South Park City Tour Map

South Park City contains over 40 authentic buildings filled with over 60,000 artifacts of frontier Boomtown life.  The following video is just a sampling of what there is to experience.


To whet your appetite for the things to see at South Park City, we have listed the exhibits below. Photos and a brief description of some exhibits are provided by clicking on the highlighted exhibits name. The exhibit numbers correspond to the numbered stops on the tour map.

For more information don't miss A Town Is Born, a brief history on both South Park City and the surrounding area.

1.  DYER MEMORIAL CHAPEL Dedicated to the memory of John L. Dyer, this building is a tribute to those men who provided spiritual guidance in the early mining camps. Father Dyer, known as the “Snowshoe Itinerant,” was a Methodist circuit rider who served in South Park from 1863 to 1877.

2.  SMOKEHOUSE During the late 1800’s one of Leonhard Summer’s several business interests was a grocery and butcher shop. The bacon, hams and sausages were smoked here.

3.  SOUTH PARK BREWERY Built in 1879, the Summer Brewery produced South Park Lager beer. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through a grant from the national Endowment for the Humanities, it now houses exhibits which serve as an introduction to the museum and the South Park area.

4.  RACHE’S PLACE Here is a bustling, booming saloon and gambling house which operated in Alma during the mining era. Large sums of money changed hands in this establishment. The bar and gambling equipment are examples of Victorian saloon decor.

5.  PIONEER HOME On its original site, this house is furnished with items belonging to many of the pioneer families of Park County. A dressmaker’s shop in the front parlor is an example of how women combined business with home life.

6.  SUMMER SALOON Built of native sandstone in 1879 and renovated in 2000, the building is listed on the National Register. Each season a temporary exhibit is featured. A mammoth exhibit is also housed here.

7.  GARO CABIN Built in Garo in 1895, this building has been restored as a wash house. Equipment, familiar to every pioneer housewife, was used in the care and cleaning of family wardrobes.

8.  PARK COUNTY COURT HOUSE This log building was constructed in 1862 in what was then the county seat, Buckskin Joe. In 1867, a county election declared Fairplay the new county seat, and the structure was moved. In 1874, it was replaced by a stone building which now serves as the Fairplay branch of the Park County Library.
ARRASTRA This early ore crusher consisted of two large rocks positioned in a stream bed. The bottom one is stationary; the top one is attached to a horizontal pole so that an ox or burro pulling on the pole could slowly revolve it. The grinding action of the two stone surfaces pulverized the ore, and the water running through the arrastra washed away unwanted gravel and rock. Also featured are two “Hydraulic Giant” nozzles Used to dislodge ore- bearing materials from stream banks.

9.  ASSAY OFFICE This small log building, c.1890, came from the North London Mine, located west of Alma in Mosquito Gulch. Here a miner could find out the grade and value of his ore. Typically, mines that produced large quantities of ore did their own on-site assaying, thus avoiding loss of time in ore production.

10. HEAD HOUSE Originally a blacksmith shop in Leavick, a mining camp on Four Mile Creek, this log building has been restored as a dry. A “locker room” for miners, the dry was a facility provided only by large underground operations.

11. ALMA QUEEN MINE  This new exhibit is as close as a visitor can get to the real hard rock mining. A short walk through the mine will provide a good inside view on the hard labor miners went through in the late 1800s to find precious metal in the hard rock.

12. GALLOWS FRAME The wooden frame at the top of the hill is the head frame from the Phillips Mine, located in Buckskin Gulch, two miles west of Alma. Miners rode the bucket down into the shaft, then loaded it with ore to be pulled up with winches.

13. MINING MILL Equipment in the mining building includes a steam engine, a stamp mill, a crushing mill and Wilfley separating table.

14. BURRO ROOM Located on the original site, the offices of the Longenbaugh Ice and Coal Company now house photographs and artifacts commemorating the role of the burro in early mining operations.

15. TRANSPORTATION SHED The storage areas of the Longenbaugh Company have been converted into a display area for early vehicles, including a horse-drawn hearse from Como, a sheepherders wagon, Conestoga Wagon and early fire-fighting carts.

16. WAGON BARN A camp wagon, used for hunting excursions, and a rare Abbot-Downing and Co. “Mud Wagon” are displayed in the Longenbaugh Company’s ice storage building.

17. SOUTH PARK CITY DEPOT Originally the Buffalo Springs School, c. 1900, the depot contains memorabilia of the railroads which serviced South Park.

18. NARROW GAUGE TRAIN The locomotive, built in 1914, is a Porter Mogul #6 and of the basic type used by the DSP and R It was purchased from the United Fruit Co., of Guatemala. The rolling stock came from the Rio Grande Railroad.
WATER TOWER The water tank came from Ophir and was used by the Colorado and Southern line during the late 1880’s.

