La Junta, Colorado

Last updated
La Junta, Colorado
City of La Junta [1]
Woodruff Block La Junta Colorado 1892.jpg
The Woodruff Block in La Junta, built in 1892.
Historic American Buildings Survey, 1985.
Seal of La Junta Colorado.png
Seal
Otero County Colorado Incorporated and Unincorporated areas La Junta Highlighted 0842110.svg
Location of the City of La Junta in Otero County, Colorado.
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
La Junta
Location of the City of La Junta in the United States.
Coordinates: 37°58′53″N103°32′51″W / 37.98139°N 103.54750°W / 37.98139; -103.54750 Coordinates: 37°58′53″N103°32′51″W / 37.98139°N 103.54750°W / 37.98139; -103.54750
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Colorado.svg  Colorado
County Otero County [2]
City La Junta [1]
Incorporated April 23, 1881 [3]
Government
  Type Home Rule Municipality [1]
  MayorJeffri Pruyn
  City ManagerRick Klein
  City CouncilJim Goodwin, Betty Velasquez, Frank McKenzie, Jeffri Pruyn, Ed Vela, Roger Roath
  City AttorneyPhil Malouff
  Police ChiefG. Todd Quick
Area
[4]
  Total3.18 sq mi (8.24 km2)
  Land3.18 sq mi (8.23 km2)
  Water0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
[5]
4,078 ft (1,243 m)
Population
 (2010)
  Total7,077
  Estimate 
(2019) [6]
6,881
  Density2,165.88/sq mi (836.34/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain (MST))
  Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
ZIP code [7]
81050
Area code(s) 719
FIPS code 08-42110
GNIS feature ID 0204829
Website City of La Junta, Colorado

The City of La Junta is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Otero County, Colorado, United States. [8] The city population was 7,077 at the 2010 United States Census. La Junta is located on the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado 68 miles (109 km) east of Pueblo.

Contents

History

La Junta (Spanish for "the junction") [9] was named for the fact it rested at the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail and a pioneer road to Pueblo. [10] The town developed near Bent's Post, a fur trading post of the 19th century.

During World War II, La Junta had an Army Air Force Training Base outside town. An Air Force detachment of the Strategic Air Command remained there until modern flight simulators developed in the 1980s rendered live flight unnecessary for pilot training maneuvers. At least one military aircraft crashed close by during such training maneuvers. [11]

The airport, located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of La Junta, has 77 acres (31 ha) of tarmac and two runways which are still in use. One runway (east-west) is 6,851 feet (2,088 m) long and the other is 5,800 feet (1,800 m). .

This railroad caboose serves as the drive-up window for The State Bank. Lajuntatrain.jpg
This railroad caboose serves as the drive-up window for The State Bank.

The Caboose (pictured here) is the drive-through for the State Bank, which was established in 1893. The bank has been remodeled with antiques, including a teller line from the late 1890s.

Geography and climate

La Junta is located at 37°58′53″N103°32′51″W / 37.98139°N 103.54750°W / 37.98139; -103.54750 (37.981333, -103.547540). [12] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2), all of it land. The area is high plains terrain, dry with short grass prairie and sagebrush, and is part of the Southwestern Tablelands ecological region. This area of Colorado is often the warmest. Summer brings numerous days above 100 °F (38 °C). On July 20, 2005, many cities in this region broke or tied heat records. La Junta reached 107 °F (42 °C) with an overnight low of 87 °F (31 °C). [13] However, the all-time record high for La Junta occurred on July 20, 1998 with a temperature of 113 °F (45 °C). [14]

Climate data for La Junta Municipal Airport (1981–2010)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °F (°C)45.5
(7.5)
49.3
(9.6)
60.0
(15.6)
68.6
(20.3)
78.3
(25.7)
88.9
(31.6)
94.3
(34.6)
91.4
(33.0)
83.3
(28.5)
70.2
(21.2)
56.3
(13.5)
45.0
(7.2)
69.3
(20.7)
Average low °F (°C)17.4
(−8.1)
21.1
(−6.1)
29.5
(−1.4)
37.6
(3.1)
47.9
(8.8)
57.4
(14.1)
63.0
(17.2)
61.5
(16.4)
52.0
(11.1)
38.6
(3.7)
26.3
(−3.2)
17.5
(−8.1)
39.2
(4.0)
Average precipitation inches (mm)0.28
(7.1)
0.35
(8.9)
0.81
(21)
1.31
(33)
1.60
(41)
1.31
(33)
1.85
(47)
1.52
(39)
0.81
(21)
0.83
(21)
0.38
(9.7)
0.27
(6.9)
11.34
(288)
Average snowfall inches (cm)3.3
(8.4)
3.1
(7.9)
4.7
(12)
2.0
(5.1)
0.7
(1.8)
0.1
(0.25)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.2
(0.51)
0.7
(1.8)
2.8
(7.1)
2.9
(7.4)
21.2
(54)
Source: NOAA [15]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1890 1,439
1900 2,51374.6%
1910 4,15465.3%
1920 4,96419.5%
1930 7,19344.9%
1940 7,040−2.1%
1950 7,7129.5%
1960 8,0264.1%
1970 8,2052.2%
1980 8,3381.6%
1990 7,637−8.4%
2000 7,568−0.9%
2010 7,077−6.5%
2019 (est.)6,881 [6] −2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census [16]

There were 7,568 people, 2,977 households, and 1,964 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,652.0 people per square mile (1,025.3/km2). There were 3,277 housing units at an average density of 1,148.3 per square mile (443.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.22% White, 1.22% African American, 1.77% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 18.33% from other races, and 3.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.60% of the population.

