The origin of Fraser was in 1905 and it was incorporated in 1953. It was formerly known as Eastom, for George Eastom, who laid out the town site in 1871. The spelling of Fraser was originally Frazier, after Reuben Frazier. The town came into being because it was the site of a large sawmill and was a railroad terminus for the lumbering operation.
While Fraser was generally considered to be an isolated mountain outpost, at one point there was enough cultural interest to support a local opera house. Fraser was the location of a weather station for several years and during that time it was not uncommon for the winter temperatures to be 45 to 50 degrees below zero; one Fraserite remembers a morning when it was 60 degrees BELOW zero. Thus the town earned the nickname “Icebox of the Nation.” After a legal battle, that offical title went to a town in Minnesota.
A transcontinental motor route dubbed the Midland Trail came through Grand County and by 1913 a Ford sales agency was located outside of Fraser on the 4 Bar 4 Ranch. Avid fly fisherman President Eisenhower was a frequent visitor between 1948 and 1955.
R.C. Black, Island in the Rockies. Pruett Publishing Company, 1969
William Bright, Colorado Place Names. Johnson Printing Company, 1993
Interview with Edna Tucker, Fraser resident, 2004
Conversation with Jean Miller, Tabernash resident, 2004
Information on display at Cozen’s Ranch Museum, Fraser, CO., 2004