For those of you that have read our previous blogs about Ouray or happen to live in Ouray, you may know a bit about its history. Today we’d like to focus a little more on the man responsible for the town’s very name.
Believed to have been born in 1833 in what is now New Mexico, Ouray was born during the Leonid meteor showers. In fact, his name means “the arrow” in Ute and was derived from the meteor showers that took place during Ouray’s birth. Growing up, Ouray learned to speak several languages including Spanish, English and the language of the Apache and Ute tribes.
By the age of eighteen, Ouray moved to Colorado and became a member of the Tabeguache (Uncompahgre) Ute band which was spearheaded by his father Guera Murah. When his father passed away in 1860, Ouray assumed the vacant role, officially becoming Chief Ouray at the age of 27.
Despite going down in history for his peaceful efforts to make treaties with settlers and maintain serenity, Ouray was met with criticism. Militant Utes accused him of being a coward and referred to him as “The White Man’s Friend”.
Ouray passed away on August 24, 1880. He was secretly buried by his people close to the town of Ignacio, Colorado. Nearly fifty years after his death, his bones were reburied and he was given a full ceremony at Ignacio cemetery.
This update is provided by Twins Peaks Lodge & Hot Springs. Our Ouray lodging, full-service hotel has seven different room types including rooms for couples or families with children. Our amenities include Ouray Colorado hot springs, a free breakfast, spectacular vistas of the mountains, and much more. For additional information about us or Ouray, please call 800.207.2700 or visit us at 125 3rd Avenue Ouray, Colorado 81427.