Cañon City in Fremont County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
First People, Explorers & Settlers
Spanish explorer Coronado first claimed this area for Spain in 1540. It was not until 1806 that American explorer Zebulon Pike led an expedition up the Arkansas River. Pike and his men camped along the river at the entrance to the "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas". The U.S. Government sent out Major Stephen Long to study its new border with Spain in 1820. John C. Fremont guided four different expeditions through the region in the 1840s.
Early fur traders established trading posts Fort Le Duc (1838) and Hardscrabble (1840s) in the eastern part of the county. With the discovery of gold in Colorado in 1859, people flocked to this region to try finding their own riches. The Cañon City Claim Club formed in 1860 and the town was plotted. The start of the town was short-lived with the onset of the Civil War.
Tyhe spelling of Cañon City has been a subject of much debate through the years. The tilde (˜) over the first "n" is a Spanish diacritical mark, which gives the name its pronunciation of "canyon". The town likely got the name from early pioneers who settled at the entrance to the "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas" and understood that this region was once Spanish territory.
Top row, left to right:
• Native American petroglyphs north of Cañon City, 2012
• Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
• Zebulon Montgomery Pike
• John Charles Fremont
Photos of explorers courtesy of the Library of Congress and PBS.
Bottom row, left to right:
• Murray's Saloon on the right; ca 1878
• Anson Rudd Sr. and his son Anson Jr., ca. 1870
• Flour Mill, ca. 1870
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is April 2, 1872.
Location. 38° 26.403′ N, 105° 14.497′ W. Marker is in Cañon City, Colorado, in Fremont County. Marker is on Main Street east of 4th Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 410 Main Street, Canon City CO 81212, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 405 Main Street (a few steps from this marker); Raynolds Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The Banana Belt of Colorado (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Cloud Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hotel St. Cloud (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Bustling Center for Trade, Transportation, and Tourism (approx. ¼ mile away); The Gold Belt Tour National Scenic Byway (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cañon City.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 18, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.