Del Norte, Colorado

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Town of Del Norte, Colorado
Del Norte from the summit of Lookout Mountain with the Sangre de Cristo Range in the background.
Del Norte from the summit of Lookout Mountain with the Sangre de Cristo Range in the background.
Location of Del Norte in Rio Grande County, Colorado.
Location of Del Norte in Rio Grande County, Colorado.
Coordinates: 37°40′42″N 106°21′14″W / 37.678447°N 106.353931°W / 37.678447; -106.353931Coordinates: 37°40′42″N 106°21′14″W / 37.678447°N 106.353931°W / 37.678447; -106.353931[4]
Country United States
State State of Colorado
CountyRio Grande County Seat[1]
Incorporated1895-11-15[2]
Government
 • TypeStatutory Town[1]
Area
 • Total1.01 sq mi (2.61 km2)
 • Land1.01 sq mi (2.61 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation7,884 ft (2,403 m)
Population
 • Total1,686
 • Estimate 
(2016)[7]
1,598
 • Density1,586.89/sq mi (612.42/km2)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code[6]
81132
Area code(s)719
FIPS code08-19795
GNIS feature ID0190305
Websitewww.delnortecolorado.com

The Town of Del Norte is the Statutory Town that is the county seat of Rio Grande County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 1,705 at the 2000 census.

History[edit]

Del Norte is named from the river Rio Grande del Norte, "grand river of the north".[8] The Utes were the first people to live here, particularly in the summers because of the abundance of wild game, plants, water, and timber in the area. However, winters were too cold and harsh for them to settle permanently. Under Mexican jurisdiction, some Hispanic families moved into the area in the early to mid-19th century as part of land grants to help the Mexican government occupy the territory, but no large-scale settlements could be established because the Utes were very weary of settlement, and would chase off many people who attempted to do so. The most successful early settlement was called 'La Loma', established a few miles east of where the current town-site is today. This area was chosen because there was a particular section of the Rio Grande here where it could be crossed safely and easily. American settlement began in the early 1870s by prospectors who were searching the nearby mountains for minerals such as gold and silver, particularly near Bennett Peak. The San Juan Mountains were one of the last regions in Colorado where miners were allowed to explore and prospect for minerals, but were finally able to do so after the Brunot Treaty was signed between the U.S. government and the Utes. Once the mines near Summitville proved profitable, Del Norte was officially established around 1874 in order to serve as a base camp for the mines not just in Summitville, but also in nearby Creede and Lake City. Miners quickly moved into the area, and they were followed by ranchers and farmers - many of these original ranching families still operate and live in the Del Norte area to this day. After the Sherman Act was repealed in 1893, mining operations quickly became unprofitable and ceased. The 'glory days' of Del Norte ended as quickly as they began, but the community still survived because of ranching and agriculture.[9] There were talks in southern Colorado throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s to secede from the state of Colorado and create the state of San Juan, with Del Norte acting as this proposed state's capital city, however this secession movement died quickly. Del Norte would see cycles of boom and bust throughout the 20th century, but has recently become a blossoming community due to the abundance of recreational activities provided by the area's unique geography; such as mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. Del Norte is also one of the communities which provides lodging for nearby Wolf Creek Ski Area. Grande Avenue, the main street through Del Norte, still has many of the facades on its store fronts from the 1800s, reminding its residents and tourists of the town's historic past.

Geography[edit]

Del Norte Peak rises above the town to the west.

Del Norte is located at 37°40′44″N 106°21′11″W / 37.67889°N 106.35306°W / 37.67889; -106.35306 (37.679015, -106.352976),[10] where the Rio Grande leaves the San Juan Mountains and enters the San Luis Valley, near its confluences with Pinos Creek and San Francisco Creek, respectively. Del Norte is located on the western edge of the San Luis Valley, which means that a variety of climates, vegetation regions, and ecosystems transition into each other at or near Del Norte. Lookout Mountain, also known to locals as 'D' Mountain, overlooks Del Norte at an official elevation of 8,475 feet above sea level, and is perhaps the most notable landmark of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880729
18907361.0%
1900705−4.2%
191084019.1%
19201,00719.9%
19301,41040.0%
19401,92336.4%
19502,0486.5%
19601,856−9.4%
19701,569−15.5%
19801,7098.9%
19901,674−2.0%
20001,7051.9%
20101,686−1.1%
Est. 20161,598[7]−5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 1,705 people, 657 households, and 446 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,004.4 people per square mile (774.5/km²). There were 736 housing units at an average density of 865.2 per square mile (334.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 66.86% White, 0.12% African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 27.68% from other races, and 3.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 57.36% of the population.

There were 657 households out of which 35.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the town, the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,833, and the median income for a family was $29,471. Males had a median income of $26,161 versus $21,406 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,751. About 22.1% of families and 25.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.5% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Del Norte, Colorado (Elevation 7,884ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 61
(16)
68
(20)
73
(23)
80
(27)
87
(31)
91
(33)
91
(33)
89
(32)
87
(31)
81
(27)
70
(21)
62
(17)
91
(33)
Average high °F (°C) 35.2
(1.8)
40.1
(4.5)
48.9
(9.4)
58.2
(14.6)
67.0
(19.4)
75.4
(24.1)
78.7
(25.9)
76.6
(24.8)
71.5
(21.9)
62.1
(16.7)
47.7
(8.7)
37.0
(2.8)
58.2
(14.6)
Average low °F (°C) 5.7
(−14.6)
11.3
(−11.5)
19.1
(−7.2)
26.7
(−2.9)
34.8
(1.6)
41.9
(5.5)
47.7
(8.7)
46.2
(7.9)
39.1
(3.9)
29.6
(−1.3)
18.0
(−7.8)
8.2
(−13.2)
27.4
(−2.6)
Record low °F (°C) −34
(−37)
−25
(−32)
−16
(−27)
−4
(−20)
10
(−12)
26
(−3)
32
(0)
30
(−1)
15
(−9)
2
(−17)
−20
(−29)
−26
(−32)
−34
(−37)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.33
(8.4)
0.33
(8.4)
0.67
(17)
0.70
(18)
0.82
(21)
0.65
(17)
1.45
(37)
1.70
(43)
0.99
(25)
0.80
(20)
0.50
(13)
0.45
(11)
9.39
(239)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.8
(15)
5.4
(14)
7.5
(19)
4.5
(11)
1.3
(3.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.51)
2.7
(6.9)
5.6
(14)
6.6
(17)
39.7
(101)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center[13]

Notable people born here[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Archived from the original on 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  3. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on November 23, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2007.
  7. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 103.
  9. ^ Colville, Ruth Marie (1995). Mt. Lookout: Where You Can See for Two Days. Del Norte, CO: Benson Enterprises. ASIN B0043FGL1K.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  13. ^ "Seasonal Temperature and Precipitation Information". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 18, 2013.

External links[edit]