The City of Cañon City is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Fremont County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 16,000 in 2005. Cañon City is famous for being the site of 9 state and 4 federal prisons. It straddles the Arkansas River, and is a popular tourist destination for Whitewater rafting and rock climbing.
In 1994, the Board on Geographic Names approved adding the tilde in the official name of Cañon City, a change from Canon City as the official name in decisions of 1906 and 1975.
Emory S. Land, U.S. Navy vice admiral and decorated hero, was born in Cañon City.
It is one of the very few U.S. cities to have an eñe in its name.
In 1861 the town raised two companies of volunteers for service with the Second Colorado Infantry in the American Civil War. The regiment fought battles in nearby New Mexico and as far east as Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) and Missouri before mustering out of service in 1865.
In 1862, A. M. Cassaday drilled for petroleum six miles north of town, near an oil seep. He struck oil at a depth of 50 feet, and completed the first commercial oil well west of the Mississippi. He drilled five or six more wells nearby, and refined kerosene and fuel oil from the petroleum, and sold the products in Denver.
A number of ore smelters were built in Cañon City following the discovery of gold at Cripple Creek in 1891.
There were 6,164 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 28.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 100.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,736, and the median income for a family was $42,917. Males had a median income of $31,258 versus $21,849 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,970. About 7.1% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.9% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.