Events planned to benefit local history preservation |

Events planned to benefit local history preservation

KEELY BROWNspecial to the daily

SUMMIT COUNTY Its going to be a busy summer for the newly-formed Alliance for Historical Preservation, thanks to the energy and hard work of president Charlotte Clarke and vice president Peggy Alexander.Clarke, owner of the local realty company 4 Sale by U, has planned two Frisco events during the coming months to benefit the Alliance. The first, on Sunday, is a Ten Mile Canyon Bike Tour of Friscos historic mines. The two-hour tour will include a look at the famed Juno, King Solomon, Curtin, Kitty Innes, Mary Verna, Monroe and Admiral mines, with historical facts provided by Clarke, who is well-known as a local authority on Friscos mining history.The second event takes place on Aug. 19, when the Alliance will host a free tour of historic Frisco Cemetery as part of the Frisco Founders Day Celebration. Mayor Bernie Zurbriggen, as well as locals Bill Kossian, Sally Roscoe and others, will lead the tour by impersonating costumed characters from Friscos past characters such as town founder Henry Recen, town pioneers Jane Thomas and Bill Thomas, and Susan Badger.The Alliance for Historical Preservation was formed after the Frisco Historical Society disbanded in 2006. Along with Peggy Alexander, Charlotte Clarke decided to take up where the society left off by forming a new organization dedicated to preserving Friscos historic structures, as well as educating others about the towns rich historic past.During the first week of July, Clarke sponsored a successful show geared toward local crafters and artists. The show raised $7,000, of which $5,000 went toward saving the Susan Badger house on Galena Street from destruction. Saving historic cabins from the wreckers ball is just one of many projects Clarke and the Alliance plan to pursue.We want to educate people about Frisco history through lectures and events, such as tours of the mines, Clarke said. Were assisting the Historic Museum with interpretive events, as well as finding things for them. And we want to assist the town with improvements for Friscos Historic Park. We dont have a drinking fountain there, and it would be nice to have one as a water feature in the springhouse especially since the town of Frisco didnt have running water until 1955. Wed also like to create signposts and plaques for the many historic structures in the area.Clarke said that several of Friscos historic sites, such as the Excelsior Mine office at 208 Galena St. and the Dexheimer cabin in Bills Ranch, are sitting completely unmarked and anonymous, with no clue as to the history that lies within their walls. The Excelsior Mine gave us our first electricity in Frisco; it opened a generating plant and was one of our most important mines, Clarke said. And the Dexheimer cabin in Bills Ranch became the very first second-homeowner residence in Frisco, because the Reverend Dexheimer was the first person to accept Bill Thomas offer of free land to build a vacation home.An avid historian, Clarke recently discovered documentation confirming the legend of how the town of Frisco originally got its name. A 1930 letter written by Louis Wildhack, who ran the post office and general store at 510 Main St., states that another colorful local, Captain Henry Learned, scratched the name Frisco City on the door of the humble cabin belonging to town founder Henry Recen. The name was meant to be a jocular reference and comparison to San Francisco, another, albeit bigger, western town built on mining money.For information on becoming a member or volunteering for the Alliance, and to get on its mailing list, contact Charlotte Clarke at (970) 668-8672, or e-mail her at

Ten Mile Canyon Bike Tour – What: Two-hour trek to the Frisco mines will start at the Historic Park Gazebo.- When: 1 p.m. Sunday- Cost: $5 donation.Free tour of the historic Frisco Cemetery- What: Event will feature costumed impersonators of town pioneers telling about their lives. – When: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 19

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