Introduction to Pueblo, Colorado
The Colorado city of Pueblo, county seat of Pueblo County, is situated in the southern part of the state along the banks of the Arkansas River. Serviced principally by Interstate Highway I-25, the city is surrounded by several other major thoroughfares including Colorado State Highways 45, 96, and U.S. Route 50. Pueblo also has a local airport, Pueblo Municipal Airport, located east of the city. Pueblo is home to a satellite campus of Colorado State University and was the former hometown of noted newspaper columnist Damon Runyan.
The history of Pueblo dates back to the mid-19th century when the community was known as Fort Pueblo. The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859 spawned settlement in the area and four towns emerged: Pueblo (incorporated in 1870), South Pueblo (incorporated in 1873), Central Pueblo (incorporated in 1882), and Bessemer (incorporated in 1886). The present-day city of Pueblo was formed from the merger of these four towns into a single city. A momentous setback in the city's history occurred in 1921 when one of Colorado's most well known natural disasters struck. The Great Flood of 1921 was responsible for thousands of lost lives and millions of dollars in damage to the city. Recovery was slow but steady, and throughout most of the 20th century the city relied on steel production as its principal industry. In recent years, Pueblo has made a concerted effort to diversify its economic base, and the city today boasts an industrial park and a revitalized downtown area and is now home to a number of electronics and aviation companies.
Pueblo offers its visitors and residents numerous museums, cultural amenities, and events to enjoy. The El Pueblo History Museum, known as the "Cultural Crossroads on the Arkansas," includes an 1840s-style adobe trading post and showcases the history of the city and of the various cultural and ethnic groups in the region. The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum houses an expansive memorabilia collection which includes authentic military uniforms of bygone eras, arms and other relics of American Wars. The Rosemount Museum, often called "Colorado's Crown Jewel," is housed in an 1893-built 37-room mansion whose furnishings, accessories, paintings, custom paneling, wall and window treatments are nearly all original to the home. Pueblo's Fire Museum is located in the only remaining firehouse in Pueblo that housed horse-drawn fire equipment and one of two remaining that has the famous brass pole still intact. The Pueblo Railway Museum is home to the massive AT&SF #2912, the largest steam locomotive of its type built, and three operating GP-7 diesel locomotives. The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center houses a 500-seat theater, studio/classroom spaces, a dance studio and a conference/banquet facility. The site is also home to the Buell Children’s Museum, which offers interactive exhibits focusing on the arts, science and history for people of all ages. The Pueblo Zoo exhibits more than 400 animals of 130 species from around the world.
Pueblo is the home of Colorado's largest single event, the Colorado State Fair. The Fair, which began in 1872, is held annually in the late summer. Since its inception, the Fair has changed locations several times, but has settled to its present-day location on over 100 acres of landscaped turf. The Fair houses several historical structures and has traditionally included numerous celebrity concerts and a wide and changing array of activities for visitors to enjoy. It continues to be a focal point for the Pueblo community.
Pueblo has no professional sports teams but boasts a semi-pro team, the Pueblo Chieftains. The Chieftains play in the National Baseball Congress and have been very successful despite a roster that consists largely of college players. Professional sports can be found by taking a two-hour drive north to the city of Denver. Major league teams in that city include baseball's Colorado Rockies, basketball's Denver Nuggets, and football's Denver Broncos. Hockey in Denver is played by the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and soccer by the Colorado Rapids of the MLS. Other Denver area teams include the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League.