Ridgway is a Home Rule Municipality in Ouray County, Colorado, United States. The population was 713 at the 2000 census. The area is famous as the filming site of the John Wayne western movie True Grit, and still has a True Grit Cafe, full of John Wayne memorabilia. The town served as the setting for Fort Smith and the most notable scene was the hanging in the main town park, Hartwell Park.
The Uncompahgre River runs through the town, and provides ample trout fishing for its residents, as does the Ridgway State Park and Reservoir, just north of Ridgway a mile or two.
Wildlife is ample; deer, elk, bear, coyotes and eagles are a common sight in and around town.
The Rio Grande Southern filed for abandonment on 24 April 1952 and the Denver and Rio Grande Western abandoned the line between Ridgway and Ouray on 21 March 1953. The line between Ridgway and Montrose was upgraded from narrow gauge to standard gauge and Ridgway continued to be a shipping point until the line to Montrose was abandoned in 1976 as result of a reservoir being built on the Uncompahgre River.
The dam for that reservoir, the Ridgway Dam, was proposed in 1957 as part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Dallas Creek Project, and its original location would have inundated Ridgway. A 1975 decision to put the dam further downstream kept the town above-water, and residents coined their own nickname, "The Town that Refused to Die. Land around the reservoir became the Ridgway State Park north of town limits.
Ridgway is located at (38.151934, -107.756870), at an altitude of 6900 feet.
There were 285 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.5% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the town the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 5.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 102.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $40,903, and the median income for a family was $45,208. Males had a median income of $31,597 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,084. About 3.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.9% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
3) William Dennis Weaver June 4 1924 — February 24 2006) was an Emmy Award-winning American actor, best known for his work in television, including roles as sidekick Chester Goode from 1955 to 1964 on TV's first "adult Western" Gunsmoke, as Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud, which ran from 1970 to 1977, and as the protagonist in Steven Spielberg's feature-length directorial debut, the cult TV movie Duel in 1971. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he studied drama and also was a track star, setting records in several events. He served as a pilot in the United States Navy during the Second World War.
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