The town of Florissant grew up along the Ute Pass Wagon Road in the early 1870s when Judge James Castello established a small ranch and trading post on the banks of Twin Creek. Castello names his new home Florissant, 'flowering' in French. Ute Indians, a tribe with a long history in the area, visited the Castello home frequently and befriended the family. Chief Colorow presented Mrs. Catherine Castello with a buffalo robe that now resides in the Colorado Springs Museum.
In 1896,the Colorado Midland Railroad reached Florissant. When the Cripple Creek gold boom began around 1892, Florissant became a bustling jumping-off point for people and freight bound for the mining district. The road between Florissant and Cripple Creek carried heavier freight traffic than the shorter route between Divide and Cripple Creek because of its easier grades. Tons of equipment and supplies traveled by freight wagon, wagons carrying gold ore transferred their freight to the Midland Railroad at Florissant for processing at mills as far away as Aspen. The Hundley State Line, the first stagecoach into Cripple Creek, operated 15 six-horse stages daily carrying passengers and mailto the mining district.
Today, visitors to this tiny hamlet can see the original Florissant School,now the Florissant Grange. The school board purchased the land from the Castello family in 1887 and the school is opened in the fall of the same year. In 1960,the Florissant Grange purchased the school continuing its history as an important focal point for the community. The original teacher's residence was also returned to the site in ---- and serves as a museum.
Listen to a narration about Florrisant: