Experience Frisco’s History at the Historic Park & Museum
Imagine what it must have been 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.
The Story of Frisco: Watch the Video
Frisco Historic Park & Museum
120 East Main Street
Frisco, CO 80443
Thursday – Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Hours vary for field trips and programs
PO Box 4100
Frisco, CO 80443
Frisco’s Interesting Past
Frisco’s history began with the Ute people, Colorado’s first and longest remaining inhabitants of the region now known as Summit County. The first white men to come through this area were known as “mountain men” who trapped beaver for their fur in the high mountain lakes 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 people with two railroads, many businesses, hotels and saloons. The mining boomed lasted until 1918.
Along with the rest of the country, Frisco was affected by the Great Depression. By 1930, Frisco’s permanent population had dropped to only 18 people, but Frisco was one of the few mining towns to survive, with ranching remaining the only industry. After rancher Bill Thomas offered free plots of land to Denver residents under the condition they build cabins on their plots within a year, the population had increased to 50 people by 1946.
With a current population just under 2,800 full-time residents, Frisco remained a sleepy town with a sprinkling of summer tourism until the 1960s, when the ski industry – which now attracts millions of people each year to the area — brought a new boom era to Summit County.