Dillon, Colorado, is a small but surprising place with a panoramic view of Lake Dillon and the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges. Situated between Frisco, Silverthorne and Keystone, the town’s boundaries are blurred along Highways 9 and 6, but its many charms are visible. If your plan is to hit all the Summit County ski resorts in a short period of time, Dillon, Colorado, makes a fantastic base camp because each day you can choose from Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain or Arapahoe Basin. Even the Vail Valley is within reach. Many Summit County locals call Dillon home because of its residential enclaves, but the year-round population is still less than 1,000. For the budget-conscious vacationer, Dillon hotels, motels and vacation rental properties often boast great views at less-costly rates. Dillon has truly walkable spaces but not the main street typical of some other mountain resort towns. Instead the community gathers around several key attractions like the Marina and Amphitheatre. Summertime brings the Dillon, Colorado, community together for a weekly concert series, farmer’s markets and boating. Dillon boasts the world’s highest regatta at 9,017 feet above sea level.
Dillon, Colorado’s Moving History
Named after prospector Tom Dillon, the town was incorporated in 1883. Dillon’s history is unusual in that it’s been relocated several times. First, the Dillon Mining Company purchased a 320-acre parcel that it turned into a trading post along what was then known as the Blue River Valley in 1881. Before incorporating in 1883, Dillon moved farther west after the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad bypassed it. Additional rail development found Dillon a new home at the confluence of the Blue River, the Snake River and Tenmile Creek, yielding a single rail station serving two separate lines. During the Great Depression, the Denver Water Board began buying up land in the area to construct a reservoir, setting aside 172 acres to relocate residents, businesses and even the town cemetery. Of the original structures, only the Dillon Community Church, Town Hall and the Arapahoe Café and Motel migrated to the new location. (The church now houses the Summit Historical Society, which is filled with interesting artifacts from the 1800s.) For film trivia buffs, Dillon, Colorado, is jungle-famous. Actress Enid Markey was born here in 1894. She portrayed Jane in the two earliest Tarzan movies made in 1918 and 1919.