We had a great day today visiting the beautiful town of Fairplay, Colorado. In the days of the early pioneers, hopeful gold prospectors fanned out across this area. The town of Fair Play was established in 1859 at the junction of Beaver Creek and the South Platte River, and served as a supply center for nearby mining camps. Fair Play was rechristened as South Park City in 1869, then changed back to Fairplay (one word) in 1874. As the mining industry faded, tourism, along with cattle-raising and hay-growing, became the economic mainstays of the area.
Known today as the Trout Fishing Capital of Colorado, anglers seek out the area's Gold Medal streams. And in 2009, South Park and the area around Fairplay were designated a National Heritage Area by the U.S. Congress for its distinctive landscapes, historic structures, recreational resources. Traveling around, you'll see South Park's 19th-century ranches, old mines and other historic sites. The largest gold nugget ever found in North America was found just 20 miles from Fairplay, CO. This nugget dubbed "Tom's baby" was 151 oz. approx. the size of an adult human head. Geologists have made the statement "These gold fields contain more gold than was taken out by all the mining done over the last 120 years."
There is a great campground in the area that has gold panning. Reading about the nugget the size of a man’s head made us want to move to this campground and go gold panning. :-)
Another great day of exploring in Colorado, check back later for more.