Catholic worship was first held in Fairplay in the early 1860s by Father Joseph Machebeuf, a French missionary,
who had been sent to Colorado from New Mexico. In the early years, Father Machebeuf traveled by wagon train
from Denver to South Park to say mass and for pastoral visits to the mining camps that were located throughout the
In the years that followed, Father Machebeuf continued to serve Colorado and became the first Bishop of Denver.
One of his first acts was to appoint a young, energetic priest, Father Henry Robinson, to serve the local community
in and around Fariplay, which included Alma and Como. Father Robinson established St. Joseph’s Catholic
Mission in 1874.
Now, 135 years later, the small, wood frame church is still standing and continues to be the focal point for a growing
Catholic community that includes visitors and all of the communities west of Kenosha Pass in northern Park County.
On June 25, 2010, St. Josephs Church entered a new era with the dedication of a brand new church adjacent to
the historic one. Now there is enough room to welcome both locals and visitors alike into the growing community.