Sunday, September 14, 2014

South Park City in Fairplay, Colorado


If you click on the photo above, and all the photos in this post, you will see the quintessential beauty high country scenery of Park County, Colorado.   I love this approximately 1,000 square mile 10,000 foot high, grassland valley basin, surrounded by high Rocky Mountain ranges.



The South Park Valley is filled with cattle and horse ranches.


 It is an absolutely picturesque valley! I took all of these valley photos from our moving car, so the quality could be better, but I think they will give you an idea of how beautiful this area is.


I blogged about this area during the winter,when the ground was covered with snow. It was equally beautiful! You can read that post here.  I'm curious as to which season you think is prettier?


The Ute Indians were the early dwellers of this land, then hunters and trappers came in the 1840's but when gold was discovered in the mountains in the the 1850's many gold miners camps and towns sprang up in the valley.


Known today as the trout fishing capital of Colorado, South Park and the area around Fairplay were designated a National Heritage Area by the US Congress for its distinctive landscapes, historic structures, and recreational resources. 


My husband and I were here to visit the town of Fairplay.  Founded in 1859, Fairplay was named by settlers who were upset by the generous mining claims given to the earliest prospectors and promised a more equitable system for its residents. It now contains about 700 residents and consists of modern businesses along with a historic center.



It also contains an extraordinary museum with 40 historic buildings, called South Park City. It was created in the late 1950's by a group of citizens concerned that the old mining and ghost towns of Park County were being dismantled and destroyed, so they decided to save as many buildings as possible, move others to the area, and recreate a 1800's gold mine town. Buildings were brought in from the Mosquito Range, and Alma, Leavick, Buckskin and Montgomery.


The buildings showcase an array of period furnishings and equipment.



South Park City preserves the history of our nation's frontier days.


It is so interesting to walk around these preserved structures and feel transported back in time!


The museum even contains an engine and some cars from the Denver South Park and Pacific Railroad that once ran from Como across Boreas Pass to Breckenridge, Fairplay, Alma Junction and points west.



We went on a self tour of the museum that took us from building to building.  Here is some of what we saw:


The log cabin styled church


Summer Saloon


A period home in town.


The early court house.


Replica of a gold mine


The one room school house.


A miners mountain cabin.


A stagecoach


The stagecoach inn.


 The general store and post office.


A pharmacy.


There was also a large display of western artifacts, period furniture, clothing and toys, and Indian hunting arrows and spear heads.



After our long, enjoyable visit to the South Park City Museum, we walked around the town of Fairplay to enjoy the sights there.  The weather was changing and we knew a late afternoon thunderstorm was on the way, so we headed back east to our home.


Sure enough, this was the look back as we headed away from South Park  The wide open sky and high elevations makes the storm look dramatic, doesn't it?

Located 85 miles out of Denver on Highway 285, 85 miles out of Colorado Springs on Highway 24, and 23 miles from Breckenridge on Highway 9, South Park Valley, Fairplay and the South Park City Museum are all beautiful and interesting sights to see in central Colorado!

I'm adding this post to the following blog events: 



Read more: http://millefiorifavoriti.blogspot.com/#ixzz3DG4VVpGJ


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47 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I loved this. Having grown up watching "Gunsmoke", "Bonanza", and other Westerns,, this reminds me of my childhood.

Love the blue, blue, blue of the Colorado sky against the mountains. Colorado really reminds me of the song, "America The Beautiful".

xo

Sheila :-)

Cathy said...

Fairplay was one of our favorite places. We used to dredge just outside of town. Our last 4th of July there it was about 20 degrees. We were stationed at the Air Force Academy. Every weekend and holiday we were in the mountains, usually fishing. Next summer we are taking my husband ashes to Montrose and the Uncompaghre Plateau on the Western Slope. We spent every Fall there. You would like it.

diane b said...

These historical villages are such a great idea to make history come alive. This one looks very good. It sure is a pretty valley and dramatic sky. I hope you beat the storm home.

Bethany Carson said...

Such beautiful scenery! South Park city looks like a fascinating place to visit! Reminds me of the towns in all the old tv shows like Wanted Dead or Alive (Steve McQueen) and Black Saddle (Peter Breck)!

Linda Kay said...

Have not visited Colorado, but this will inspire me to get it on my bucket list. Thanks for the beautiful shots.

Michelle said...

These are such beautiful shots! What a gorgeous area. That historical town is a place I would love to visit.

Chris K in Wisconsin said...

The pictures are beautiful. We do love Colorado! Have you ever read any of the Sandra Dallas books? Prayers For Sale comes to mind when I look at the pictures and read about the town. A lot of her books take place in this region.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, what a wonderful post and place to visit. The countryside scenes are lovely.. Some of the town photos remind me of old scenes in the movies.. Thanks for sharing your visit. Have a happy Sunday and new week ahead!

Felicia said...

Yep it official now...I want to come back to Colorado. I would love to live there. I'm glad you keep posting these beautiful pictures so I can still see the beauty.

Noel Morata said...

