You wouldn’t know it now, but the little ghost town of Frisco was once a bustling, busy place with as many as 6,000 residents. Gold, silver, zinc and copper were mined from this town, and its mine was one of the most productive in the area. Now, nobody lives here. However, there are stories and rumors about Frisco’s dead…
The town of Frisco sprung up in 1875 when mineral-rich ore was found in the area. The Horn Silver mine and others in the area were full of gold, silver, copper and zinc. By 1885, over $60 million worth had been hauled out of Frisco, and people were making some serious money.
In its heyday, Frisco had 6,000 residents. It also had 28 saloons, numerous brothels and several gambling halls. Miners came off their shifts, grabbed a bar stool and entertained themselves all evening - often getting drunk and fighting.
So, here was a town full of drunk men with their pockets full of money. In a modern city like Las Vegas, this equates to a bunch of petty crimes and arrest (revelers get drunk, throw a punch or two, go to jail). In remote 1880s Frisco, with the nearest Sheriff over two hours away, it meant that disputes over women and gambling games resulted in shootouts and murders. It quickly gained the reputation for being the wildest town in the Wild West.
After dozens of homicides, a marshall was hired to clean up the crime. He arrived in town and quickly made it known that his plan did not include rounding up outlaws, building jails and hosting trials. Instead, any criminals hanging out had 24 hours to leave or be shot. Many heeded his warning; others did not. The next day, the marshall shot six outlaws. Things settled down after that.
On February 12, 1885, miners reporting for the morning shift at the Horn Silver Mine were told to wait. The ground was shaking and trembling below, and the mine had already suffered several minor cave ins. As the graveyard shift emerged from the mine, completely collapsed. Luckily, no one died that day, but the collapse was the death knell for Frisco. Though the mine reopened a year later, it never produced as well as before. By 1900, only 500 people remained; in 1912, just 150 residents were left. Frisco was a ghost town by the 1920s.
Some say that when you wander through the crumbling foundations and vacant buildings of Frisco today you feel unsettled and as though someone is watching you.
Stories of ghosts are common in this ghost town. Considering all the violent deaths that occurred in its early days, that’s no surprise.