• Altitude: 9,975 ft.
• Population: est. 670 (2000 census: 610)
• Time Zone: Mountain (Standard Time: GMT -7 hours)
• Coordinates: Latitude 39.22 & Longitude -106.99
• Located: Northwest corner of Park County
The Town of Fairplay is located in central Colorado within west central Park County, approximately 85 miles southwest of Denver and 85 miles west-northwest of Colorado Springs at the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and Highway 9. Fairplay lies within South Park which is a broad valley covering over 900 square miles and surrounded by the Mosquito and Park mountain ranges. Early French trappers and Ute Indians found the area a favorite summer camp for trapping and hunting and fur trading. By the mid-19th century ranchers moved in with their cattle and sheep. Gold was discovered in 1859 in South Park and the rush was on. Gold and silver mining were the major economic factors for towns like Fairplay. The mining district known as “Fairplay Diggings” was established in 1859. The term “Fair Play” came from the opinion that here every man would have an equal chance to stake a claim. This settlement was also known as Platte City, Fair Play and South Park City. Fairplay was the accepted spelling after 1874. Prosperity in the mining industry influenced the westward migration of men, women and families which later gave way to permanent settlements, sturdy buildings, and amenities of home life. As Fairplay and other South Park communities became more settled, skilled services such as carpentry and blacksmithing were needed to build houses and repair equipment. Gold and silver were shipped back to Denver and Canon City as wagon roads and later a narrow gauge railroad were built to accommodate the businessmen and miners. Recreational outlets were provided by dance halls, saloons and gambling houses. Fairplay became the county seat of Park County in 1867 that served miners, ranchers, local townspeople, and travelers despite economic ups and downs. South Park uses today range from ranching and mining to recreation. Fairplay is centrally located to provide easy access to some of the best fishing, hiking, camping and skiing in Colorado. Favorite attractions include South Park City, created in 1959 as a historic site and outdoor museum representing a Colorado mining town between 1870 and 1900. The museum is open May – October. Check out the Historic Walking Tour in downtown Fairplay. Brochures are available at the South Park City Museum and Town Hall.
Town Website: www.FairplayCO.us