Top 5 ways to experience Colorado’s rich history in Frisco, CO (sponsored)
By Ashlee Bratton, brought to you by the Town of Frisco
Frisco — the town that almost wasn’t. Between the gold rush that led to the mining boom and the 1960s “white gold rush” that sparked an entire ski industry, at one point Frisco was down to a scant population of 18 people. It was die-hards back then that saved the town and die-hards today that preserved it.
“Our community has always had foresight to preserve our history,” said Simone Belz, museum manager and Frisco historian. Years ago the presiding town board members said, “Let’s create a historic park” and then planned the whole thing. Now there are countless historic sites to visit that are all free to the public. Here’s a list of the top five to visit:
1. Frisco Historic Park & Museum
Bust out your passport for this one. Receive a free Passport to History booklet and be challenged to collect all 10 stamps from the hidden embossers in each of the 10 buildings conveniently located right on the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue at the base of Mount Royal. Go to jail, see a trapper’s cabin or sit in the historic schoolhouse that started out as a saloon. You can even make the model train do a couple laps through the interactive diorama for just a quarter.
2. Ten Mile Canyon
Connecting Frisco to Copper, pick up an interpretive guide and jaunt down the trail that once was home to two competing railroad lines, one being the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad Company. Spot historic sites all throughout what once was a mining artery but today is an enjoyable bike path.
3. Bill’s Ranch
“If it wasn’t for Bill Thomas and his family, I’m not sure if Frisco would really be around right now,” said Janna Miller, museum coordinator at the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. Bill Thomas offered parcels of that land to Denver residents for free in 1913 in order to draw them to the county. Bill created a reason for people to recreate and build a life here. Walking tours take about an hour and a half, and Miller recommends those participating wear sturdy shoes and bring clothing appropriate for mountain climate.
4. Cemetery next to the Frisco Marina
Some pretty important people have found their “retirement” here. Just steps from the Frisco marina, locate Bill Thomas, The Demmings or the Foote’s Rest founders.
5. Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe
Located between 6th and 7th avenues on Main Street, this candy store is in its original location and one of two buildings on the national historic registry. Originally the 1870s-era assay office for Frisco — the place where miners went to have their gold and silver weighed — is now a place to get fudge and homemade milk shakes.
1 Main Street, Frisco
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