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South Park City Museum

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1959, Edward L. Bunts. 4th and Front sts.
  • South Park City Museum (Tom Noel)
  • Sumner Saloon (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Log and frame buildings from throughout the county have been brought together at South Park City, a re-created mining frontier town. Edward Bunts, a Colorado Springs architect, planned this extension of Front Street as a dirt lane with plank sidewalks lined by thirty-two relocated historic structures maintained by the South Park County Historical Society. As Colorado's best single collection of early mining camp architecture, it contains the V-notched, hewn log Park County Courthouse (1862), moved from Buckskin Joe; a stage house (1879) of 18-inch-thick spruce logs from the top of Mosquito Pass; the Greek Revival Bank of Alma (1870s); and the Garo Schoolhouse (1879). Buildings representative of mining frontier towns include a mortuary conveniently located between the doctor's and dentist's offices. A false-fronted saloon from Alma, Rachel's Place, has an unusual Neo-Gothic back bar. The Sumner Brewery (1873) and Sumner Saloon (1879) are both National Register structures built by Leonard Sumner of red sandstone quarried on nearby Red Hill. The brewery, in its original location, has a three-story facade of rough rubblestone smoothed over with tinted mortar and a bowed parapet. Rubblestone in undulating courses forms the other three sides of this much-altered antique. Displays inside depict early mining artifacts and tools. Sumner Saloon is a one-story frame building with a false front, adorned by a double Carpenter's Gothic cornice with double brackets. Near the entrance to South Park City is Memorial Chapel (1867), a squared log structure built as a hotel, which Father John L. Dyer turned into Fairplay's first house of worship.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "South Park City Museum", [Fairplay, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 213-214.

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