Colorado's first U.S. senator, Jerome B. Chaffee, pronounced with a long 'a', lent his name to Chaffee County.
The Ute Indians called the Salida area of Chaffee County home prior to any white settlers. Many surrounding mountain peaks have Ute names.
More mountain peaks of at least 14,000 feet are found in Chaffee County than anywhere else in Colorado. These "Fourteeners" are a major tourist draw to the region.
Built specifically as a railroad stop by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in 1880, the name Salida is a mispronunciation of the Spanish word for 'exit.'
Salida's business district burned down twice, first in 1886 and then only two years later in 1888.
Known as "The Heart of the Rockies," Salida sits smack-dab in the middle of the state.
The "don't-blink-or-you'll-miss it" municipality of Poncha Springs, at the intersection of US 50 and US 285, bills itself as the "Crossroads of the Rockies."
In the early days of skiing at Monarch Ski Area, there were no inside toilets or even outhouses. Guests simply, or not so simply, quite literally communed with nature as they did their business.
The Upper Arkansas Valley between Salida and Buena Vista, with it sheltering mountains and dry air, is known as the "Banana Belt." Due to its topography, the area enjoys milder weather than other communities along the I-70 corridor.
Buena Vista's named references its naturally blessed surroundings. One of its founding citizens, therefore, insisted it be pronounced BYOO-nah Vista, making it reminiscent of the word beautiful. The name is commonly shortened to Bewnie or simply BV.
In the 1920's, Buena Vista was known as the "Head Lettuce Capital of the World."
Before the advent of refrigeration, head lettuce and other produce was kept cold during transport to far-flung markets with millions of pounds of ice cut from the town's lake.
Denver is the most populous city in Colorado, but in the late 19th century, the second most populous was Lake County's Leadville.
Leadville at 10,152 feet is the city with the highest elevation in North America (as opposed to town/municipality, which is nearby Alma at 10,578 feet).
Named for one of its major mining products, Leadville uses the periodic table symbol for lead, "Pb," as an iconic representation.
In a town full of hopeful minors and those who had lost hope, many swindles were bound to take place in Leadville. One colorful character, "Chicken Bill" Lovell, sold Horace Tabor a claim for an exorbitant price, 'seeding' it with silver he had stolen from a prosperous mine owned by Tabor himself. Even though Tabor soon learned about the con, he had his men dig further. What they found confounded Lovell—it was a rich vein of silver. In another dishonest move, as the Little Pittsburg mine ran out of ore, those stockholders in the know sold their shares without revealing the mine's condition to fellow shareholders.
Mount Massive Golf Course, situated in Leadville at 9,680 feet, is the highest golf course in the United States.