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The ghosts of South Park City, Colorado are friendly ones

Lincoln Rogers A wooden sign marks the entrance of South Park City.

There are ghosts in South Park City, Colo. Their stories permeate old wood beams and floorboards splashed by sunlight and shadow inside 19th century buildings. Within those rooms, you can almost hear them tell the story of Colorado’s mining past and the lives of settlers independent and brave enough to carve a life for themselves within this state’s backdrop of mountain beauty. They aren’t ghosts of the unfriendly kind, but spirits weaving their tales of life in the old west to anyone interested enough to listen.

In the year 1859, gold was discovered in South Park and the rush was officially on. With gold-seekers flooding the area like a human wave, the mountains were quickly awash with mining camps sporting lively names and personalities matching the energy of the edge of the frontier. As the ore played out, the mining activity dried up and the population evaporated, leaving the boomtowns at the mercy of Mother Nature until all that remained were decaying remnants of the past – ghost towns in the Colorado landscape.

Out of that crumbling past rose the present location of South Park City, an authentic restoration of a Colorado mining boom town near Fairplay, Colo.



About 40 buildings, relocated from nearby towns such as Tarryall, Leavick, Eureka and Buckskin Joe are restored and filled with 60,000 artifacts portraying the economic and social life of the mid-1800s.

“South Park City is a microcosm of what happened in Colorado,” said Carol Davis, curator of South Park City and ardent fan of the restored mining boomtown. “If it happened in Colorado, it’s out there, pretty much, in South Park. We had mining, we had ranching; there’s the development of transportation, the train system, roads, stagecoaches and stuff like that. It happened here,” she stated with conviction.



Touring the multitude of buildings is an experience history buffs and fans of the West will relish. Walking through an assay office, general store or livery brings the past alive, and touching old walls and furniture of the era make the ghosts in every room shout their memories aloud. The feel of every building is more personal than a museum and more intimate than most living history locations. The attention to authentic detail is apparent, starting with one of the most complete collections of 1800’s remedies and medicines in the drug store and including a narrow gauge locomotive built in 1914 with two adjoining box cars and a fully refurbished caboose.

The current location and its 30-plus buildings opened to the public in 1959, after the families of Park County finished scouring their attics and barns in order to donate nearly 40,000 appropriate artifacts for the project. The original buildings on the site honor Colorado’s gold rush heritage along with the people who lived it, turning back the clock to an adventurous time in our state’s history.

“It’s so neat,” added Davis about the incredible collection of buildings and artifacts on site. “It’s very hard to explain, (but) there’s something for everybody, depending on what your hobby is (or) what you interest is. If you care about the West historically, it’s here. We’ve got good junk,” she summed up with a laugh.

Just like the old saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

At South Park City, the friendly ghosts of Colorado’s past make the experience of visiting the location a real treasure.

You can find out more info about South Park City at http://www.SouthParkCity.org or call them at (719) 836-2387.

There are ghosts in South Park City, Colo. Their stories permeate old wood beams and floorboards splashed by sunlight and shadow inside 19th century buildings. Within those rooms, you can almost hear them tell the story of Colorado’s mining past and the lives of settlers independent and brave enough to carve a life for themselves within this state’s backdrop of mountain beauty. They aren’t ghosts of the unfriendly kind, but spirits weaving their tales of life in the old west to anyone interested enough to listen.

In the year 1859, gold was discovered in South Park and the rush was officially on. With gold-seekers flooding the area like a human wave, the mountains were quickly awash with mining camps sporting lively names and personalities matching the energy of the edge of the frontier. As the ore played out, the mining activity dried up and the population evaporated, leaving the boomtowns at the mercy of Mother Nature until all that remained were decaying remnants of the past – ghost towns in the Colorado landscape.

Out of that crumbling past rose the present location of South Park City, an authentic restoration of a Colorado mining boom town near Fairplay, Colo.

About 40 buildings, relocated from nearby towns such as Tarryall, Leavick, Eureka and Buckskin Joe are restored and filled with 60,000 artifacts portraying the economic and social life of the mid-1800s.

“South Park City is a microcosm of what happened in Colorado,” said Carol Davis, curator of South Park City and ardent fan of the restored mining boomtown. “If it happened in Colorado, it’s out there, pretty much, in South Park. We had mining, we had ranching; there’s the development of transportation, the train system, roads, stagecoaches and stuff like that. It happened here,” she stated with conviction.

Touring the multitude of buildings is an experience history buffs and fans of the West will relish. Walking through an assay office, general store or livery brings the past alive, and touching old walls and furniture of the era make the ghosts in every room shout their memories aloud. The feel of every building is more personal than a museum and more intimate than most living history locations. The attention to authentic detail is apparent, starting with one of the most complete collections of 1800’s remedies and medicines in the drug store and including a narrow gauge locomotive built in 1914 with two adjoining box cars and a fully refurbished caboose.

The current location and its 30-plus buildings opened to the public in 1959, after the families of Park County finished scouring their attics and barns in order to donate nearly 40,000 appropriate artifacts for the project. The original buildings on the site honor Colorado’s gold rush heritage along with the people who lived it, turning back the clock to an adventurous time in our state’s history.

“It’s so neat,” added Davis about the incredible collection of buildings and artifacts on site. “It’s very hard to explain, (but) there’s something for everybody, depending on what your hobby is (or) what you interest is. If you care about the West historically, it’s here. We’ve got good junk,” she summed up with a laugh.

Just like the old saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

At South Park City, the friendly ghosts of Colorado’s past make the experience of visiting the location a real treasure.

