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Poncha Springs

Trip Planner USA  /  Colorado  /  Poncha Springs
Poncha Springs is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. The population was 737 at the 2010 census.HistoryThe first human inhabitants of the Poncha Springs area were Ute people, who used the region as camping grounds during the winter months. Juan Bautista de Anza led a military expedition over Poncha Pass in 1779, which is about 6mi south of the present-day town. Following the Spanish exploration, French trappers and fur traders moved in. In 1855, Colonel Thomas T. Fauntleroy and the 1st Cavalry Regiment marched over Poncha Pass and engaged a group of Utes between present day Salida and Poncha Springs, during the Ute Wars.Around 1860, prospectors began arriving, including Bob Hendricks and Nat Rich, who built the first cabin in town, which is still standing. Nat Rich's son, James, was the first white person born in Poncha Springs in 1867. That same year Poncha Springs was designated as an election precinct.Indian agent John Burnett homesteaded with his wife, Minerva Maxwell Burnett, who was an early schoolteacher in Poncha Springs. In 1866, Burnett constructed a log building on his ranch to serve as an Indian trading post. The Hutchinson and McPherson families also homesteaded the area around the same time. John McPherson purchased Nat Rich's squatting rights from Joe Hutchinson and built a grocery store.
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