19. TRAPPER’S CABIN This simple, one-room dwelling, set apart from the main, helps to portray the modest and solitary life of the mountain man, whose existence revolved around his beaver traps and infrequent trips down-river where he could trade his winter’s cache of pelts for money or supplies.

20. CABOOSE Purchased from the Rio Grande Railroad, the caboose is a self-contained home and office on wheels for railroad personnel.

21. ROST BARN Originally located in Fairplay, this log barn provided shelter for the family’s small dairy herd. It houses examples of tack, farm machinery, and agricultural tools.

22. HOMESTEAD This ramshackle building was moved from Leavick and depicts the self-sufficiency of the early pioneer family. Small and cozy, it was able to accommodate all the activities necessary for survival in untamed country.

23. STAR LIVERY Originally located on the corner of 6th and Front Streets, this building is said to be the first livery in Fairplay. Here, horses and rigs could be rented, or a traveler could board his horse for the night.

24. STAGE BARN Although small, there was ample room in this shed to curry and feed stage teams while passengers ate and rested.

25. STAGE COACH INN Bought from Mosquito Pass, this hand-hewn log structure served as a halfway house from 1879 to 1890 during the rush to Leadville. A night’s rest and a hot meal provided a brief respite from a long and tiring journey. The distance between Fairplay and Leadville, via the pass, is a rugged 23 miles.

26. HOFFMAN BROTHERS BLACKSMITH SHOP Herein is contained many of the implements used in the blacksmith’s trade — from bellows to horseshoe nails. The smith not only shod horses, oxen and burros, but repaired mining equipment, wagons and sleighs.

27. DIORAMA BUILDING Dioramas by Hank Gentsch depict various mining operations.

28. SCHOOL HOUSE Built in 1879, this building was the original school at Garo, located nine miles east of Fairplay.

29. MORGUE AND CARPENTER SHOP This building served this dual purpose in Fairplay during the 1880’s. It contains early day woodworking tools which were used in the construction of the Park County Court House and the Sheldon Jackson Memorial Chapel.

30. SUMNER COLLECTION The building that houses this museum within a museum was one of the early homes erected in Fairplay. Through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Lawson Sumner, of Lake George, many examples of trapping, mining, and Victorian curiosities are displayed.

31. BARBER SHOP Constructed in Fairplay in the early 1870’s, the miners made this establishment their first stop on Saturday night. After a long week in the hills, a hot bath and a shave were welcomed beginnings to the evening’s festivities.

32. DENTIST’S OFFICE This office, along with it’s opulently furnished waiting room, depicts Victorian trends in dental care. Much of this equipment was used by the late Dr. McKenna of Breckenridge.

33. COVERED WELL Before the days of running water, a hand-dug well in close proximity to one’s house or business establishment was a real luxury.

34. RANGER STATION Often headquartered in isolated areas, the early U.S. Forest Ranger was, of necessity, a rugged, self-sufficient individual. The Ranger Station provided living quarters as well as office and storage space.

35. MAYER HOME Located on its original site, this house was once owned by Colonel Frank Mayer, Civil War soldier, buffalo hunter, and author.

36. DOCTOR’S OFFICE This pioneer doctor’s office and examining room includes various kinds of surgical equipment and medical instruments used by the early day physician.

37. SOUTH PARK SENTINEL Once a one-room schoolhouse in Lake George, this building contains a complete newspaper office typical of those found in early mining towns. It was furnished largely by the International Typographical Union.

38. SIMPKIN’S GENERAL STORE This two-story building brought from Dudley, a ghost town north of Alma, contains the post office equipment from Garo, as well as an extraordinary stock of general merchandise to meet the needs and whims of the 19th century community.

39. OLD LODGE HALL The lodge room over Simpkin’s Store has been furnished by the Masonic Lodges of Colorado and contains a replica of the Master’s Chair used by the Grand Lodge of Colorado in 1861.

40. BANK OF ALMA Founded in the 1870’s by E. P. Arthur, an Englishman, the bank contains many of the original fixtures. It was the scene of a dramatic holdup in 1935 and it survived the Alma fire in 1937.

41. J.A. MERRIAM DRUG STORE While the building has been moved from Alma, almost the entire collection of drugs and remedies was purchased at an auction in Westcliffe, Colorado and donated to South Park City. It is reported to be one of the most complete collections of patent medicines in the United States. The soda fountain is from the Kleinknect Store in Hartsel.

42. COMPANY STORE The museum store is the last stop on your tour and features an interesting selection of antique reproductions, books, prints, postcards, and souvenirs.