You can find out more info about South Park City at http://www.SouthParkCity.org or call them at (719) 836-2387.

There are ghosts in South Park City, Colo. Their stories permeate old wood beams and floorboards splashed by sunlight and shadow inside 19th century buildings. Within those rooms, you can almost hear them tell the story of Colorado’s mining past and the lives of settlers independent and brave enough to carve a life for themselves within this state’s backdrop of mountain beauty. They aren’t ghosts of the unfriendly kind, but spirits weaving their tales of life in the old west to anyone interested enough to listen.

In the year 1859, gold was discovered in South Park and the rush was officially on. With gold-seekers flooding the area like a human wave, the mountains were quickly awash with mining camps sporting lively names and personalities matching the energy of the edge of the frontier. As the ore played out, the mining activity dried up and the population evaporated, leaving the boomtowns at the mercy of Mother Nature until all that remained were decaying remnants of the past – ghost towns in the Colorado landscape.

Out of that crumbling past rose the present location of South Park City, an authentic restoration of a Colorado mining boom town near Fairplay, Colo.

About 40 buildings, relocated from nearby towns such as Tarryall, Leavick, Eureka and Buckskin Joe are restored and filled with 60,000 artifacts portraying the economic and social life of the mid-1800s.

“South Park City is a microcosm of what happened in Colorado,” said Carol Davis, curator of South Park City and ardent fan of the restored mining boomtown. “If it happened in Colorado, it’s out there, pretty much, in South Park. We had mining, we had ranching; there’s the development of transportation, the train system, roads, stagecoaches and stuff like that. It happened here,” she stated with conviction.

Touring the multitude of buildings is an experience history buffs and fans of the West will relish. Walking through an assay office, general store or livery brings the past alive, and touching old walls and furniture of the era make the ghosts in every room shout their memories aloud. The feel of every building is more personal than a museum and more intimate than most living history locations. The attention to authentic detail is apparent, starting with one of the most complete collections of 1800’s remedies and medicines in the drug store and including a narrow gauge locomotive built in 1914 with two adjoining box cars and a fully refurbished caboose.

The current location and its 30-plus buildings opened to the public in 1959, after the families of Park County finished scouring their attics and barns in order to donate nearly 40,000 appropriate artifacts for the project. The original buildings on the site honor Colorado’s gold rush heritage along with the people who lived it, turning back the clock to an adventurous time in our state’s history.

“It’s so neat,” added Davis about the incredible collection of buildings and artifacts on site. “It’s very hard to explain, (but) there’s something for everybody, depending on what your hobby is (or) what you interest is. If you care about the West historically, it’s here. We’ve got good junk,” she summed up with a laugh.

Just like the old saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

At South Park City, the friendly ghosts of Colorado’s past make the experience of visiting the location a real treasure.

You can find out more info about South Park City at http://www.SouthParkCity.org or call them at (719) 836-2387.

There are ghosts in South Park City, Colo. Their stories permeate old wood beams and floorboards splashed by sunlight and shadow inside 19th century buildings. Within those rooms, you can almost hear them tell the story of Colorado’s mining past and the lives of settlers independent and brave enough to carve a life for themselves within this state’s backdrop of mountain beauty. They aren’t ghosts of the unfriendly kind, but spirits weaving their tales of life in the old west to anyone interested enough to listen.

In the year 1859, gold was discovered in South Park and the rush was officially on. With gold-seekers flooding the area like a human wave, the mountains were quickly awash with mining camps sporting lively names and personalities matching the energy of the edge of the frontier. As the ore played out, the mining activity dried up and the population evaporated, leaving the boomtowns at the mercy of Mother Nature until all that remained were decaying remnants of the past – ghost towns in the Colorado landscape.

Out of that crumbling past rose the present location of South Park City, an authentic restoration of a Colorado mining boom town near Fairplay, Colo.

About 40 buildings, relocated from nearby towns such as Tarryall, Leavick, Eureka and Buckskin Joe are restored and filled with 60,000 artifacts portraying the economic and social life of the mid-1800s.

“South Park City is a microcosm of what happened in Colorado,” said Carol Davis, curator of South Park City and ardent fan of the restored mining boomtown. “If it happened in Colorado, it’s out there, pretty much, in South Park. We had mining, we had ranching; there’s the development of transportation, the train system, roads, stagecoaches and stuff like that. It happened here,” she stated with conviction.

Touring the multitude of buildings is an experience history buffs and fans of the West will relish. Walking through an assay office, general store or livery brings the past alive, and touching old walls and furniture of the era make the ghosts in every room shout their memories aloud. The feel of every building is more personal than a museum and more intimate than most living history locations. The attention to authentic detail is apparent, starting with one of the most complete collections of 1800’s remedies and medicines in the drug store and including a narrow gauge locomotive built in 1914 with two adjoining box cars and a fully refurbished caboose.

The current location and its 30-plus buildings opened to the public in 1959, after the families of Park County finished scouring their attics and barns in order to donate nearly 40,000 appropriate artifacts for the project. The original buildings on the site honor Colorado’s gold rush heritage along with the people who lived it, turning back the clock to an adventurous time in our state’s history.

“It’s so neat,” added Davis about the incredible collection of buildings and artifacts on site. “It’s very hard to explain, (but) there’s something for everybody, depending on what your hobby is (or) what you interest is. If you care about the West historically, it’s here. We’ve got good junk,” she summed up with a laugh.

Just like the old saying goes, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

At South Park City, the friendly ghosts of Colorado’s past make the experience of visiting the location a real treasure.

You can find out more info about South Park City at http://www.SouthParkCity.org or call them at (719) 836-2387.


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