Buena Vista, Colorado facts for kids

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Town of Buena Vista, Colorado
Statutory Town
Motto: "8,000 Feet Above Average"
Location in Chaffee County and the State of Colorado
Location in Chaffee County and the State of Colorado
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County Chaffee County
Incorporated November 8, 1879
Area
 • Total 3.4 sq mi (8.9 km2)
 • Land 3.4 sq mi (8.9 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 7,965 ft (2,428 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,617
 • Density 762/sq mi (294.0/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 81211
Area code(s) 719
INCITS place code 0810105
GNIS feature ID 0189268
Website www.buenavistaco.gov
Buena Vista, Colorado
Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks
Mount Princeton (Colorado) - 2006-05
Mount Princeton (Colorado) - 2006-05

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 2,617 at the 2010 United States Census.

History

The Arkansas River Valley and the area of what would become Buena Vista was first settled in 1864 by settlers drawn to the area by the plentiful water which made the land suitable for agriculture. By 1880, the county seat had moved from Granite to Buena Vista, but by 1928 Salida had a larger population so the county seat was moved once again. By 1894, Buena Vista had electricity, telephone service, street lights, parks, cemeteries, and schools. Travelers, speculators, and miners traveling up the Arkansas Valley towards Leadville made Buena Vista a popular stagecoach stop, and railroad depot following the 1890s. While certainly experiencing economic ups and downs, the valley's agricultural economy has made the area more resistant to the 'boom, bust' cycle of mining towns.

Buena Vista is located in central Colorado roughly midway between Salida and Leadville in the Upper Arkansas River Valley at an elevation of 7,965 feet (2,428 m). The area between Buena Vista and Salida is often referred to as the Denver & Rio Grande, South Park & Pacific, and Colorado Midland railroads. Many of the existing buildings of Buena Vista date back to this era, and were built in the 1880s and 1890s.

The name "Buena Vista", Spanish for "Beautiful View", can often be heard pronounced locally as "Biewna Vista". This Americanized pronunciation was specified by Alsina Dearheimer, who chose this name for the town, which was officially selected over other names (Cottonwood, Mahonville) on the occasion of the town's incorporation. Alternate pronunciations include "Bwena Veesta" (Spanish pronunciation) and simply "Biewnie." Many residents simply refer to the town as "BV".

Climate

Buena Vista has a Semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk), with cold, dry winters and warm, somewhat wetter summers. Altitude and dryness cause the diurnal temperature variation to be high year-round.

Climate data for Buena Vista 2S, Colorado (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(21.7)
67
(19.4)
71
(21.7)
89
(31.7)
92
(33.3)
105
(40.6)
102
(38.9)
94
(34.4)
96
(35.6)
85
(29.4)
73
(22.8)
69
(20.6)
105
(40.6)
Average high °F (°C) 40.3
(4.61)
42.4
(5.78)
48.7
(9.28)
55.8
(13.22)
66.0
(18.89)
76.9
(24.94)
81.9
(27.72)
78.6
(25.89)
71.9
(22.17)
61.1
(16.17)
48.5
(9.17)
39.5
(4.17)
59.2
(15.11)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.3
(-3.72)
27.9
(-2.28)
34.7
(1.5)
41.0
(5)
50.5
(10.28)
59.8
(15.44)
65.0
(18.33)
62.6
(17)
55.1
(12.83)
44.5
(6.94)
33.7
(0.94)
25.2
(-3.78)
43.8
(6.56)
Average low °F (°C) 10.4
(-12)
13.3
(-10.39)
20.6
(-6.33)
26.2
(-3.22)
35.0
(1.67)
42.7
(5.94)
48.2
(9)
46.6
(8.11)
38.3
(3.5)
28.0
(-2.22)
18.9
(-7.28)
10.8
(-11.78)
28.3
(-2.06)
Record low °F (°C) −37
(-38.3)
−31
(-35)
−24
(-31.1)
-9
(-22.8)
6
(-14.4)
20
(-6.7)
25
(-3.9)
25
(-3.9)
15
(-9.4)
-2
(-18.9)
−23
(-30.6)
−31
(-35)
−37
(-38.3)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.29
(7.4)
0.40
(10.2)
0.69
(17.5)
0.95
(24.1)
1.07
(27.2)
0.89
(22.6)
1.56
(39.6)
2.01
(51.1)
1.01
(25.7)
0.86
(21.8)
0.41
(10.4)
0.40
(10.2)
10.34
(262.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 4.6
(11.7)
5.4
(13.7)
8.6
(21.8)
5.6
(14.2)
2.4
(6.1)
Trace 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.8
(4.6)
4.4
(11.2)
6.2
(15.7)
45.0
(114.3)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 4 4 6 6 7 8 12 13 8 5 4 4 79
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 3 4 5 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 5 32
Source: NOAA (extremes 1905–present)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,141
1900 1,006
1910 1,041 3.5%
1920 903 −13.3%
1930 751 −16.8%
1940 779 3.7%
1950 783 0.5%
1960 1,806 130.7%
1970 1,962 8.6%
1980 2,075 5.8%
1990 1,752 −15.6%
2000 2,195 25.3%
2010 2,617 19.2%
Est. 2015 2,760 5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Chaffee County Courthouse and Jail Buildings
Chaffee County Courthouse and Jail Buildings
Pm000550
Birdseye view of Buena Vista, Colorado ~ 1882

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,195 people, 978 households, and 622 families residing in the town. The population density was 638.6 people per square mile (246.4/km²). There were 1,124 housing units at an average density of 327.0 per square mile (126.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.81% Caucasian, 0.09% African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.73% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.74% of the population.

There were 978 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,800, and the median income for a family was $40,455. Males had a median income of $32,841 versus $25,486 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,920. About 9.4% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.1% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

U.S. Route 24 is an east-west highway running from Clarkston, Michigan, to its intersection with Interstate 70 near Minturn, Colorado. Its western terminus is located just 64 miles (103 km) north of Buena Vista.

The short segment between US 50 at Poncha Springs and US 24 at Buena Vista was originally U.S. Route 650, designated in 1926. US 285 was commissioned in 1936 along its present extent from Sanderson, Texas, to Denver, mostly replacing state-numbered highways.

Chaffee County Road 306 leaves Buena Vista and travels west to the summit of Cottonwood Pass (elevation 12,126 feet / 3,696 meters). This road is closed during the snowy months, typically late October to April or May, but when open allows travelers a more direct route to Gunnison and Crested Butte than US 50 crossing Monarch Pass to the south of town.


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