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The Town of Paonia
A Brief History
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 Valley was inhabited by Ute Indians until 1880, when the Ute Indian Reservation was closed by the federal government.

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 from Ohio. 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. Significant industries include ranching, mining and orchard farming.

Cattle came first, but in 1893, sheep were introduced to the valley. Cowboys organized a secret society called the Cattle Growers Protective Association. When sheep appeared on a cattle range, if legal persuasion failed, sheep were stampeded over bluffs or massacred.

Vast reserves of coal lay buried in the area. The advent of the railroad made the shipping of coal economical and today, coal mining is our major industry.

Paonia is naturally air conditioned by warm air flowing up the valley at night and cool air from the mountains during the day resulting in optimal conditions for growing cherries, apricots, grapes, peaches, plums, pears, nectarines and apples. THE oldest continuous outdoor community celebration is Paonia Cherry Days held over the Fourth of July holiday.

Paonia is a focal point of back roads and trails leading into the forest, attracting hunters, hikers bicyclists and cross-country skiers. Hunters outfit themselves in Paonia before setting out to get their elk, deer, and bear. Few places offer such a wonderful combination of climate, scenery, lifestyle and recreation.
Updates are required to the website system. During the process certain areas of the website may not function properly. If you are trying to access forms and they are not available, please call Town Hall at 970/527-4101 for assistance.
Friends of the Paradise Theater
Digital or Dark...
The Paradise Theatre kick-starter campaign to acquire funds for the digital projection equipment necessary to keep the theater open was a success!
Consumer Confidence Report Now Available
The 2012 Consumer Confidence Report for the Town of Paonia water system is available. The report was published in the Delta County Independent on May 1, 2013. A copy has been sent to all the water company contacts as well. Please click on the Adobe logo to download or view a copy.
Community Center Reservations
Changes Effective January 1, 2014
The Town Hall Community Center Reservation form and fee have changed. Please review documents on the Forms tab to make yourself aware of the changes.
2014 Approved Budget
Adopted 2014 Town Budget.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Information About Your Drinking Water

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