.4)
24.8
(−4)
33.0
(0.6)
40.3
(4.6)
48.2
(9)
45.8
(7.7)
37.0
(2.8)
23.4
(−4.8)
13.4
(−10.3)
2.1
(−16.6)
23.98
(−4.45)
Record low °F (°C) −22
(−30)
−19
(−28)
−6
(−21)
8
(−13)
16
(−9)
27
(−3)
43
(6)
40
(4)
27
(−3)
10
(−12)
−4
(−20)
−21
(−29)
−22
(−30)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.58
(14.7)
0.62
(15.7)
0.58
(14.7)
0.90
(22.9)
1.64
(41.7)
2.74
(69.6)
1.42
(36.1)
1.45
(36.8)
0.54
(13.7)
0.30
(7.6)
0.15
(3.8)
0.22
(5.6)
11.14
(283)
Snowfall inches (cm) 11.4
(29)
13.5
(34.3)
10.3
(26.2)
3.8
(9.7)
0.7
(1.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
0.8
(2)
2.1
(5.3)
14.0
(35.6)
56.9
(144.5)
[citation needed]

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. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b c Bruce Finley (June 23, 2013). "West Fork fire complex at nearly 66,200 acres and feeding on beetle-ravaged forests". Denver Post. 
  7. ^ gazette.com
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links[edit]