The City of Fountain is a Home Rule Municipality located in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Fountain is located just ten miles (16 km) south of Colorado Springs and just east of Fort Carson. Fountain and the Colorado Springs suburbs Security and Widefield make up the "Fountain Valley" community. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 19,081. In 1999, Fountain was chosen as "America's Millennium City" by the New York Times based on the city's proximity to national census statistics and qualitative research on what American life was actually like at the turn of the last century. Fountain was named an "All-America City" in 2002 by the National Civic League. The city is the home of Pikes Peak International Raceway.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.0 square miles (36.3 km²), of which, 14.0 square miles (36.3 km²) of it is land and 0.07% is water. The eponymous Fountain Creek flows south through the city.
There were 5,039 households out of which 49.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.7% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.4% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the city the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 5.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,121, and the median income for a family was $44,735. Males had a median income of $31,192 versus $24,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,975. About 5.9% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 14.7% of those age 65 or over.
The "blast" from the collision created a very loud explosion that could be heard from miles away. The crash destroyed a nearby church, a grocery store and created a large crater in the ground forty feet in diameter and fifteen feet deep.
The cause of the wreck was attributed to a pair of unruly vagrants who were kicked-off of the freight train north of Fountain in Colorado Springs. After an investigation by The Rocky Mountain News, it was later reported that one of the two vagrants murdered a third man, Frank Shipman, on the freight train. Shipman, who had only one leg, was returning from visiting his brother in Pueblo, Colorado. The unidentified vagrants and Shipman had been arguing and Shipman was struck hard in the head killing him. The men attempted to somehow dispose of Shipman's dead body and cover-up the crime by disconnecting the train car Shipman's body was in sending it down the railroad tracks. The train car Shipman's body was in, three other train cars carrying the explosive naphtha and the caboose of the freight train were disconnected by the men and sent southbound towards Fountain. Meanwhile, a passenger train was traveling northbound on the same tracks. The collision followed. Thirty riders on board the northbound passenger train were able to escape the locomotive before the collision thanks to a frantic warning from the conductor. Twenty-eight people were injured. The vagrants suspected at the root of Shipman's murder and the train wreck were never found and no one was ever charged with a crime.
It is widely believed by local residents that the subsequent damage from the accident cost Fountain the city's bid for Colorado's state capital, which eventually went to Denver. The state capital committee visiting candidate Colorado cities could not travel to Fountain within a comfortable time frame because of the wreck.