Summit Stop: Frisco Historic Park a tour through time
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One thing that sets Summit County apart from other mountain ski communities is its rich and meticulously preserved history. Miners and early Coloradans began settling in the area well over 100 years ago, long before the first ski resort set up shop. Frisco, a town that can trace its heritage back as far as the mid-1800s has collected its history in the center of town at the Frisco Historic Park, where visitors can walk among ancient log cabins that were once the town’s most important homes and places of business. So today, skip the slopes, grab a warm beverage and try a walking tour of old-time Frisco for an authentic glance at life in a small mountain town in the 19th century.
The historic park includes nine cabins and the town’s old one-room schoolhouse, which has been converted to a museum and serves as a starting point for the historic walking tour. Each building in the park is carefully decorated with preserved or donated artifacts dating between 1860 and 1960. The historic pieces housed in the cabins along with an audio recording in each building tell the story of the building and its previous occupants.
A school room greets visitors at the entrance of the museum, with desks, shelves lined with aging volumes and a history of the school house and its educators. But the museum also houses exhibits about local rocks and minerals, life-sized models of local flora and fauna as well as a scaled diorama that presents a snapshot of life in Frisco and the mines of the Tenmile Canyon circa 1890.
Through the back door of the museum visitors can access the rest of the historic park. The cabins now located at the historic park, originally scattered all over Frisco, were relocated to the center of town by the Frisco Historic Society between the mid-1980s and 2003.
To the right of the museum is Frisco’s first and only jail (the current county jail is in Breckenridge), featuring a single jail cell. The one-room log jailhouse dates back to 1881.
Behind the jail is Wood’s Cabin, the town’s oldest standing building. Constructed before Frisco was a town and before Colorado was a state, the cottage has served as a bank, post office, private residence, brothel and a general store, as it is now furnished to resemble.
Further back along the plowed paths are other private homes depicting life at different periods in history as well as a small trapper’s cabin and a pretty log chapel dating back to 1943.
After finishing the walking tour of the historic park, meander down Frisco’s modern-day Main Street which is also dotted with historic sites and buildings, including Foote’s Rest which was once the post office and the Frisco Hotel, a building dating back to 1899.
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