Boomtimes And Declines Shape Pueblo, Colorado’s Most Iconic Industry

Blast Furnace Row and rail yard at Colorado Fuel and Iron steel mill, most like circa 1910-1920. Photo Courtesy of Steelworks Center of the West Steelworks Archives

Steel has been part of the soul of Pueblo almost since the city’s incorporation 150 years ago. From the late 1800s through much of the 20th century, Pueblo was home to Colorado Fuel and Iron, at one point the state’s largest private employer.

The Pueblo steel mill got its start making rails to build the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Over the years, it turned out all kinds of steel products, and the company that owned it opened mines throughout southeastern Colorado.

But the boom days didn’t last.

The mill’s story includes strife, strikes and solar-powered future.

Listen to the whole story at cpr.org

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