Discover Fairplay: Colorado’s Ghostly Past

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Fairplay, Colorado is a small town with a rich history and a reputation for being haunted. The town’s origins can be traced back to the late 1800s when gold was discovered in the area. This led to a population boom, and Fairplay quickly became a bustling hub for mining and commerce.

Today, many of the original buildings from this era still stand, giving visitors a glimpse into the town’s past and allowing them to experience the nostalgia of a bygone era.

Despite its current status as a quiet mountain community, Fairplay has a ghostly reputation that draws paranormal enthusiasts from all over the world. Rumors of hauntings at the town’s Catholic mission have persisted for years, and visitors have reported strange occurrences such as disembodied voices and unexplained footsteps.

These stories, combined with the town’s rich history, make Fairplay a fascinating destination for those interested in the paranormal and the Wild West. In this article, we will delve into Fairplay’s history, explore its notable buildings and residents, and uncover the haunted legends that have made this town a must-visit destination for ghost hunters and history buffs alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Fairplay, Colorado has a rich history and haunted reputation, dating back to the late 1800s gold rush.
  • Many original buildings from the era are still standing, including the 1874 Church, Courthouse, and Saint Josephs Catholic Mission.
  • Visitors have reported strange occurrences such as disembodied voices and unexplained footsteps, particularly at the Catholic mission.
  • Fairplay’s economic decline led to hardship, but the town found new ways to thrive through tourism and outdoor recreation, and it remains a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts and history buffs.

Fairplay’s History

Like a rich tapestry woven with threads of the past, Fairplay’s history is a vibrant and integral part of its present.

The town was founded in the late 1850s during the mining boom in Colorado. As the center of the Platte Mining District, Fairplay quickly became a hub for gold mining and trade. The town’s proximity to the South Park basin, a rich agricultural region, further contributed to its growth and prosperity.

However, with the economic decline of the mining industry in the early 1900s, Fairplay faced a period of hardship. Many residents left searching for better opportunities, leaving empty buildings and a struggling community.

Despite these challenges, the town persevered and found new ways to thrive, such as through tourism and outdoor recreation.

Today, Fairplay’s history stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of its community.

Notable Buildings and Residents

The town of Fairplay boasts several notable buildings that have stood the test of time, including the 1874 Church, Courthouse, and Saint Josephs Catholic Mission. The Church was built in 1874 and is still used today. Plans are in motion to build a new Church for the growing Catholic community, and the old Church is set to be converted into a Parish Hall.

The Courthouse was built in 1874 and served as the county courthouse until 1973. Today, it is a museum that showcases the history of Park County. Saint Josephs Catholic Mission, built in 1874, is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture. The mission still stands today and continues to serve the Catholic community of Fairplay.

Along with the notable buildings of Fairplay, the town also boasts a few famous figures. One such figure is Silver Heels, a dance-hall woman who lived in Fairplay in the late 1800s. She was known for her beauty and kindness, and a mountain was named after her in her honor.

Another notable figure is the burro that lies buried beside the Hand hotel. The burro was beloved by the hotel’s guests and staff, and when it passed away, it was buried with great ceremony.

These buildings and figures, along with many others, serve as reminders of the rich history of Fairplay and continue to attract visitors from all over the world who are interested in exploring the town’s architecture and famous residents.

Haunted Legends

Reports of paranormal activity and ghostly sightings have added to the intrigue surrounding the historical buildings in Fairplay, Colorado. One of the most famous haunted locations in the town is the Saint Josephs Catholic Mission. Visitors have reported supernatural occurrences such as unexplained footsteps, voices, and apparitions.

Legend has it that the ghost of a young girl haunts the mission, and some have claimed to see her walking through the halls or sitting in the pews. Several paranormal teams have investigated the ghostly activity, and some have captured evidence of strange phenomena on their cameras and recording devices.

Another haunted location in Fairplay is the Hand hotel. The hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a burro that died outside the building in the late 1800s. Visitors have reported hearing the sound of hooves and braying coming from the direction of the hotel, and some have even claimed to see the ghostly animal wandering the halls.

The hotel has embraced its haunted reputation and offers ghost tours for visitors interested in learning more about the history and legends of the town. With so many ghostly sightings and supernatural occurrences, Fairplay has become a popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts and curious visitors alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Fairplay still an active town, or has it become a complete ghost town?

Despite its history as a ghost town, Fairplay is still an active community with current residents, including a growing Catholic community. Its historical buildings and attractions offer tourism potential for visitors seeking a glimpse into the town’s past.

What events or activities are available in Fairplay during the summer months?

Fairplay offers a range of outdoor adventures during the summer months, including hiking, fishing, and mountain biking. Cultural events include the Burro Days festival and the South Park City historical museum.

Are there any other notable graves or burial sites in Fairplay besides the burro’s grave beside the Hand hotel?

While the burro’s grave by the Hand hotel is a well-known burial site in Fairplay, there are other notable graves at the Fairplay Cemetery, including those of local legends. The cemetery’s history reflects the town’s past and cultural heritage.

What is the current population of Fairplay, and has it been growing or declining in recent years?

The current population of Fairplay is 679, up from 610 in 2010. Population trends have been relatively stable with slight growth. Economic development is limited, with tourism as the main source of revenue.

Are there any unique geological features or landmarks in Fairplay besides the mountain named after Silver Heels?

Fairplay boasts several unique geological formations and historical landmarks, such as the Hand Hotel and the South Park City Museum. These landmarks offer a glimpse into the town’s rich history and serve as a reminder of its enduring legacy.

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