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Walsenburg, Colorado

La Plaza de los Leones (Plaza of the Leons)
City of Walsenburg
Walsenburg with the Spanish Peaks in the background.
Walsenburg with the Spanish Peaks in the background.
Motto(s): 
"A great place to be! Welcome!"
Location of the City of Walsenburg in Huerfano County, Colorado.
Location of the City of Walsenburg in Huerfano County, Colorado.
Walsenburg, Colorado is located in the United States
Walsenburg, Colorado
Walsenburg, Colorado
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County Huerfano County
City Walsenburg
Incorporated June 16, 1873
Named for Fred Walsen
Government
 • Type Statutory City
Area
 • Total 2.99 sq mi (7.74 km2)
 • Land 2.99 sq mi (7.74 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
6,171 ft (1,881 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 3,068
 • Estimate 
(2019)
3,029
 • Density 1,013.04/sq mi (391.17/km2)
Demonym(s) Walsenburger
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code
81089
Area code(s) 719 Exchange: 738
FIPS code 08-82350
GNIS feature ID 0204806

The City of Walsenburg is the Statutory City that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Huerfano County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 3,068 at the 2010 census, down from 4,182 in 2000.

History

Walsenburg IWW Hall, post-raid, Walsenburg, Colorado, January 12, 1928.
Walsenburg shooting at the Walsenburg Industrial Workers of the World Hall on January 28, 1928

A post office called Walsenburg has been in operation since 1870. The community was named after Fred Walsen, an early settler.

Walsenburg is mentioned in the famous Woody Guthrie song, "Ludlow Massacre". The song recounts an attack by the Colorado National Guard and armed Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. Some two dozen people, including women and children, were killed. The town is also remembered in sports history due to a famous newspaper gaffe ("Will Overhead") after the 1933 Indianapolis 500.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, Walsenburg has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all of it land.

The Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center is located two miles (3 km) west of Walsenburg on US 160, opposite the entrance to Lathrop State Park. Inside the building, there are a state-operated veterans retirement home and a community hospital that serves the area.

Climate data for Walsenburg, Colorado (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 48.9
(9.4)
50.6
(10.3)
57.3
(14.1)
65.8
(18.8)
74.3
(23.5)
83.4
(28.6)
87.7
(30.9)
85.1
(29.5)
79.2
(26.2)
69.1
(20.6)
56.6
(13.7)
47.2
(8.4)
67.1
(19.5)
Average low °F (°C) 22.3
(−5.4)
22.9
(−5.1)
28.3
(−2.1)
34.7
(1.5)
43.2
(6.2)
51.4
(10.8)
57.3
(14.1)
56.1
(13.4)
48.2
(9.0)
37.6
(3.1)
28.8
(−1.8)
21.5
(−5.8)
37.7
(3.2)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.84
(21)
0.89
(23)
1.96
(50)
2.04
(52)
1.86
(47)
1.54
(39)
2.04
(52)
2.34
(59)
0.93
(24)
1.19
(30)
1.19
(30)
1.00
(25)
17.81
(452)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 12.7
(32)
13.4
(34)
19.8
(50)
14.6
(37)
2.6
(6.6)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.6
(1.5)
5.7
(14)
14.6
(37)
15.7
(40)
99.9
(254)
Source: NOAA

Local attractions and recreation

Lathrop State Park, located 2 miles (3.2 km) west of the city limits of Walsenburg, is the State of Colorado's first State Park and is over 1,600 acres (6.5 km2) in size. Two lakes, Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake offer fishing, stocked by the State of Colorado (Division of Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources), water skiing, boating, jet skiing, hiking, camping and is the only State Park in Colorado with a golf course.

The nearby Spanish Peaks are a national landmark and named one of Colorado's Seven Wonders by the Denver Post. The Highway of The Legends, connecting Walsenburg with La Veta, other historic mining towns, and Trinidad, is a National Scenic and Historic Byway,

The Walsenburg Golf Course is a 9-hole public golf course open for play year round. The City opened a two-million dollar water park, "Walsenburg Wild Waters" after efforts by former mayor Maurice Brau and the City Council, on May 27, 2007.

The Huerfano River Wind Farm, Colorado's largest producer of distributed generation (DG) power, is located ten miles north of Walsenburg, just off of Interstate 25. The farm uses Sany-made turbines and feeds into the San Isabel Electric Association grid. It is owned by Tamra-Tacoma Capital Partners, a New York-based investment firm.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 377
1890 928 146.2%
1900 1,033 11.3%
1910 2,423 134.6%
1920 3,565 47.1%
1930 5,503 54.4%
1940 5,855 6.4%
1950 5,596 −4.4%
1960 5,071 −9.4%
1970 4,329 −14.6%
1980 3,945 −8.9%
1990 3,300 −16.3%
2000 4,182 26.7%
2010 3,068 −26.6%
2019 (est.) 3,029 −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,182 people, 1,497 households, and 881 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,795.2 people per square mile (693.0/km2). There were 1,723 housing units at an average density of 739.6 per square mile (285.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.99% White, 4.78% African American, 3.35% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 12.46% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50.96% of the population.

There were 1,497 households, out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.4% 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 2.95.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.9% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 133.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 141.1 males.

Education

John Mall High School is the local high school. It is the only high school in Huerfano District Re-1. In the 2012–2013 school year, there was a total enrollment of 116 students. 56% of the enrollment was male and 44% was female. There was a student-to-teacher ratio of 14:1, which is lower than the Colorado state average of 16:1. 66% of the student body identified as a minority, with most of them being Hispanic. The state average of minority enrollment is 44%. 71% of the students came from an economically disadvantaged household. Over five years, the district has seen a 5% decrease in the number of students enrolled. The graduation rate is 53%, which is lower than the state average of 78%. Over five years, the graduation average in the district has fallen from 71% to 57%.

Notable people

Notable individuals who were born in or have lived in Walsenburg include:

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Walsenburg para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
African-American activists
Mary McLeod Bethune
Alberta Odell Jones
Audre Lorde
John Berry Meachum
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