Location of Guffey in Park County, Colorado.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Elevation||8,890 ft (2,710 m)|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||2629988|
Guffey is a census-designated place and a U.S. Post Office located in southeast Park County, Colorado, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 98. The Guffey Post Office has the ZIP Code 80820.
Rocks from two distinct times in Earth's history, the Precambrian and the Paleogene, are exposed in the area. The Precambrian rocks, comprising both igneous intrusive and metamorphic rocks over one billion years old, host mineral deposits of minor economic significance. The relatively much younger Paleogene rocks were erupted by the Guffey volcanic center of the Thirtynine Mile volcanic area about 34 million years ago and are associated with the fossil deposits at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
The town was the center of activity for the Freshwater mining district, a minor producer of copper, lead, zinc, mica, feldspar, and other minerals, including traces of gold and silver. Activity and population peaked between the years 1895 and 1902, with over 500 residents and 40 businesses in the town. Cattle ranching and lumber operations supplemented the mining activity.
In January 2001, the bodies of three members of the Dutcher family were found near Guffey; all had been murdered. Three teenagers were convicted of the crime. The boys had formed a group that took on aspects of a paramilitary organization, and one of them claimed that the murders were part of a plan to fight insurrection in the country of Guyana. The brutal nature of the crime and its bizarre motive attracted national attention.
The town is perhaps less famous for its annual Fourth of July Chicken Fly, a tradition which lasted for twenty-six years, but ending in 2016. At the chicken-fly, small chickens were released from a velvet-lined mailbox atop a ten-foot-high (3.04 m) platform; prizes were awarded for those chickens that flew the greatest distance.
In 1907, a 309 kilogram meteorite was found near Guffey by two cowboys, although the exact location was not recorded. To date, this is the largest meteorite ever recovered in the state of Colorado. It is classified as an ungrouped iron meteorite, sometimes considered an ataxite due to its high nickel content and lack of Widmanstätten patterns. Most of the meteorite resides in New York City at the American Museum of Natural History, although the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has acquired a slice. No samples are available for public viewing in Guffey itself.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Guffey, Colorado
- Colorado Trend Report 2: State and Complete Places (Sub-state 2010 Census Data). Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed 2011-02-25.
- Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme, 12th ed. 2015, p. 61 ISBN 0899332889
- Veatch, Steven W.; Alfrey, Dan; Beckwith, Jo; Blair, Becky; Peterson, Chris L.; Johnston, Wayne; Hammond, Maury; Loest, Maury (November 8–9, 2008). "Mineral Strike to Meteor Strike: Guffey and the Freshwater Mining District". Abstracts of the 29th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium. New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- Avila, Jim; Berman, Thomas (August 19, 2009). "Bizarre Triple Homicide May Have Been Cult Killing". ABC News. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- Eastburn, Kathryn (2007). Simon Says: A True Story of Boys, Guns, and Murder. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0306815522.
- Denver Post Claire Martin, The Denver Post Published: July 3, 2010
- Peterson, Chris (2002). "The Guffey Meteorite". Cloudbait Observatory. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- "Guffey". Meteoritical Bulletin Database. The Meteoritical Society. Retrieved September 24, 2013.