Pueblo /ˈpwɛbloʊ/ is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. The population was 106,595 in 2010 census, making it the 246th most populous city in the United States. Pueblo is situated at the confluence of the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek 112 miles (180 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, and 43 miles south of Colorado Springs. The area is considered to be semi-arid desert land, with approximately 12 inches (304.80 mm) of precipitation annually. 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. Pueblo is one of the largest steel-producing cities in the United States; because of this Pueblo is referred to as the "Steel City".
James Beckwourth, George Simpson, and other 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.
City of Pueblo
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, 1886. Bessemer joined Pueblo in 1894.
The Steel Mill
The main industry in Pueblo for most of its history was the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) steel mill on the south side of town. The steel-market crash of 1982 led to the decline of the company. After going through several bankruptcies, the company was acquired by Oregon Steel Mills and changed its name to Rocky Mountain Steel Mills. As Rocky Mountain Steel, the company was plagued with labor problems, mostly due to accusations of unfair labor practices. The problems culminated with a major strike in 1997, leading to most of the workforce being replaced.
Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo
Historically the other major employer in Pueblo was the State Hospital, which formerly served the entire state. Established in 1879 as the Colorado State Insane Asylum, it was known as the Colorado State Hospital after 1917. In 1991, the name was changed to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP). Currently under construction is the new Forensic Medium and Maximum Security Center, a 200-bed, state-of-the-art high-security facility.
Entertainment and performing arts
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 an annual Chili Festival. The National Street Rod Association's Rocky Mountain Street Rod Nationals have been held in Pueblo for twenty-three years, largest and premier street rod event in the region.
- Pueblo Ice Arena
- Lake Pueblo State Park / Reservoir
- Pueblo Zoo
- Steelworks Museum
- Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
- River Trail System
- The Historic Carousel #72
- El Pueblo State Historical Museum
Pueblo is the home of the Federal Citizen Information Center, operated by the General Services Administration, and its Consumer Information Catalog. For over 30 years, public service announcements invited Americans to write for information at "Pueblo, Colorado, 81009". In recent times GSA has incorporated Pueblo into FCIC's toll-free telephone number.