Free lunchtime talk at Frisco Historic Park and Museum focuses on Native Americans, mining and railroad era
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — For travelers on I-70, Tenmile Canyon, just west of Frisco, can be a magical gateway to the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Craggy peaks tower high above both sides of the highway, and Tenmile Creek sparkles as is rushed down from Vail Pass, carving its way through somber black and white gneiss, the oldest rocks around, forming the very base of the range.
While modern travelers speed through the canyon with ease on a modern four-lane freeway, the narrow defile was a challenge to early pioneers in the region, who hacked through the solid cliffs in search of precious minerals and to build a railroad path connecting mining camps and boom towns like Kokomo, Recen and Wheeler Junction (now the site of Copper Mountain ski area).
Even before the miners came to the area, Native American Utes hunted and camped around the canyon. Construction of I-70 over Vail Pass yielded evidence of Stone Age residents.
In short, there’s a ton of history in those canyon walls, and local author Sandi Mather will be featured at Frisco’s Aug. 15 edition of the lunchtime lecture series at the award-winning Frisco Historic Park and Museum (120 Main Street). (more…)