The Town of De Beque is a Statutory Town in Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 504 at the 2010 census. The town consists of a small grid, including a historic downtown featuring a town hall, a tavern, and several commercial businesses in historic structures. The surrounding streets include houses, several churches, and a school.
The town is named after Dr. W.A.E. de Beque who explored the area with several companions in 1884 while looking for a suitable location for a ranch.
The town was historically a location where wild horses, prevalent in the surrounding lands, were rounded up and sold. The history of the town is commemorated with a mustang statue near the town hall. In August 2001, the Town Board of Trustees designated De Beque as the only Wild Horse Sanctuary City in the West. The town now undertakes projects in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, as well as private organizations, to protect the remaining wild horses and burros in the area. Such measures include the construction of a public corral for the care of injured and sick mustangs and burros awaiting adoption.
On April 1, 2014, De Beque became the first incorporated town in Mesa County to approve the retail sale of recreational marijuana.
The town sits along the north side of the Colorado River upstream from De Beque Canyon in a small ranching valley approximately 25 miles (40 km) northeast and upstream from Grand Junction. It is located across the river from Interstate 70, on a small hill overlooking the river. The southwest edge of the Roan Cliffs overlook the town from the northeast. Much of the surrounding area in the mountains is controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), of which 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 11.11%, is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 451 people, 167 households, and 130 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,411.7 people per square mile (544.2/km²). There were 188 housing units at an average density of 588.5 per square mile (226.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.45% White, 0.67% Native American, 0.89% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population.
There were 167 households out of which 37.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.1% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $29,632, and the median income for a family was $31,042. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $17,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,181. About 6.2% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
The festival was originally begun to promote awareness to the wild horse population and raise funds for a corral and rodeo grounds.
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