Fairplay, CO


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The Town of Fairplay is a statutory town that is the county seat and the most populous town of Park County, Colorado, United States. Fairplay is located in South Park at an elevation of 9,953 feet (3,034 m). The town is the fifth-highest incorporated place in the State of Colorado. The population was 610 at the U.S. Census 2000. A historic gold mining settlement, the town was founded in 1859 during the early days of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. It is the largest community in the grassland basin of Colorado known as South Park, sitting on the west edge of the basin at the junction of U.S. Highway 285 and State Highway 9. It is on a hillside just east of the Middle Fork South Platte River, near where Highway 9 ascends the river valley northward to Alma and Hoosier Pass. It is a quiet town, and the roads surrounding it have a low volume of traffic. Although it was founded during the initial placer mining boom, the mines in the area continued to produce gold and silver ore for many decades up through the middle of the 20th century.
The town consists of modern retail businesses along the highway, as well as a historic town on the bluff above the river along Front Street. The northern extension of Front Street along the river has been preserved and has become the site of relocated historic structures as an open air museum called South Park City, intended to recreate the early days of the Colorado Gold Rush. Most of the residences in town are located on the hillside east of State Highway 9, in the vicinity of the schools and Park County Courthouse. The majority of the streets in town were finally paved in 2005.
The Town of Fairplay, Colorado, is the basis for the Town of South Park, Colorado, in the television series South Park.