Living Here

Frisco History

The Story of Frisco

View the 16 minute “The Story of Frisco” video.

A Brief Look at Frisco History

Kids on Burros - Frisco Main Street c. 1900

Kids on Burros – Frisco Main Street c. 1900

Imagine what it was like going to school in a small mining town, or building the first log chapel, or being the first to ski down untouched slopes.

Experience Frisco’s rich and colorful history firsthand at the Frisco Historic Park & Museum at 2nd and Main. Here you can tour eleven original 1880 buildings that were once saloons, hotels, log homes, the original log chapel, and even a dairy cattle ranch house. Another fun way to learn more about life on Historic Main Street is to view photos at the Schoolhouse Museum, then enjoy a stroll down present Main Street and compare then to now. Or experience pioneering the town through a virtual tour that takes you through the schoolhouse, the original 1881 jail, and a photographic exploration of the Ute Indians who once lived in Frisco.

Become a part of Frisco’s rich history.  Living and working in Frisco is as much fun today as it was in the 1800s, but with all the amenities that present day can offer. And by understanding the town’s history, you’ll appreciate even more what Frisco offers today.

Frisco’s Interesting Past . . .


Frisco Hotels on Main Street c. 1910

Frisco’s history began with the Ute Indians who first traveled the region now known as Summit County.  The first white men to come through this area were known as “mountain men” who trapped in the high mountain lakes for the thick coat of the beaver.  The mountain men trapped in this territory from 1810 to around the 1840’s.

The 1870’s ushered in mining to the area. Founded in 1873 (officially chartered in 1879) by Henry Recen, the Town of Frisco quickly developed thanks in part to the locale’s many mines.  By 1882 the permanent population reached 250 with two railroads, many businesses, hotels and saloons, not to mention “loads of mines.” The mining boomed lasted until 1918.

Last Train Leaving Frisco c. 1937

Along with the rest of the country, Frisco was hit by the Depression; by 1930 Frisco’s permanent population had dropped to only 18 people. Frisco was one of the few old mining towns to keep going.  Many of the smaller, less accessible mining towns were deserted.  Frisco persevered and by 1946 the population had increased to 50.  Frisco, with a current population just under 2,800 full-time residents, remained a sleepy town with a sprinkling of summer tourists until the ski industry – which now attracts some 3 million people a year to the area — brought a new boom era to Summit County.

Read Frisco’s history for a detailed explanation on how we came to being known as “Frisco”.

View a timeline of Frisco’s history.

Visit our exhibit installation “Tracks Through Time” at Copper Mounatin Resort: Historic Park – Copper Exhibit Flyer

For more information, contact the Frisco Historic Park at 970-668-3428
or email the Museum Manager Simone Belz.