There were 2,977 households, out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.0% 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 3.06.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 27.1% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 24.6% 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 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,002, and the median income for a family was $36,398. Males had a median income of $26,325 versus $21,324 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,928. About 16.8% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.4% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Attractions

Government

Politics

[17] [18]

Media

The city is served by the daily newspaper The Tribune-Democrat . The city is also served by a local radio station that broadcasts in AM and FM. They are KBLJ 1400 AM and KTHN 92.1 FM. [19]

Infrastructure

Transportation

La Junta, until recently, had a railroad yard for assembling freight trains for the climb over Raton Pass. BNSF runs freight trains between Denver and Kansas/Texas via La Junta. The sole remaining major train crossing Raton Pass today is the daily Southwest Chief, in both directions, between Los Angeles and Chicago.

U.S. Highway 50 travels through La Junta, approaching from Pueblo to the northwest and continuing eastward towards Lamar and into Kansas. U.S. Highway 350 begins at La Junta and travels southwest before reaching Trinidad. State Highway 10 also begins at La Junta and travels west-southwest before reaching Walsenburg.

The city operates a public bus system with one route that circles the city. [20] Intercity transportation is provided by Bustang. La Junta is part of the Lamar-Pueblo-Colorado Springs Outrider line. [21]

Health care

The city and region are served by the Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, located in La Junta.

Notable people

Notable individuals who were born in La Junta include novelists William Charles Anderson [22] and Ken Kesey, [23] baseball pitcher Tippy Martinez, [24] and U.S. Army Col. Wendell Fertig who led a guerrilla force against the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. [25] Lane Frost, the famous bull rider.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Otero County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,831. The county seat is La Junta. The county was named for Miguel Antonio Otero, one of the founders of the town of La Junta and a member of a prominent Hispanic family.

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La Junta Municipal Airport

La Junta Municipal Airport is three miles north of La Junta, in Otero County, Colorado, United States. The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 categorized it as a general aviation facility.

Marlman is an unincorporated community in Bent and Otero counties in the state of Colorado. The U.S. Post Office at La Junta now serves Marlman postal addresses.

Koshare Indian Museum and Dancers

The Koshare Indian Museum is a registered site of the Colorado Historical Society in La Junta, Colorado. The building, located on the Otero Junior College campus, is a tri-level museum with an attached kiva that is built with the largest self-supporting log roof in the world. The building was built in 1949.

North La Junta, Colorado Census Designated Place in Colorado, United States

North La Junta is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Otero County, Colorado, United States. The population of the North La Junta CDP was 512 at the United States Census 2010. The La Junta post office (Zip Code 81050) serves the area.

La Junta Gardens, Colorado Census Designated Place in Colorado, United States

La Junta Gardens is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place (CDP) located in and governed by Otero County, Colorado, United States. The population of the La Junta Gardens CDP was 153 at the United States Census 2010. The La Junta post office (Zip Code 81050) serves the area.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  2. "Colorado Counties". State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Division of Local Government. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  3. "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  4. "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  5. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  7. "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on November 4, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  8. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  9. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. pp.  179.
  10. Dawson, John Frank. Place names in Colorado: why 700 communities were so named, 150 of Spanish or Indian origin. Denver, CO: The J. Frank Dawson Publishing Co. p. 30.
  11. "Bomber Crash", Los Angeles Times, 28 September 1987
  12. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Archived from the original on 2002-05-27. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  13. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLHX/2005/7/12/MonthlyCalendar.html?req_city=La%20Junta&req_state=CO&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=81050&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999 Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  14. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLHX/1998/7/16/MonthlyCalendar.html?req_city=La%20Junta&req_state=CO&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=81050&reqdb.magic=1&reqdb.wmo=99999 Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  15. "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  16. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  17. http://www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/article/20131106/NEWS/131109954/0/SEARCH
  18. http://www.ci.la-junta.co.us/misc/servicesandinfo.pdf
  19. https://www.facebook.com/kbljkthn/
  20. "Transit Brochure" (PDF). City of La Junta.
  21. "Bustang Schedulse". RideBustang. CDOT.
  22. Oliver, Myrna (2003-05-29). "William Anderson, 83; WWII Pilot, Author of 'Bat*21'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  23. "Ken Kesey". Biography.com. Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  24. "Tippy Martinez". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  25. "Wendell W. Fertig". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved 2016-06-24.