Paonia, Colorado

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The Town of Paonia is a Statutory Town in Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,497 at the 2000 census.



The area was first explored in 1853 by Captain John W. Gunnison of the United States Army. Gunnison was on an expedition to locate a suitable pass through the Rocky Mountains for the Topographical Engineers.

The North Fork Valley was inhabited by Ute Indians until 1880, when the Ute Indian Reservation was closed by the federal government following the infamous Meeker Massacre.

Following the closure of the reservation, the site itself was settled in 1880 by Samuel Wade and William Clark, who had accompanied Enos Hotchkiss to the area. The town was officially incorporated in 1902 and had its first election in July of that year. The peony roots that Samuel Wade brought with him to Colorado in 1881 inspired him to submit the Latin name for peony, "Paeonia" as a town name. The post office wouldn't allow the extra vowel, so Paeonia became Paonia. The full name of the flower: "Paeonia mascula"


Paonia is located at 38°52′03″N 107°35′33″W / 38.867630°N 107.592579°W / 38.867630; -107.592579.[5]

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