Postcard showing the Fairplay Hotel, which was built in 1923 (the date on the verso of the postcard noting the hotel's opening is incorrect). Fairplay was established in 1859 when placer gold was discovered at the junction of Beaver Creek and the South Platte River. The founders of this new camp called it "Fair Play" referring to the treatment they vowed people would receive there as opposed to that of a nearby gold camp. During the 1860s, Fairplay developed into a supply center for the surrounding mining camps, and in 1867 it became the county seat. After most of the town burned to the ground in 1873, it was quickly rebuilt and most of the new buildings were made of stone. The Fairplay district's small placer claims were consolidated in the 1870s and only intermittently worked through the 1890s. Dredges were brought in to work the gold placers starting in 1922 and their operations continued intermittently into the 1950s. Although Fairplay began as a mining town, ranching and ...
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