Friday, July 28, 2017

South Park City, CO - Part 2

The area around Fairplay sprung to life after Gold was discovered in 1859 in Tarryall Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. Mining camps sprung up all over South Park, but the "Gold Rush" was short lived, and hard-rock mining took over for the next 30 years. When the mining heyday ended, most mining camps were left to decay, except for Fairplay, Alma and Como.

South Park mining history

Gallows Frame that lowered miners into mines

The "Denver, South Park and Pacific Railway" (1872-1894) was a narrow gauge railroad that ran from Denver Union Station to Gunnison, with a spur off to Breckenridge and on to Leadville. The railroad served as a profitable freight link from the mining towns, and operated up until 1937.  South Park City has a narrow gauge engine on display, although this one was built in 1914 and did not operate on the SSPPR line.

1914 Porter Mogul #6 locomotive

Inside of the Assay office

Two of the original buildings on the museum site are the "Wagon Shed" and the "Transportation Shed", these buildings now house a display of early vehicles, including a US Mail Stagecoach, a Sheepherder's wagon, covered wagon, and several other horse drawn wagon's.

US Mail stagecoach

Sheepherders's wagon

The covered wagon is an icon of the American West, was used mainly as a way for migrants to carry their belongings as they headed across the great plains into the West from the mid 1800's.

Early covered wagon

This 1895 cabin from Garo (10 miles southeast of Fairplay) has a great display of equipment that would of been in a pioneering wash house, no washing machines or tumble driers here!. I actually really like the outside of the cabin.

1895 cabin

South Park City is one of those Colorado hidden Gems, it is tucked away, and perhaps unnecessarily overlooked by some passers by. The museum is a real treat though for anyone interested in the American West, and/or 1880's history. The $10 entrance fee is valid all day long (you can come and go as you please), which is handy if you wish to grab a bite at one of the local restaurants a short walk away.

The Carpernter shop and School house

South Park City original buildings

Essential information:
South Park City website
Town of Fairplay

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