History of Frisco

Originally home to the Ute Indians who spent their summers harvesting the abundant game and fish of the once isolated mountain valley, the high elevation and deep snowpack of Frisco, Colorado, precluded other settlement for centuries. With the westward expansion of the early 1800s, mountain men searching for beaver pelts began infiltrating the region. From 1810 to 1840, trappers and Utes were the area's only occupants. After the beaver population plummeted and the fickle tides of fashion shifted to silk hats, little interest was shown in the Summit County region.

That all changed in the late 1850s with the discovery of gold in the Pikes Peak region to the southeast. Miners began scouring every river and creek of the Colorado high county and they soon discovered placer gold in the waterways surrounding Frisco.

Frisco was begun in 1873 by a transplanted Swede named Henry A. Recen who built a cabin west of the present town and began hard rock mining for silver. The easy placer gold in the streams had quickly played out, but determined miners like Recen went deep into the earth searching for veins of silver held in the rock.

Recen sent to Sweden for his brothers and soon there was an influx of other miners to town. On the footsteps of the miners came those business men seeking to make their own fortunes providing goods and services to residents. Two railroads soon laid track to Frisco and the town was incorporated in 1879 complete with saloons, hotels, dry goods stores and a post office.

Until the depression of 1910, the mines around Frisco were shipping 50 tons of gold and silver over the Continental Divide to the Denver Mint each day. Falling prices and the depletion of high-grade ore created a slump in the local economy that lasted until a new "mining" boom occurred.

Frisco's revival centered on the abundance of a resource, which had been overlooked and cursed for decades – snow. With the opening of Colorado's first ski resort at Arapahoe Basin in 1946 and later Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone, Frisco was poised to take advantage of a surge of recreationists. Despite these advancements of civilization, Frisco retained its historic feel well into the late 20th century. Although residents enjoyed indoor plumbing after 1955, they didn't have a sewer system until 1965. Town streets were finally paved in 1974.