Villages were variable in size and architectural content, but most included circular, often subterranean structures known as kivas (apparently a derivation of the pit house) and storage pits for grains. Prior to the 14th and 15th cent., densely settled villages were more the exception than the rule. Large pueblos were found at Chaco Canyon, dating to the 11th and early 12th cent., and at Mesa Verde, where multistoried cliff houses were inhabited in the 13th and 14th cent.; a great lunar observatory was built at Chimney Rock, S Colo., in the 11th cent. Changing climatic conditions forced the abandonment of much of the region by the early 14th cent., with populations migrating to their present-day locations in the Rio Grande valley and a few other isolated areas (e.g., the Hopi mesas).
Initial contact with European populations came in the 16th cent., when Spaniards entered the Rio Grande area. The seven Zuñi towns were reported by the Franciscan Marcos de Niza to be the fabulous Seven Cities of Cibola, leading to the first intensive contacts—a Spanish exploration party under Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540. Due to increasing pressure on the existing food supplies, the initially friendly Pueblo became hostile and then revolted; their resistance ended in a mass execution of Native Americans by Coronado. In 1598 Juan de Oñate began full-scale missionary work and moved the provincial headquarters of the Spanish colonial government to Santa Fe. By 1630, 60,000 Pueblo had been converted to Christianity, and 90 villages had chapels, according to Father de Benavides.
Determined to put an end to the suffering caused by their Spanish oppressors, the Pueblo staged a successful revolt in 1680. Popé, a medicine man, led a band of Pueblo who killed 380 settlers and 31 missionaries and forced the remaining Spaniards to retreat to El Paso. However, the Pueblo lost 347 of their number in one attack on Santa Fe. Fearing Spanish reprisal, villages were abandoned for better fortified sites. In 1692 De Vargas, with the cooperation of some Pueblo leaders, reconquered the Pueblo in New Mexico. The Western Pueblo, however, including the Hopi, remained independent.
The Pueblo have the oldest settlements N of Mexico, dating back 700 years for the still-occupied Hopi, Zuñi, and Acoma pueblos. The Europeans who settled in the Southwest adopted the adobe structures and compact village plans of the Pueblo. The Pueblo, for their part, adopted many domestic animals and assorted crafts from the Old World, including blacksmithing and woodworking.
The Pueblo speak languages of at least two different families. Languages of the Tanoan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock (see Native American languages) are spoken at 11 pueblos, including Taos, Isleta, Jemez, San Juan, San Ildefonso, and the Hopi pueblo of Hano. Languages of the Keresan branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock also are limited to Pueblo people—Western Keresan, spoken at Acoma and Laguna, and Eastern Keresan, at San Felipe, Santa Ana, Sia, Cochiti, and Santo Domingo. The Hopi language, which belongs to the Uto-Aztecan branch of the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock, is spoken at all Hopi pueblos except Hano. The Zuñi language may be connected with Tanoan, falling within the Aztec-Tanoan linguistic stock.
Among the modern Pueblo, men are the weavers and women make pottery and assist in house construction. The status of women among both the Western and the Eastern Pueblo is high, but there are differences related to the different social systems of each. The Western Pueblo, including the Hano, Zuñi, Acoma, Laguna, and, the best known, the Hopi, have exogamous clans with a matrilineal emphasis and matrilocal residence, and the houses and gardens are owned by women; the kachina cult emphasizes weather control, and the Pueblo who follow this cult are governed by a council of clan representatives. Among the Eastern Pueblo, there are bilateral extended families, patrilineal clans, and male-owned houses and land; warfare and hunting as well as healing and exorcism are more important than among the Western Pueblo.
The Spanish added new elements to the government in the form of civil officers, but the de facto government and ceremonial organization remained native. The Bureau of Indian Affairs introduced elected officials in Santa Clara, Laguna, Zuñi, and Isleta, and the Hopi have an elected council on the tribal level. The Kachina and other secret societies dealing with war, agriculture, and healing still carry out their complicated rituals and dances: for some occasions, the public is invited. In 1990 there were some 55,000 Pueblo in the United States, the largest groups being the Hopi, Zuñi, Laguna, and Acoma.
See E. P. Dozier, The Pueblo Indians of North America (1970); R. Silverberg, The Pueblo Revolt (1970); J. U. Terrell, Pueblos, Gods, and Spaniards (1973); A. Ortiz, ed., Handbook of Indians of North America: Vol. 9, Southwest (1979); L. Cordell, Prehistory of the Southwest (1984).
Taos Pueblo, N.M., with domed oven in the foreground.
