Colorado Road Trip: Destination Hotchkiss, the Friendliest Town
Hotchkiss is a small Colorado town, but it has the biggest smiles around.
A Friendly Town
When you drive into Hotchkiss, you can't miss one of the signs proclaiming it's the friendliest town around. It must be true, otherwise, there wouldn't be a sign that says it's so. I'm not exactly sure, however, what makes the residents of Hotchkiss so happy and friendly.
The fact is, most people don't know that much about Hotchkiss and many quite possibly have never been there. That's why I wanted to shed some light on this small town and show you a little bit of what you'll find there.
The town was named after Enos Hotchkiss, an early pioneer who discovered gold in what's known as the Golden Fleece Mine, located 5 miles south of Lake City. Hotchkiss was also credited with founding Lake City. The father of nine kids with two wives, Hotchkiss is buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Hotchkiss.
A Small Town
There has been a post office in Hotchkiss since 1882. When the town was incorporated in 1901, the population was just 216. By 1910, the population had ballooned to around 600. In 2000, the population reached 968, but has gradually dropped since then and has never been over 1,000.
Hotchkiss may be small, but it pretty much has everything you need with restaurants, banks, churches, and it's home to the Delta County Fairgrounds. You'll find Hotchkiss on Highway 92, about 20 miles east of Delta, 11 miles north of Crawford, and 9 miles west of Paonia.
I visited Hotchkiss recently for no other reason than to see what's there and I wanted to share with you some of what I found.