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La Junta, Colorado

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La Junta, Colorado

City of La Junta, Colorado
City
Woodruff Block, built 1892.  1985 photo, Historic American Buildings Survey.
Woodruff Block, built 1892. 1985 photo, Historic American Buildings Survey.
Official seal of City of La Junta, Colorado
Seal
Location in Otero County and the State of Colorado
Location in Otero County and the State of Colorado
Coordinates:
Country  United States
State  State of Colorado
County Otero County Seat[1]
Incorporated April 23, 1881[2]
Government
 • Type Home Rule Municipality[1]
 • Mayor Lynn Horner
 • City Manager Rick Klein
 • City Council Eugene Mestas, Betty Velasquez, Frank McKenzie, Jeffri Pruyn, Bob Friedenberger, Roger Roath
 • City Attorney Phil Malouff
 • Police Chief G. Todd Quick
Area
 • Total 2.9 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 • Land 2.9 sq mi (7.4 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation[3] 4,078 ft (1,243 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 7,568
 • Density 2,609.7/sq mi (1,022.7/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code[4] 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 a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Otero County, Colorado, United States.[5] The city population was 7,568 at the U.S. Census 2000. La Junta is located on the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado east of Pueblo.

History

La Junta (Spanish for "the junction") rests at the intersection of the Santa Fe Trail with the Arkansas River. 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 rendered live flight unnecessary for pilot training maneuvers in the 1980s. At least one military aircraft crashed close by during such training maneuvers. [6]

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). [1].

The 1973 Terrence Malick film Badlands as well as the 1974 film Mr. Majestyk starring Charles Bronson were both filmed in and around La Junta.

In 1979, the first episodes of the CBS western miniseries The Chisholms, starring Robert Preston, was filmed near La Junta.

The Caboose (pictured below) is the drive through for the State Bank [2] which was established in 1893. The bank is unique as it has been remodeled with antiques, including a teller line from the late 1890s.

Geography and climate

La Junta is located at (37.981333, -103.547540).[7] 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.

Climate data for La Junta Municipal Airport (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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)
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)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.28
(7.1)
0.35
(8.9)
0.81
(20.6)
1.31
(33.3)
1.60
(40.6)
1.31
(33.3)
1.85
(47)
1.52
(38.6)
0.81
(20.6)
0.83
(21.1)
0.38
(9.7)
0.27
(6.9)
11.34
(288)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.3
(8.4)
3.1
(7.9)
4.7
(11.9)
2.0
(5.1)
0.7
(1.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
0.7
(1.8)
2.8
(7.1)
2.9
(7.4)
21.2
(53.8)
Source: NOAA[8]

Demographics

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

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

  • Mayor: Lynn Horner
  • City Council: Eugene Mestas, Betty Velasquez, Jeffri Pruyn, Bob Friedenberger, Roger Roath, Frank McKenzie.
  • City Manager: Rick Klein
  • City Attorney: Phil Malouff
  • Police Chief: G. Todd Quick
  • Fire Chief: Aaron Eveatt

[9]

Media

The city is served by a daily newspaper, The Tribune-Democrat.

Infrastructure

Transportation

La Junta once had a major (ex-Santa Fe) railroad yard for assembling freight trains for the climb over Raton Pass, but those days are over. Successor BNSF runs freight trains between Denver and Kansas/Texas via La Junta. The sole remaining major train crossing Raton Pass today is the daily AMTRAK "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.

Noted residents

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities".  
  2. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations".  
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  4. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup" ( 
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1987-09-28/news/mn-7039_1_bomber-crash
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data".  
  9. ^ http://www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/article/20131106/NEWS/131109954/0/SEARCH

External links

  • City website
  • Economic Development Website
  • La Junta Events Calendar
  • La Junta Tourism Website
  • CDOT map of the City of La Junta
  • Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
  • Otero Junior College
  • East Otero School District website
  • La Junta Chamber of Commerce
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