Gunnison

Gunnison

Gunnison, river, 180 mi (290 km) long, rising in W central Colo. and flowing SW, W, and NW to the Colorado River at Grand Junction. It flows through magnificent canyons, notably the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a national park. Gunnison Tunnel, c.5 mi (8 km) long, was built between 1905 and 1909 to divert the river's water to the Uncompahgre Valley for irrigation.

Park, western Colorado, U.S. Comprising a narrow, deep gorge of the Gunnison River, the preserve, established as a national monument in 1933 and elevated to a national park in 1999, occupies an area of 51 sq mi (133 sq km). The canyon derives its name from its black-stained, lichen-covered walls, which accentuate the gloom of the chasm.

Learn more about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with a free trial on Britannica.com.

The historic City of Gunnison is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. As of the U.S. Census 2000, the city had a total population of 5,409. The city was named in honor of John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853.

Gunnison is the home of Western State College. The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport serves the valley and nearby Crested Butte, Colorado with both commercial airline and general aviation flights.

Weather

Gunnison is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location in the Rocky Mountains, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in winter in the United States, especially when snowpack is present. The average January low is -7°F , and the average July high is 81°F . The record low is -47°F set on December 25, 1924. The record high is 98°F, set on August 15, 1931.

The city typically experiences moderate snowfalls, with an average of 50 inches per year. Early fall and late spring snows are not uncommon and snow can remain on the ground in town from as early as November to as late as April. Surrounding mountains experience very heavy snowfall with longer periods of snow on the ground. Many locations average 300-400 inches of snow annually. The snow is welcome to the area, as it is beneficial to water supplies and local ski resorts. Total liquid precipitation averages nearly 11 inches per year in the city of Gunnison, while surrounding mountains may receive anywhere from 15 to over 40 inches annually, depending upon elevation and local topography.

History

After the killing of Curley Bill, the Earps left Arizona and headed to Colorado. In a stop over in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Wyatt and Holliday had a falling out but remained on fairly good terms. The group split up after that with Holliday heading to Pueblo and then Denver. The Earps and Texas Jack set up camp on the outskirts of Gunnison, Colorado, where they remained quiet at first, rarely going into town for supplies. Eventually, Wyatt took over a faro game at a local saloon.

Slowly all of the Earp assets in Tombstone were sold to pay for taxes, and the stake the family had amassed eroded. Wyatt and Warren joined Virgil in San Francisco in late 1882. While there, Wyatt rekindled a romance with Josie Marcus, Behan's one-time fiancée. His common-law wife, Mattie waited for him in Colton but eventually realized Wyatt was not coming back (Wyatt had left Mattie the house when he left Tombstone). Earp left San Francisco with Josie in 1883 and she became his companion for the next forty-six years (no marriage certificate has been found). Earp and Marcus returned to Gunnison where they settled down, where that state’s governor refused to extradite Wyatt back to Arizona on the grounds that he could not get a fair trial, and Earp continued to run a faro bank.

Gunnison isolated themselves from the surrounding area during the Spanish Influenza epidemic for two months at the end of 1918. All highways were barricaded near the county lines. Train conductors warned all passengers that if they stepped outside of the train in Gunnison, the would be arrested and quarantined for five days. As a result of the isolation, no one died of influenza in Gunnison during the epidemic.

Geography

Gunnison is located at 38°32'45" North, 106°55'54" West (38.545838, -106.931562) and altitude 7703 feet (2338 metres).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km²). All of it is land and none of it is covered by water. Gunnison is near both Taylor Reservoir and Spring Creek Reservoir. One can travel to Gunnison from the towns of Salida and Buena Vista by going over Monarch Pass.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,409 people, 2,083 households, and 904 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,684.6 people per square mile (650.6/km²). There were 2,276 housing units at an average density of 708.9/sq mi (273.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.49% White, 0.78% African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.79% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.91% of the population.

There were 2,083 households out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.3% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.6% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.1% under the age of 18, 39.0% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 13.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 120.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 122.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,768, and the median income for a family was $41,761. Males had a median income of $27,016 versus $21,194 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,196. About 10.1% of families and 24.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

In the media

Gunnison is the setting of the science fiction film Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, although the film was actually shot in the towns of Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, British Columbia.

See also

References

External links

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