Franktown CO history began with a way station between Denver and Santa Fe. Franktown was a popular rest stop on the busy Jimmy Camp Trail (which followed Cherry Creek into Denver).
Franks Town came into being in 1861 and was designated the county seat of Douglas County. The town was named for James Frank Gardner, an early pioneer who settled in the area in 1859. He was also the first county clerk and recorder.
Franktown CO history includes Franktown and Russellville. Both had stockades in the early 1860s to protect the region from Confederate raiders and Indians. These stockades supported the volunteer federal troops in Colorado. Territorial troops from this area fought their most significant battle at Glorietta Pass in New Mexico. The First Colorado Regiment helped turn back a large Confederate force in 1862.
The Franktown school district was organized in 1865. The November Golddale school in 1886 and in 1899 the Flintwood school district was established.
The Grange was the center of ranching and agricultural business as well as the gathering place for social events. The Fonder Grange was founded in 1875. The Pikes Peak Grange #163 was constructed in 1909 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Town meetings, dances, and holiday celebrations were held at the Grange. Franktown CO history wouldn’t be complete without the Grange.
Franktown supplied early Denver with timber during the 1860s. Known as the Pinery, sawmills worked around the clock. The Pinery supplied timber for the Kansas Pacific and Denver Rio Grande railroads. Much of early Colorado was built with lumber from the Pinery.
The Franktown museum offers you a glimpse into the past. Packed full of early western artifacts you will see how difficult life was for the early pioneers. Franktown CO history highlights many of the early settlers.
Franktown CO history also includes Franktown Cave. It’s on private land, is about 2 ½ miles southwest of the town of Franktown. It is a large rock shelter where evidence of prehistoric people was found dating back to 6400 B.C. Artifacts included items made of hide, wood and fiber as well as corn and other plant material. More than 4000 artifacts were recovered from the cave between the 1940s and 1950s.
Castlewood Canyon is a wonderful place to hike and bike. It was built in 1890 as a way to irrigate about 30,000 acres of farmland. However, from the onset, the dam leaked. In 1933, the dam gave way for good. The water devastated the lands around, took out six bridges in the Denver area and killed two people. The dam was never rebuilt. Memorials to settlers killed by Indians can still be seen on the canyon walls.
Are there ghosts in Castlewood Canyon? Employees in the Visitors Center say strange things happen that have no rational explanation. Could it be Conrad Moschel? Moschel was killed on the Cherokee Trail by Indians in 1884 just south of the park. Moschel was with the Colorado Calvary out rounding up cattle. He was the only one who died with an arrow in is back. He was buried where he was found. Maybe haunted, maybe not!
For more information about Franktown CO History, Franktown Colorado Real Estate or homes for sale along the Front Range, call Marilyn Van Steenberg, Dream Home Consultant, Certified Residential Specialist and Eco-Broker.
Specializing in Buyer Representation & Relocation Real Estate Transactions.