Ouray County, Colorado

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Ouray County, Colorado
Map of Colorado highlighting Ouray County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of USA CO
Colorado's location in the U.S.
Founded January 18, 1877
Named for Chief Ouray
Seat Ouray
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

542 sq mi (1,404 km²)
540 sq mi (1,400 km²)
2 sq mi (5 km²), 0.32%
 - (2000)
 - Density

7/sq mi (3/km²)
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Ouray County (English pronunciation: /ˈjʊreɪ/) is one of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado in the United States. The county population was 3,742 at U.S. Census 2000.[1] The county seat is the City of Ouray. Because of its rugged mountain geography, Ouray County is also known as the Switzerland of America.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,404 km² (542 sq mi). 1,400 km² (540 sq mi) of it is land and 5 km² (2 sq mi) of it (0.32%) is water.

Adjacent Counties Edit

History Edit

Ouray County was formed out of San Juan County on 18 January 1877, the first county designated by the newly formed Colorado State Legislature. It was named for Chief Ouray, a distinguished Ute Indian chief. Ouray was designanted county seat on 8 March 1877. On 19 February 1881, Dolores County was formed out of Ouray County.

On 1883-02-27, Ouray County was split into San Miguel County and what is currently Ouray County. The portion that became San Miguel County almost retained the name Ouray County when the Colorado General Assembly initially renamed Ouray County as Uncompaghre County.[2] Four days later on 1883-03-02, the General Assembly changed its mind and changed the name of Uncompaghre County back to Ouray County.[3]

Ouray County CO Court House 1881 2006 01 13

Ouray County Courthouse

The Ouray County Courthouse was constructed in Ouray in 1888 and is located on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area of Colorado formed the San Juan District Mining Association (SJDMA) in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight hour day, which had been approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters.[4] The new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan counties.[5] The SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike.


As of the census2 of 2000, there were 3,742 people, 1,576 households, and 1,123 families residing in the county. The population density was 3/km² (7/sq mi). There were 2,146 housing units at an average density of 2/km² (4/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 96.34% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. 4.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,576 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.77.

In the county the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 4.10% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 34.10% from 45 to 64, and 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,019, and the median income for a family was $49,776. Males had a median income of $35,141 versus $26,176 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,335. About 6.00% of families and 7.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 2.90% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and townsEdit

State parkEdit

National forest and wildernessEdit

National trailEdit

National scenic bywaysEdit

Bicycle routesEdit

See alsoEdit

External links Edit


  1. ^ "Annual County Population Estimates and Estimated Components of Change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (CO-EST2006-alldata)" ({{subst:#ifexist:comma-separated values|CSV|CSV}}). 2006 Population Estimates. {{subst:#ifexist:United States Census Bureau|[[United States Census Bureau|]]|[[Wikipedia:United States Census Bureau|]]}}, Population Division. {{subst:#ifexist:2007-03-22|[[2007-03-22|]]|[[Wikipedia:2007-03-22|]]}}. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  2. ^ "Colorado County History" ({{subst:#ifexist:HTML|[[HTML|]]|[[Wikipedia:HTML|]]}}). COGenWeb Project. 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  3. ^ "Colorado County Evolution" ({{subst:#ifexist:HTML|[[HTML|]]|[[Wikipedia:HTML|]]}}). Don Stanwyck. 2003. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  4. ^ Roughneck—The Life aand Times of Big Bill Haywood, Peter Carlson, 1983, page 65.
  5. ^ The Corpse On Boomerang Road, Telluride's War On Labor 1899-1908, MaryJoy Martin, 2004, page 201.

Coordinates: 38°10′N 107°46′W / 38.16, -107.77

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Ouray County, Colorado. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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