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The Cliff Palace, which has 150 rooms, 23 kivas, and several towers, at Mesa Verde National Park in elipsis
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Pueblo is situated at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The area is considered to be semi-arid with approximately 14 inches (350 mm) of precipitation annually; however with its location in the "banana belt," Pueblo tends to get less snow than the other major cities in Colorado. Pueblo is the heart of the Pueblo Metropolitan Statistical Area and an important part of the Front Range Urban Corridor.. Many consider Pueblo to be the economic hub of southeastern Colorado and northern New Mexico. Because of this some people call Pueblo "Colorado's second city," although Pueblo is no longer the second largest city by population. Pueblo is one of the largest steel-producing cities in the United States, because of this Pueblo is referred to as the "Steel City." It is now home to a number of electronics and aviation companies. The Historic Arkansas River Project (HARP) is a beautiful river walk that graces the historic Union Avenue district. It shows the history of the Pueblo Flood.
Pueblo is the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients - Drew D. Dix, Raymond G. Murphy, William J. Crawford, and Carl L. Sitter. President Dwight D. Eisenhower upon presenting Raymond G. "Jerry" Murphy with his Medal in 1953 commented, "What is it...something in the water out there in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes!". In 1993, The City Council adopted the tagline "Home of Heroes" because it can claim more recipients per capita than any other city in the United States. On July 1, 1993, the Congressional Record recognized Pueblo as the "Home of Heroes" (http://www.pueblo.org/homeofheroes/. There is a memorial to the recipients of the medal at the Pueblo Convention Center. Central High School is known as the "School of Heroes", as it is the alma mater of two recipients, Sitter and Crawford, more than any other high school in the country.
Pueblo is the home to Colorado's largest single event, the Colorado State Fair, held annually in the late summer, and the largest parade, the state fair parade, as well as and an annual Chili Festival.
The National Street Rod Association's Rocky Mountain Street Rod Nationals have been held in Pueblo for 23 years, and this is the region's largest and premier street rod event.
The highways U.S. Highway 50 and Interstate 25 cross each other at Pueblo, possibly making it the second most important intersection in the state, after I-70 and I-25 in Denver. The local airport, Pueblo Memorial Airport, lies to the east of the city. It is home to the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum (named for Fred Weisbrod, late city manager), reflecting the airport's beginnings as an Army Air Corps base in 1943. Pueblo Transit provides bus service six days a week throughout the city. Due to the growth of the Pueblo Metro Area they are considering forming a regional transportation district so they can serve some of Pueblo's fastest growing suburbs.
Pueblo may be best known as the home of the Federal Citizen Information Center, operated by the General Services Administration, and its Consumer Information Catalog. For some 30 years, public service announcements have invited Americans to write for information at "Pueblo, Colorado, 81009" (though the official address is Post Office Box 100). In recent times GSA has incorporated Pueblo into FCIC's toll-free telephone number (1-888-8 PUEBLO) and web address (www.pueblo.gsa.gov).
The Pueblo city council is in the process of annexing over north of Pueblo, owned by a Las Vegas development company, to be called the Pueblo Springs Ranch. This development has the potential of being one of the largest planned communities in the country, and will nearly double Pueblo's land area. According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the development will include residential area as well as a major tech park.
Pueblo is becoming the regions renewable energy capitol. Vestas just announced they will build the largest plant in the world that manufactures wind turbines at Pueblo's industrial park at close to 700,000 square feet. Also, AEHI along with other companies want to build a 21,000 acer energy park east of Pueblo and would be the largest of its kind in the U.S.A. It will include nuclear, solar, natural gas, wind turbines and hydroelectric power plants as well as manufacturing companies who want to be located next to major sources of power. The park will be called the Colorado Energy Park and the cost to build it will be close to 10 billion dollars. Here is a link to the Wall Street Journal article on it: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/aehi-agrees-negotiate-contract-colorado/story.aspx?guid=%7B878490D1-F273-4B8B-A30D-50B21F77EC9F%7D&dist=hppr
George Simpson, among other traders and trappers such as Mathew Kinkead, claimed to have helped construct the plaza that became known as El Pueblo or Fort Pueblo around 1842. George married Juana Maria Suaso and lived there for a year or two before moving; however, Simpson had no legal title to the land. The adobe structures were built with the intention of settlement and trade next to the Arkansas River, which then formed the U.S./Mexico border. About a dozen families lived there, trading with Native American tribes for hides, skins, livestock, as well as (later) cultivated plants, and liquor. Evidence of this trade, as well as other utilitarian goods, such as Native American pottery shards were found at the recently excavated site. According to accounts of residents who traded at the plaza (including that of George Simpson), the fort was raided sometime between December 23 and December 25, 1854, by Native American Ute Tribe and Jacarilla Apache tribes. They allegedly killed between fifteen and nineteen men, one woman, and captured two children. The trading post was abandoned after the raid, but it became important again between 1858 and 1859 during the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859.
