Canon City is the Gateway to the Arkansas River Valley and county seat of Fremont County. The first English European to explore the area was Lt. Zebulon Pike in 1806. At that time he said, "No man will ever cross the Royal Gorge Canyon." Apparently that was the impetus for building the Royal Gorge Bridge many years later.

The coal miners in the area wanted to name the young city "Canyon City" because of its location. A reporter covering the story wrote a tilde over the "n" and transformed Canyon to Cañon, by which name the town was first written into the records in 1861. Canon City was actually founded in 1859 as a commercial center for the gold miners working in the Pikes Peak area.

A. M. Cassaday drilled an oil well 6 miles out of town in 1862 and struck oil at 50 feet. He then drilled several more wells nearby and began the first commercially producing oilfield west of the Mississippi. The kerosene and fuel oil he refined from his wells was freighted to Denver and sold there.

After the big gold discoveries in the Cripple Creek-Victor area, the Shelf Road Toll Road and Phantom Canyon Railroad line were built to bring ore to Canon City for smelting and processing.

St. Cloud Hotel
The St. Cloud Hotel
downtown Canon City, Colorado
The Old Raynolds Bank
Canon City Middle School
The Canon City Middle School
Colorado Territorial Prison
The Colorado Territorial Prison
The old Prison Warden's house

Canon City is another town with a lot of Victorian/Territorial architecture. The area is also home to most of Colorado's prisons and the primary BLM office for southern Colorado.

At the Museum of Colorado Prisons their motto is: "Stop and do time with us!" The Penitentiary Museum, in the original Colorado Penitentiary, is a demonstration of life in an era when justice was sure and swift. Alferd Packer, the original "Hannibal the Cannibal," was one of the Colorado Penitentiary's more notorious prisoners. It was also convict labor chain gangs who built Skyline Drive, rising some 800 feet above Canon City, in the early 1900's.

downtown Canon City
Downtown Canon City
Canon City, Colorado
The Canon City Municipal Building
United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church, on Main Street
Dinosaur Depot
Dinosaur Depot
Train station
Station for the Royal Gorge Route (excursion train)
Whitewater rafters
Rafters hauling out in Canon City
Centennial Park
The pond at Centennial Park
Canon City skyline
The western skyline
Skyline Drive, Canon City, Colorado
Skyline Drive, on top of that long ridge along the western skyline