CAÑON CITY, Colo. — Cañon City is the county seat of Fremont County in southern Colorado, with a population of approximately 16,000 people within the city limits. This week, FOX21 News is highlighting a few fun facts about the region. See how many you know.

  • In 1861, residents voted to name the settlement “Town of Canyon City,” but a reporter for the meeting used the Spanish “cañon”, and so it became Cañon City.
  • The first territorial (federal) prison, is still the largest employer today in Cañon City. It was built and opened on June 1, 1871. The facility later became Colorado State Prison and was given to the state of Colorado in 1876 after it officially became a state in the United States.
  • It is one of the few U.S. cities to have the Spanish Ñ in its name.
  • Royal Gorge Bridge that drove over Skyline Drive was built by the prisoners way back in the day.
  • Cañon City’s Main Street is the longest main street in the state of Colorado right now.
  • Some of the world’s most well-known and beloved dinosaurs were first found just outside Cañon City in the Garden Park Paleontological Area. 
  • Dinosaur tracks were discovered along Skyline Drive in 1998— the city is still randomly finding fossils up in the Garden Park area.
  • Temperatures in the region are generally 10 degrees warmer in winter than other nearby Colorado communities.
  • A fictional version of the city is depicted in Philip K. Dick’s alternate history novel, The Man in the High Castle, and the 2015 television series adaptation of the same name.
  • Cañon City is in a demilitarized “neutral zone” between the puppet regimes of the Japanese Pacific States in the west and Greater Nazi Reich in the east in the former United States.
  • Many of the street names in Cañon City are named after early male settlers.
  • Cañon City boasted its own Lithia Bottling plant which used water from the nearby soda springs which had trace amounts of lithium.
  • Buckskin Joe was a western-style theme park located west of Cañon City. It opened in 1957 and closed in 2010. It was a re-creation of the Buckskin Joe mining camp.
  • A  Vietnam gunboat was named after Cañon City – the USS Canon was designed for off-shore patrol and during the Vietnam War, the ship served off the coast of Vietnam and was involved in Operation Market Time. The ship was decommissioned in January 1977.  
  • On the evening of Oct. 27, 1973, a meteorite crashed through the garage of a home in the Orchard Park area. It is officially named Cañon City since the naming process is meant to convey the geological location of the fall or find according to the Meteoritical Society.
  • In the 1940s and 1950s, there was a pet parade in the city hosted annually by Lion’s Club for students in eighth grade and younger and their pets. It seemed as if all pets were welcome to the parade​ except for 1956 when horses were barred from being entered.