The current city of Pueblo represents the consolidation of four towns: Pueblo (incorporated 1870), South Pueblo (incorporated 1873), Central Pueblo (incorporated 1882), and Bessemer (incorporated 1886). Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo legally consolidated as the City of Pueblo between March 9 and April 6 of 1886. Bessemer joined Pueblo in 1894.
The consolidated city was once a major economic and social center of Colorado, and was home to important early Colorado families the Thatchers, Ormans and Adams. Until a series of major floods culminated in the Great Flood of 1921, Pueblo was considered the 'Saddle-Making capital of the World'. Roughly one-third of Pueblo's downtown businesses were lost in this flood, along with a substantial number of buildings. Pueblo has long struggled to come to grips with this loss, and has only recently begun a resurgence in growth.
The economic situation of Pueblo was further exacerbated by the decline of American steel in the 1970s and 1980s, and Pueblo still actively seeks to diversify its economic base. The City features a river walk, extensive trail system, industrial park, and revitalized downtown area to this effect.
Of the many production and fabrication mills which once existed on the site, only the steel production (electric furnaces, used for scrap recycling), rail, rod, bar, and seamless tube mills are still in operation. The wire mill was sold in the late 1990s to Davis Wire, which still produces products such as fence and nails under the CF&I brand name.
The facility operated blast furnaces until 1982, when the bottom fell out of the steel market. The main blast furnace structures were torn down in 1989, but due to asbestos content, many of the adjacent stoves still remain. The stoves and foundations for some of the furnaces can be easily seen from Interstate 25, which runs parallel to the plant's west boundary.
Several of the administration buildings, including the main office building, dispensary, and tunnel gatehouse were purchased in 2003 by the Bessemer Historical Society. They are currently undergoing renovation. In addition to housing the historic CF&I Archives, the first phase of the project has been turned into the Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture
President Woodrow Wilson, on a speaking tour to gather support for the entry of the United States into the League of Nations, collapsed on September 25, 1919 following a speech in Pueblo. He suffered a stroke a week later which incapacitated him for the rest of his presidency.
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, arrived at the Pueblo Union Depot in order to lay the first brick down for the Y.M.C.A. and check the water resources in Colorado.
President George H.W. Bush (when he was Vice President) had come to the Pueblo Nature Center's Raptor Center to release an American Bald Eagle that had its wings healed.
Other national leaders to visit Pueblo include President John F Kennedy, President William J. Clinton, Senator John F. Kerry, and Vice President Albert Gore.
In the 2008 presidential campaign Pueblo has been visited by both Democratic nominee Senator Obama and Republican nominee Senator McCain. This is due to the fact that the state of Colorado is considered a key "battleground" state and Pueblo, as the democratic strong hold, a key city for Obama to win.
Pueblo is home to Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo), formerly the University of Southern Colorado and before that Southern Colorado State College. It is part of the Colorado State University System, with about 6,000 students. On May 8, 2007, CSU-Pueblo got approval from the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System to bring back football with an expected start date of the fall of 2008. CSU-Pueblo will be a part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and will play their home games at the Thunderbowl, a new stadium at CSU-Pueblo which will hold over 11,000 people.
Pueblo Community College (PCC) is a two-year, public, comprehensive community college, one of thirteen community colleges within the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). It operates three campuses serving a widely dispersed eight-county region in Southern Colorado. The main campus is located in Pueblo and serves Pueblo County. The Fremont Campus is located approximately west of Pueblo in Canon City and serves Fremont and Custer Counties. The Southwest Campus, southwest of Pueblo, serves Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, San Juan, and Archuleta counties. PCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution as designated by the Federal Government. Approximately 5,000 students attend PCC per semester.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.4 square miles (117.5 km²), of which, 45.1 square miles (116.8 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km²) of it (0.66%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 102,121 people, 40,307 households, and 26,118 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,265.5 people per square mile (874.6/km²). There were 43,121 housing units at an average density of 956.6/sq mi (369.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.21% White, 2.41% African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 15.20% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 44.13% of the population.
According to the 2005 Census estimates, the city had grown to an estimated population of 103,495 and had become the ninth most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 242nd most populous city in the United States.
There were 40,307 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,650, and the median income for a family was $35,620. Males had a median income of $29,702 versus $22,197 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,026. About 13.9% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.