Idaho Springs, Colorado

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City of Idaho Springs, Colorado
Statutory City
Idaho Springs as seen from the surrounding mountains.
Idaho Springs as seen from the surrounding mountains.
Location of Idaho Springs in Clear Creek County, Colorado.
Location of Idaho Springs in Clear Creek County, Colorado.
Coordinates: 39°44′33″N 105°30′52″W / 39.74250°N 105.51444°W / 39.74250; -105.51444
Country United States
State   State of Colorado
County Clear Creek County [1]
Founded 1859
Incorporated 1885-11-15 [2]
Government
 • Type Statutory City [1]
 • Mayor Michael Hillman [3]
Area [4]
 • Total 2.20 sq mi (5.69 km2)
 • Land 2.17 sq mi (5.61 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.09 km2)
Elevation [5] 7,526 ft (2,294 m)
Population ( 2010)
 • Total 1,717
 • Estimate (2016) [6] 1,746
 • Density 806.09/sq mi (311.26/km2)
Time zone MST ( UTC-7)
 • Summer ( DST) MDT ( UTC-6)
ZIP code [7] 80452
Area code(s) 303 Exchange: 567 and 720
FIPS code 08-38370
GNIS feature ID 204710
Website www.colorado.gov/idahosprings

The City of Idaho Springs is a Statutory City that is the most populous municipality in Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,717. [8] Idaho Springs is located in Clear Creek Canyon, in the mountains upstream from Golden, some 30 miles (48 km) west of Denver. Local legend is that the name of the city derived from annual visits to the radium hot springs made by a Native American chief and his tribe who journeyed there each year from Idaho to bathe in the magic healing waters.

Founded in 1859 by prospectors during the early days of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, the town was at the center of the region's mining district throughout the late nineteenth century. The Argo Tunnel drained and provided access to many lodes of ore between Idaho Springs and Central City. During the late twentieth century, the town evolved into a tourist center along U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 40, which ascend Clear Creek Canyon through the historic mining district.

The town today is squeezed along the north side of Interstate 70, with a historical downtown in the central portion, a strip of tourist-related businesses on its eastern end, and mostly residences on its western end. It also serves as a bedroom community for workers at the Loveland Ski Area farther up the canyon. The town today is the largest community in Clear Creek County, but, for historical reasons, the county seat has remained at Georgetown.

History

On January 5, 1859, during the Colorado gold rush, prospector George A. Jackson discovered placer gold at the present site of Idaho Springs, where Chicago Creek empties into Clear Creek. It was the first substantial gold discovery in Colorado. Jackson, a Missouri native with experience in the California gold fields, was drawn to the area by clouds of steam rising from some nearby hot springs. Jackson kept his find secret for several months, but after he paid for some supplies with gold dust, others rushed to Jackson's diggings. [9] The location was originally known as "Jackson's Diggings". Once the location became a permanent settlement, it was variously called "Sacramento City", "Idahoe", "Idaho City", and finally "Idaho Springs". [10]

The first placer discoveries were soon followed by discoveries of gold veins in the rocks of the canyon walls on both sides of Clear Creek. Hard rock mining became the mainstay of the town long after the gold-bearing gravels were exhausted.

A strike by Idaho Springs miners demanding the eight-hour day in May 1903 erupted into violence. This was a local struggle in a much broader fight called the Colorado Labor Wars.

The 1969 film Downhill Racer portrayed an alpine ski racer from Idaho Springs, played by Robert Redford; a brief scene was shot on location in Idaho Springs. Several scenes from the comedy film The Overbrook Brothers were filmed here in the spring of 2008.

Geography

Idaho Springs is located in northeastern Clear Creek County at 39°44′33″N 105°30′52″W / 39.74250°N 105.51444°W / 39.74250; -105.51444 (39.742456, -105.514391), [11] along Clear Creek near the confluence of its tributary, Chicago Creek.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which 0.03 square miles (0.09 km2), or 1.53%, is water. [8]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 229
1880 733 220.1%
1890 1,338 82.5%
1900 2,502 87.0%
1910 2,154 −13.9%
1920 1,192 −44.7%
1930 1,207 1.3%
1940 2,112 75.0%
1950 1,769 −16.2%
1960 1,480 −16.3%
1970 2,003 35.3%
1980 2,077 3.7%
1990 1,834 −11.7%
2000 1,889 3.0%
2010 1,717 −9.1%
Est. 2016 1,746 [6] 1.7%
U.S. Decennial Census [12]
Colorado and Southern Railroad locomotive on exhibit in Idaho Springs

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,717 people and 934 housing units. [8] As of the census of 2000, [13] there were 485 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,820.1 inhabitants per square mile (702.7/km2). There were 904 housing units at an average density of 871.0 per square mile (336.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.71% White, 0.74% Black or African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 1.54% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 5.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 841 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% 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 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 105.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,643, and the median income for a family was $48,790. Males had a median income of $35,446 versus $22,688 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,789. About 2.2% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Idaho Springs Public Schools are part of the Clear Creek School District RE-1. There are two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one charter school. Students attend Clear Creek High School.

Carlson Elementary School is located in Idaho Springs.

Roslin Marshall is the Interim Superintendent of Schools. [14]

Climate

Climate data for Idaho Springs, Colorado (Elevation 7,555ft)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
(17)
67
(19)
73
(23)
78
(26)
89
(32)
95
(35)
93
(34)
91
(33)
92
(33)
83
(28)
73
(23)
66
(19)
95
(35)
Average high °F (°C) 38.8
(3.8)
40.9
(4.9)
45.5
(7.5)
53.6
(12)
62.1
(16.7)
72.8
(22.7)
77.4
(25.2)
76.1
(24.5)
69.8
(21)
59.3
(15.2)
47.3
(8.5)
39.9
(4.4)
57.0
(13.9)
Average low °F (°C) 15.1
(−9.4)
16.0
(−8.9)
19.8
(−6.8)
27.0
(−2.8)
34.4
(1.3)
41.8
(5.4)
47.6
(8.7)
46.4
(8)
39.1
(3.9)
30.4
(−0.9)
22.3
(−5.4)
16.5
(−8.6)
29.7
(−1.3)
Record low °F (°C) −32
(−36)
−29
(−34)
−23
(−31)
−6
(−21)
8
(−13)
23
(−5)
28
(−2)
28
(−2)
14
(−10)
−5
(−21)
−21
(−29)
−24
(−31)
−32
(−36)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.33
(8.4)
0.50
(12.7)
0.90
(22.9)
1.78
(45.2)
1.94
(49.3)
1.50
(38.1)
2.59
(65.8)
2.05
(52.1)
1.36
(34.5)
0.99
(25.1)
0.64
(16.3)
0.47
(11.9)
15.05
(382.3)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 5.4
(13.7)
8.5
(21.6)
12.3
(31.2)
15.1
(38.4)
5.2
(13.2)
0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.9
(4.8)
7.4
(18.8)
8.6
(21.8)
7.2
(18.3)
72.0
(182.9)
Source: The Western Regional Climate Center [15]

Gallery

Notable people

Points of interest


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