Living Here

Frisco History


The Story of Frisco

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 colorful history firsthand by touring original 1880s buildings that were once saloons, hotels, homes, a chapel, and even a ranch house. View historic photos and enjoy a stroll down present Main Street for a Then and Now tour.

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. By understanding the town’s history, you’ll appreciate even more what Frisco offers today.

Frisco’s Interesting Past . . .

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Frisco Hotels on Main Street c. 1910

Frisco’s history began with the Ute Indians, Colorado’s first and longest remaining inhabitants, to 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 beaver from 1810 into the 1840s.

The 1870s ushered in the mining industry. 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. 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, but was one of the few mining towns to keep going. Frisco persevered and by 1946 the population had increased to 50. 

With a current population just under 2,800 full-time residents, Frisco remained a sleepy town with a sprinkling of summer tourists until the ski industry – which now attracts millions of 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 off-site exhibit “Tracks Through Time” located at Copper Mountain 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.