Catch a Glimpse of History in Frisco, CO

Posted by: admin March 10th, 2016

Whether you’re staying at our Frisco hotel for just one day or are in town for multiple days, it’s relatively easy to catch a glimpse of Frisco’s rich history. This may be the entire reason for your trip or just a small slice of your overall vacation, but either way it’s fascinating to hear the stories and see for yourself the carefully crafted preservation of this forming mining town. But, did you know that Frisco was the town that almost wasn’t? Here, I am going to explain how Frisco came to be and how you can experience its history even today.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, Frisco Colorado boomed during the gold rush in the early nineteenth century before dwindling down to a population of 18 “die-hards” after the majority of settlers moved on to bigger and better things. It wasn’t until the “white gold rush” of the 1960s that sparked an entire ski industry and put Frisco back on the map again. While it was the die-hards that saved the town for those hundred or so years, it is also die-hards that preserve it today. Though today’s die-hards are different than their predecessors, the theme remains the same … the preservation of what Frisco was back in the day. So, if you want to join the millions of visitors per year and experience the old days of Frisco, here are some of our favorite historical experiences for you to enjoy.

Historic Park & Museum

Frisco-SchoolhouseSince the Frisco community has been vigilant in preserving the town’s history, one of the first steps was to create the Frisco Historic Park & Museum. Located at 2nd and Main Street in downtown Frisco, the museum is the centerpiece with its artifacts on display, lectures, and guide tours designed to bring the past to life, but there are multiple other historical buildings still standing today. During the walking tour, one can visit the old schoolhouse, jail, various cabins and houses, and a log chapel that are all still preserved as they were back in the day.

If you are in for a challenge, receive a free Passport to History booklet and test yourself to collect all 10 stamps from the hidden embossers in each of the 10 buildings that you can visit, all the while learning about each structure’s varied past. For just a quarter, you can also make the model train do a couple laps through the interactive diorama.

Ten Mile Canyon

Ten-Mile-CanyonJoining Frisco with Copper, the Ten Mile Canyon was once home to two competing railroad lines, one being the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad Company. Take the recreation path through the canyon and spot historic sites in what was once a mining artery and now a bike path.

Bill’s Ranch

Bill Thomas was a Frisco icon, and many history buffs credit him and his family as the saviors of this former mining town. He offered free parcels of land to Denver residents in 1913 in order to draw them to the county, therefore creating a reason for people to come and build a life here. If you have an hour and a half to spare, I would highly recommend a walking tour of Bill’s Ranch.

Cemetery

Just a short daunt from the Frisco Lodge is the Frisco Marina and the olden cemetery that resides next door. Visit the cemetery to see the final resting places of some of the most important people in Frisco’s deep history, including Bill Thomas, The Demmings and the Foote’s Rest founders (see below).

Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe

Footes-Rest-Sweet-ShoppeNow a bustling place to get fudge, candy, and ice cream, this candy store sits in its original location and is one of Frisco’s two buildings on the national historic registry. Originally an assay office for miners who went to have their gold and silver weighed, Foote’s Rest has morphed into not only a sweet shop, but a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors to enjoy live music in the outdoor seating area.

*Photos courtesy of Town of Frisco and The Summit Daily.