Welcome to Fremont County Colorado

The Arkansas River comes rushing out of the Rocky Mountains onto the Great Plains through Fremont County. The river’s course was the route followed by a host of early explorers, trappers and mountain men including Zebulon Pike in 1806 and the County’s namesake John C. Fremont in several expeditions during the 1840s. Located 30 miles southwest of Pikes Peak, notable dinosaur fossil discoveries have been made here since the 1870s as well as some of the earliest vertebrate fossils known to science. Wide-ranging geologic sites provide examples of numerous eras in earth history and processes that shaped our planet, as well as a rich assortment of minerals.

Established in 1861 as one of the original 17 counties in the Colorado Territory, the state’s earliest orchards, cattle ranches and oil wells were in Fremont County which was also the site in 1871 of the Territorial Prison. Often referred to as Colorado’s Banana Belt or Climate Capital due to its relatively mild winter climate and abundant sunshine, early-day mine owners from Leadville and Cripple Creek escaped colder, harsher conditions at 10,000’ high mining camps here. Cañon City and Florence, at an elevation of 5,400’, were the last places that wagon loads of goods could easily reach and they became important support centers for mining areas.

Mine owners brought their wealth and built homes here in while investing in real estate and agricultural enterprises along with successful merchants. The resulting magnificent homes and commercial buildings remain today. These historic downtowns date back to the 1870s and residential districts display late 1800s and early 1900s architectural styles that offer insight into post-Civil War development in the west, as do railroad stations, churches and school buildings.

Beyond nostalgia, orchards and farms in the Penrose area and eastern Fremont County, as well as grass-fed beef from the western part of the county, delight the palates of today’s visitors with locally produced food and authentic heritage experiences. In late spring and summer, Farmer’s Markets in Cañon City, Florence and Cotopaxi offer fresh produce, bread and homemade specialties for all tastes. Fall brings harvest festivals, apple cider, wine tastings, pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Specialty shops and restaurants make locally produced food items and craft brews year ‘round. Antique shops abound.

Fremont County’s rich history and varied heritage experiences are easily accessible to Front Range residents and visitors. Cañon City and Florence are conveniently located in south-central Colorado just west of the I-25 corridor, 45 minutes southwest of Colorado Springs via highway 115, and just 30 minutes west of Pueblo on US-50; with access from the north provided by CO-9. The Heritage Tourism experiences available in Fremont County are ideally matched with Gold Medal fishing for the outdoor enthusiast, world class rafting for the adventure seeker and the 1,000’ high Royal Gorge Bridge and park for sightseers.

Upcoming Events

19may2:00 PMKathleen Shoemaker "Cattlewomen"Read about this event in the FCHS May 2024 Newsletter2:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 801 Sheridan Canon City CO Event Organized ByFremont County Historical Society

26may1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

09jun1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) Corner of Plum & CR 12, Cotopaxi Colorado Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

23jun1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

06jul10:00 AMVintage Car Show10:00 AM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

14jul1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) Corner of Plum & CR 12, Cotopaxi Colorado Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

21jul2:00 PMAshlee Sack "Eugenia Endicott"More information to come2:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 801 Sheridan Canon City CO Event Organized ByFremont County Historical Society

28jul1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

11aug1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) Corner of Plum & CR 12, Cotopaxi Colorado Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

25aug1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

08sep1:00 PMA look back into historyOngoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) Corner of Plum & CR 12, Cotopaxi Colorado Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

15sep2:00 PMMike Espinosa "Espinosa's"More information to come2:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 801 Sheridan Canon City CO Event Organized ByFremont County Historical Society

22sep1:00 PMA look back into history (Copy)Ongoing open-house events with rotating displays1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 70 CR 56 Howard, CO Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

13oct1:00 PMCotopaxi/Plum Street tour1:00 PM(GMT-07:00) Corner of Plum & CR 12, Cotopaxi Colorado Event Organized ByWestern Fremont Historical Society

17nov2:00 PMAnne Whitfield "Rock Art"More information to come2:00 PM(GMT-07:00) 801 Sheridan Canon City CO Event Organized ByFremont County Historical Society

Fremont County Organizations

Fremont County Heritage Commission

Fremont County
Heritage Commission

The Fremont County Heritage Commission (FCHC) was originally set up as representing each geographic area of the county, and the major interests of the citizens

Crossroads
Through Time

Provides a quality educational experience for all ages by encouraging an understanding and appreciation for Fremont County’s rich geological, paleontological and historical heritage.

Friends of the Museum

Friends of the
Museum

A 501(c)-3 non-profit organization that supports the Heritage Center by raising funds for educational programs, conservation and preservation projects for the museum.

Stones
‘N’ Bones

An all-volunteer organization of geology and paleontology enthusiasts with a passion for studying Fremont County’s rich landscape and sharing knowledge and experiences.

Fremont County
Historical Society

A non-profit 501(c)3 organization with tax deductible dues. The FCHS Board of Directors hold monthly meetings and publish newsletters every other month on heritage topics.

Read The Latest Newsletters