What a wonderful photo tour of the area, I enjoyed my visit...those store fronts are so colorful!

Vee said...

It is beautiful country and I enjoy seeing it wearing white...something about those blue skies and snow. Fun also to see the stagecoach from Concord, NH.

Beth said...

What a picturesque area! I just love both of your mosaics, and the towns are wonderful!

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

What a wonderful tour of the old west. . . some of my favorite travels have been in similar places!

Barb said...

Hi Pat, You were just over Hoosier Pass from me! My grandchildren have toured South Park with us and loved it. I get my summer container flowers from the greenhouse in Alma - they're already hardened to our high altitude climate! Great photos of a scenic area.

Betsy Adams said...

Another beautiful place to visit in Colorado. I had to look the area up on a map... Interesting to have that gorgeous valley surrounded by those high mountains... AND--even more interesting is the elevation of the valley... Unbelievable! (Have you gotten used to the elevations yet?)

Love that 'museum'... That was awesome that the people did that to preserve the history... SO special. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Hugs,
Betsy

Donna said...

I can see why you love this place...beauty, history and fun!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

After viewing your mosaics of FairPlay, I feel like a time traveller Pat.
I like the greens of the valley in summer but in the winter the snow on the mountains sure is attractive. Guess I'd have to say I like the area equally well in each season.
Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Snap said...

Pat, you are having such a good time adventuring in your new home state! I can't pick a favorite ... snow or the present time ... they are both so gorgeous. God's country!!!!! I love historic villages ... South Park looks like a wonderful spot. Happy Mosaic Monday!

The Gathering Place said...

What a beautiful part of Colorado! I love that someone knew the importance of saving bits history by creating places like this. Salt Lake has a pioneer village with similar buildings and it is also fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

Hannah said...

What a great look at some fascinating historical buildings and artifacts. It's like going back in time. We have historical Fort Vancouver near here, it is interesting to see how how ancestors lived, Thanks for the tour, and great photos.

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

A blue stagecoach. How special!

Thanks for playing today.

Happy Blue Monday!

Lina Gustina said...

Enjoying your shots. Wonderful place indeed.
www.1sthappyfamily.com/2014/09/railway-bridges.html

Ann said...

Such beautiful shots, your hubby must have been driving pretty slow, your pictures are gorgeous!!! I love Colorado but have never visited Fair Play,thanks for the description of the name. The collage was intriguing, especially loved the sewing room.
Ann

annie said...

I love to visit towns like that.
I am so glad you share all this.

Ida said...

Wow so much to see here and all of it quite interesting and beautiful. I enjoyed your post.

Fun60 said...

The more I see of Colorado the more I want to see.

carol l mckenna said...

You are having the best time seeing Colorado and getting fantastic photography as well for OWT!

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

retriever said...

Wonderfull shots , Greeting from Belgium "with a diner in Blue Sky Mons"with "Monday Blue", "Skywatch Friday "
http://louisette.eklablog.com/diner-in-the-sky-a-mons-au-pass-a112493870

retriever said...

Beautifull reportage.

Valerie said...

Wow ! Looks like my kind of country - would love to visit and spend time around the old village/town; a fascinating glimpse, thank you.

Joy H said...

Awesome photos, that first one looks like it should be framed! Happy Blue Monday!

ladyfi said...

The scenery is majestic and the photos lovely.

ellen b. said...

What a great place to visit! Wonderful photos and information, Pat!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful and scenic place with lot of history.

The Yum List said...

What pretty scenery. It sure has been a while since I last visited a farm.

Gracie said...

Thank you for sharing, it was like being in western movie....lol...

Rajlakshmi said...

woww that looks like an amazing place to go camping. The sights are beautiful

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a lovely tour today...through a most picturesque valley and a neat, historic town! We might just have to visit Colorado once again...it seems there are many more places for us to explore!

ann said...

Another wonderful post showing off our beautiful state. South Park is one of the most scenic drives. I did not know about the museum. You presented it so perfectly.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

The photos are exceptional, even the ones taken from the car. I've said it before Pat - but you live in a beautiful state and you know how to enjoy it.

Mila Myk said...

Wow, this place is AMAZING!Definitely a must-see :)
xx
Mila
milawayable@gmail.com

Daniela said...

My dearest Pat,
if it is true that every post of yours fascinates me, this has literally left me breathless, it was like taking a journey into the 'Old West' or to watch a movie of those I love so much!
I saved this post among my favs to be able and read it again from time to time ...
Thank you so much, have a wonderful day <3
With much love and thankfulness

The Furry Gnome said...

Fascinating post with awesome pictures!

Tracy said...

So much fun this step back in time with you, Pat! LOVE, love, love all the BIG SKY photos...*swoon*... Happy Days ((HUGS))

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Wow, like something right out of the old west!! Absolutely beautiful shots, and it really makes me want to visit.

Powell River Books said...

What a quaint spot. - Margy

Charlene N.K. said...

Great post, wonderful places, fascinating things and definitely beautiful images!