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Ouray County was founded in 1877 when it was carved out of Hinsdale and San Juan Counties.  It was the first county created under the statehood of Colorado.  It covers 542 square miles and has an estimated population of 3,742.  The county seat, also named Ouray, was incorporated in 1876 and has a year round population of about 700.  Ridgway is the only other still incorporated town with a year round population of about 650.  During the late 19th and early 20th centuries mining was the chief industry.  Today, although there is still some mining, the chief industry is tourism.

It is little wonder tourists are attracted to this area, with the San Juan range, known as the "shining mountains" to the Ute Indians, the youngset and most rugged of the Colorado Rockies covering the southern part of the county.  The county has the 28th (Mount Sneffels, 14150 ft) and 48th (Wetterhorn Peak 14015 ft.) highest peaks of Colorado's 14ners Club.  Not to mention another ten 13000 feet or higher mountains within the county borders.

Crofutt's Grip-Sack Guide of Colorado 1885:
"The site of Ouray is one of great beauty being just inside of the canon of the Uncompahgre River. . .On all sides the canon walls and mountains rise, range upon range, peak overshadowing peak, all grooved and furrowed by the hand of the Great Maker, from the tiniest wrinkle to a chasm of most gigantic proportions, from the smallest depression and most rugged ravine to one of the grandest canons in the world."

Letters of Ayn Rand:
(Ouray is the town which Ayn Rand used as a model for the utopian city of Galt's Gulch in her book Atlas Shrugged.)
". . .Speaking of Atlas Shrugged, I was amused (benevolently) to hear that you chose Ouray as your favorite spot in Colorado. That is the little town I had picked for Galt's Gulch. To be exact, I marked it on a map as the right location long before I saw it. Then, when I went to Colorado for research purposes and discovered Ouray, I fell in love with it. It is the most beautifully dramatic spot in the whole state, and it's even surrounded by a ring of mountains. . ."

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Bibliography Under development
Biographies The Nutter family. Send in your family biography for posting!
Cemeteries A listed of Ouray County cemeteries
Census Outlines
1860 1860 map 1870 1880 1885 1890 1900 1910 1920
Census 1880 Trancription
Death Records Taken from the Social Security Death records index.
Deaths A-K Deaths L-Z
1917 Draft Birth Registrations
Courtesy of Raymond Banks
Surnames A-K Surnames L-M
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Maps All kinds of maps to help you with your research
Mines A list of Ouray County Mines with location and elevation.
Mining Deaths Colorado required all mining deaths to be recorded long before other death certificates were required. If you had an ancestor in Ouray County that was a miner, you might want to check this list..
Mine Photos
Photo Page Photos from the Ouray County area. Feel free to submit your photos for posting.
1886 Portland Town Election Names of voters kindly donated by David Koch. Thanks David!
Queries - New Please post all current queries here
Research in Colorado Genealogical Research in Colorado, by Kathleen W. Hinckley, C.G.R.S., National Genealogical Society Quarterly, June 1989, Volume 77 Number 2. Part 1 and Part 2.
Resources Where to obtain Ouray County information
Towns Helpful information on all populated places in Ouray County.
Vital Records
Index to Ouray County documents available at the Colorado State Archives. If you find your name, jot down the document # and click the link above to order a copy of the document.
Vital Records
Index to Ouray County documents available at the Colorado State Archives. If you find your name, jot down the document # and click the link above to order a copy of the document..
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Gail Meyer Kilgore
Asst. State Coordinator
Billie Erin Walsh
Asst. State Coordinator
Colleen Pustola
Asst. State Coordinator
Linda Simpson
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