A Weekend in the "Old West."

August 30, 2015 by Sherie Croft | Colorado Lifestyle Photographer

Butter Churning

My friend Laura demonstrates 1800's butter churning

I have a friend who loves 1800’s history, so much so, that she voluntarily participates in living history re-enactment events. In her case she dons authentic reproduction prairie dresses, erects a dining fly and teaches kids how to churn butter, make fresh buttermilk and bake buttermilk “gems” in a Dutch oven over an open fire. Tasting the results is highly encouraged and enjoyed by many. The next day you will find her teaching everyone how to make hand dipped beeswax candles, again over an open fire, and the participants get to take home the candle they made.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go along with her to one of these events, the South Park City Living History Days in Fairplay, Colorado. South Park City is the original city that later became Fairplay. All the buildings in the city except one, were built in the 1800’s. Some were moved there from other places in Colorado and many are original to the site. The Living History Days is a weekend event that happens once a year and South Park City comes alive with people dressed and playing the part of real people and characters that lived in the 1800’s.

Laundry Day

Laundry getting washed by hand the way it was done in the 1800's.

As you walk down the plank boardwalk you encounter daily activities such as laundering, spinning wool, gold panning, and gunfights in the street. If you’re thirsty, Sarsaparilla is sold at the old bar in the saloon. In the Gift Shop the boys can get a kick out of smelling some really old, stinky, moldy cheese they keep there in a box.


"Old West" disagreements being settled with a gun fight.

You are free to roam the city and explore the buildings and shops that display the tools and lifestyles of the 1800’s residents complete with the Company Store, Dentist, Doctor’s office, Blacksmith, Train station, Livery Stable and the Stage Stop Inn.

Operating Table

Dr. B. Creightons operating table - 1800'S

Both days you can sit in on school sessions with the children and the school teacher. Be prepared for quizzes on your lessons! On Sunday Morning you can attend worship services in the Father Dyer Chapel on the outskirts of town.

This is a great event and activity to be enjoyed by the whole family. One word of caution to parents, if you enter the saloon with your children be prepared to answer their questions about the life sized naked lady on the wall. She is a work of art and truly a beauty! "Old West" History comest to life on Main Street in South Park City, Colorado

South Park City Main Street

Living History Days is an annual event occurring mid August in Fairplay, Colorado.  Visit my South Park City Gallery to see more of what you may experience when you attend the event.

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