History of Breckenridge

Breckenridge’s rich and colorful history is full of gold finds and mining, exploration and adventure, brothels, saloons, booms and busts. Founded in 1859 by a small group of prospectors, the town’s Gold Rush brought droves of settlers seeking their fortunes. Though not all found gold, each discovered the beauty of the Tenmile Range and the bounty of surrounding mountain landscape.

Breckenridge was inadvertently left off a U.S. map in the mid-1800s and became known as “Colorado’s Kingdom” until the mistake was discovered nearly a half a century later. Today, the community embraces this unique aspect of its past with Kingdom Days — a celebration of Breck’s heritage. Those first settlers did more than erect a bustling town; they put their stamp on town history. And, as with Breckenridge townsfolk of today, the early settlers lived lives full of stories worth telling.

For more stories of Breck’s past, visit the Breckenridge Welcome Center and Museum at 203 S. Main St. (877-864-0868). Group and self-guided historical walking tours are available. The town also has one of the largest historic districts in the state of Colorado, with more than 200 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. For in-depth historical information, contact the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance at 970-453-9767 or visit BreckHeritage.com.


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