Frisco, Colorado

The first Europeans to come through this area were the old trappers, mountain men traveling up and down every stream in the West looking for beaver pelts. The beaver trade started around 1810 and lasted to about 1840, ending about the same time the beaver almost became extinct. The 1850s and 1860s brought in lots of prospectors but Frisco wasn't founded until 1873 (and wasn't chartered until 1879). Thanks to all the mines in the area, Frisco reached a population of 250 by 1882. Fed by two railroads, the many businesses, hotels and saloons did great business until the mining boom went bust in 1918. By 1930, Frisco's permanent population had dropped to 18. While so many other mining towns were simply abandoned, Frisco held on and the population finally rose to 50 again in 1946.

Today, Frisco is still a little town, home to about 2,700 year-round residents, but the ski industry (which brings in about 3 million people a year) has fueled a new boom in Summit County. Looking around in Frisco you can see that folks have tried to preserve the old mining ambience by architecting the new buildings to look very much like the old.

I drove into Frisco on a Saturday morning in early September. The town was pretty busy with most shops open and tourists wandering around everywhere. The west end of Main Street by the city park was blocked off and there was some kind of street fair going on with one of those musical bands you picture coming from the Alps (in their suspenders, shorts, hats and leiderhausen) playing under the gazebo in the park (oompah, oompah, oompah-pah...) It was a beautiful day and it was great to see so many people just sprawling around near the park taking in some rays and enjoying a good, old-time band.

At Second and Main, near the west end of town, is the Frisco History Park: a collection of eleven buildings that were moved here to build a museum showing what life was like back in the early days of Frisco.

The Frisco Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce
The Frisco Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce
The Mossejaw Pub
The Moosejaw Pub
A modern office building in frisco
A modern office building in Frisco
A refurbished inn
Now this strikes me as a good refurb, I think it's an inn
Frisco Pioneer Park
Frisco Pioneer Park
Photos are courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License