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Park County

Park County is named for named for South Park which encompuses most of the county.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Summit County and Clear Creek County

E – Jefferson County and Teller County

S – Fremont County 

W – Chaffeee County and Lake County


Created:  November 1, 1861                  Map of Colorado highlighting Park County

County Seat:

Tarryall    1861 – 1872

Fairplay   1872 – present


County Courthouse – Fairplay


Location:  300 4th Street / Castellio Avenue

Built:  1985 – 1986

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Michael H Collins of Colorado Springs

Contractor:  Park County Manager – Dave Blackstock


Description: The building faces southeast and is a one story dark red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Fairplay. The southeast front has a recessed center section with projecting entrance. Above is a large semi-circular window. The roof is hipped. There are projecting east and west sections with flat roofs. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 11th Judicial District. The architect was Michael H Collins of Colorado Springs and the contractor was the Park County.


Note:  No general contractor was hired and construction was supervised by the County Manager, Dave Blackstock. Tri-County Forming was awarded the concrete bid, Don Smallwood Electric was awarded the electric bid, Jim Marvin was awarded the masonry bid, Bailey Plumbing was awarded the plumbing bid and South Park Constructions was awarded the framing bid.


Old County Courthouse – Fairplay



Location:  418 Main Street / 5th Street

Built:  1874

Style:   Italianate

Architect:  George W Nice

Contractor:  Robert Frazier and Lewis W Lewis


Description: The building faces southwest and is a two story rough red-white colored stone structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds of the Courthouse Square in the center if Fairplay. The building is constructed with red colored stone with course stone for the raised basement. The west front projects from the main building with entrance on the south side. The roof is hipped. The interior has a wooden spiral staircase which makes a half circle in its ascent from the first to the second story where the former courtroom was located. The building is now the Park County Library. On the northwest side is the old County Jail built in 1874.


Note:  The courthouse is the oldest former courthouse in Coloradado that is stil standing.


Note:  in 1880, the courthouse was the scene of a notorious crime that occurred when a group of vigilantes, displeased over a long jail sentence given a convicted murderer, broke into jail under cover of darkness and hung the unfortunate prisoner from the window above the main floor. Later a judge retrieved the noose and secreted it within the building in hope of using it as evidence when the vigilantes were brought to the bar of justice. But no one ever came to trial for the lynching, and the noose remained hidden in the building until accidentally found in 1953, a grim reminder of that fell event three-quarters of a century before.


Note:  In 1860 a prospector named Jim Reynolds, later an infamous highwayman, found a placer near Tarryall and announced that everyone who came there would receive “fair play.” The name caught on.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Park County Courthouse


Note:  In 1861, Park County was one of the 17 original counties.


See:  The 11th Judicial District includes Chaffeee CountyCuster County and Fremont County.


History:  The county was created in 1861 and Tarryall was designated as the county seat. Tarryall became South Park City and then changed to Fairplay in 1872. The first courthouse was constructed in 1874 at a cost of $15,000.  The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1985 to 1986.


See:  The courthouse is the oldest former courthouse in Colorado. The oldest courthouse still functioning as a courthouse was built in 1877 and is located in Hinsdale County.



County Courthouse – Fairplay













Old County Courthouse – Fairplay







Former courtroom





Old County Jail (1874) – Fairplay



South Park City Museum – Fairplay







Photos taken 2011