The historic Town of Empire is a Statutory Town located in Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States. The population was 282 at the 2010 census. The town is a former mining settlement that flourished during the Colorado Silver Boom in the late 19th century.
It is located in the valley of Clear Creek west of Denver, on the north side of the valley. The town consists of several commercial establishments and residents. U.S. Highway 40 passes through the town as its ascends towards Berthoud Pass, putting the town on the direct route between Denver and Middle Park.
West of the town of Empire is a group of summits, which includes Mount Flora, Mount Eva, Parry Peak, James Peak, Colorado Mines Peak, and Mount Bancroft, named for Frederick J. Bancroft who was noted for his public health and historical work for the state.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 355 people, 163 households, and 88 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,406.0 people per square mile (548.3/km²). There were 179 housing units at an average density of 708.9 per square mile (276.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.37% White, 3.10% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.66% of the population.
There were 163 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 112.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 121.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $32,159, and the median income for a family was $43,750. Males had a median income of $40,313 versus $29,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,417. About 10.5% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
The poet Vachel Lindsay visited his family often at their vacation spot in Empire. He would sometimes walk there on foot, doing a tramp from Illinois to Colorado, chanting poems and doing farm work along the way.
This climate type is dominated by the winter season, a long, bitterly cold period with short, clear days, relatively little precipitation mostly in the form of snow, and low humidity.