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Summer 1859-Gold is discovered along the Blue River and a base camp, later to be known as Breckenridge, is established. While none of this base camp remains today, Breckenridge does contain more than 350 historic structures, making it the largest historic district in the state of Colorado.
1859-The Gold Pan Saloon is established as a rough-and-ready bar for the miners. Today, the is still in business at 103 N. Main Street in Breckenridge, and stands proud as the oldest continuously operated bar West of the Mississippi.
1860-Breckenridge gets a post office to serve the more than 8,000 miners and merchants who flock to the area.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S)Sylvia is one of Breckenridge's most enduring personalities. A miner's widow living in Breckenridge in the 1860's she occupied a women's boarding house on Main Street and is said by many to still occupy the building. Sylvia was said to be a prospector herself, (though of suitors, not gold), but failed to strike it rich and passed away alone. Today visitors can try to spot Sylvia themselves at the former boarding house, now The Prospector Restaurant, located at 130 S. Main Street. Local lore suggests that she only reveals herself to males, still in hope of finding a mate.
1869-Breckenridge Navy founded by "Captain" Sam Adams. Adams, seeking a water route from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, leads four boats on an ill-fated trip from the Blue to the Colorado River before hopes are abandoned.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S)Professor Edwin Carter was a Breckenridge local from 1859 to century's end and a naturalist who spent his life collecting and preserving area wildlife samples. Carter eventually passed away from arsenic poisoning he received from the chemicals used in his taxidermy process, and bequeathed his entire animal collection to the City of Denver. His gift was the foundation of the Denver Museum of Natural History and many pieces can still be seen in Breckenridge at the Edwin Carter Museum located at 111 N. Ridge Street.
1879-Father John L. Dyer, the "Snowshoe Itinerant Preacher" founds his Methodist church Breckenridge. Dyer spends winters on his twelve-foot-long wooden skis, traveling between mining camps to preach. The church he founded is located at 310 Wellington and still holds services today.
1882-The railroad arrives in Breckenridge. South Park & Pacific Railroad Company lay rail tracks over what is current day Boreas Pass Road. Today visitors can view original narrow gauge rail cars, including a rotary snowplow, a coal tender and two boxcars, at the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison Railway Park located at 189 Boreas Pass Road.
1887-"Tom's Baby" a 13.5 pound gold nugget is discovered near Breckenridge by local miners Tom Graves and Harry Lytton. Tom's Baby is now on display at the Colorado Museum of Natural History in Denver.
1898-"The Big Snow" comes to Breckenridge. Snow falls everyday from November through February, forcing residents to dig tunnels to travel through town and stopping all trains from visiting Breckenridge for months.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S)Barney & Julia Lancelot Ford were two runaway slaves who lived in Breckenridge in the late 1880's. Barney was a successful in mining in his early days in Breckenridge, but was bilked of his fortune by his lawyers who took advantage of the fact that African Americans were unable to own property in Colorado at the time. Barney and Julia didn't accept this fate, however. Instead, they worked to guarantee rights for African-Americans in the Colorado Constitution and returned to Breckenridge to gain a new fortune running the upscale Denver Hotel and Ford's Chop House. Visitors can see the couple's historic home at 225 S. Main Street in Breckenridge.
1908-School children discover Pug Ryan's treasure near Breckenridge. Pug Ryan and his gang robbed the Denver Hotel in Breckenridge in 1898, making off with considerable loot. The robbery resulted in a shoot-out and the death of all the gang members except Pug who escaped--never to return to claim his prize. The found treasure included the gold watch of the Denver Hotel's owner.
1909-Mining era money funds the building of the stately brick K-12 schoolhouse, complete with an indoor swimming pool and pressed-tin ceilings. Today, the building is inhabited by Colorado Mountain College and the Speakeasy Theatre and is located at 103 S. Harris Street.
1942-Dredge Boat mining comes to a halt after more than 40 years when World War II requires all metal be melted down for the war effort. Today visitors can view where the progress stopped at Maggie Pond at the Base of Peak 9 or eat on a reproduced dredge at The Dredge Restaurant located at 108 Jefferson Avenue.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S)Tommy Knocker's were the much feared and revered gremlins many Cornish miners believed to inhabit the underground shafts where they were working. Lore suggested the Tommy Knockers had a hand in the luck dealt to the miners while underground. Raising their displeasure was believed to cause accidents or death. Today visitors can see if they can spot one of the Tommy Knockers at The Country Boy Mine or the Lomax Mine, located at 301 Ski Hill Road and open for tours in the summer months.
1945- The Country Boy Mine ceases operation after a flood. Developed in 1887 and utilized through the years as a gold, silver, lead and zinc mine; today the mine is open to visitors and provides guided underground tours, gold panning and a view into the past.
1960-Breckenridge continues as the Summit County seat, but the population dips to 393 and town members fear the area will soon be a ghost town.
July 27, 1961- Rounds and Porter Lumber Company of Wichita, Kansas is issued a permit for a new ski area in Breckenridge. Tapping into a new "vein" of winter sports, the ski area ensures the continuation of the town and the area's history.
December 16, 1961- The Breckenridge Ski Area officially opens with one Heron double chairlift and a short T-bar. Almost 17,000 skier visits were recorded that first season, despite the fact that Interstate 70 was still not complete to Summit County.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S) Trygve Berge, a native Norwegian, served as the Breckenridge Ski School Director for the resort's first 11 years. Trygve was a Norwegian national ski champ in 1955 and founded a ski school with Stein Eriksen prior to locating in Breckenridge. Today Trygve's legacy is honored with Trygves Run for beginners, and the Bergenhof Restaurant, both named for him.
1971- Peak 9 opens with two double chairs and 12 trails. Skier visits for the 1971-72 total 221,000, compared to 17,000 during the 1961-62 season.
1978- Colorado's first alpine slide begins operation on Peak 8.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S) C.J. "Crazy John" Mueller is widely known as one of the fastest men on earth for his speed skiing abilities and three separate world-record speed skiing titles in the 1980's. This speedy Breckenridge local was an original member of the first (and only) U.S. Olympic Speed Skiing Team. John lived up to his "crazy" title by regularly skiing in excess of 100 MPH. CJ's legacy lives on with numerous posters around the area and many sightings of the town's "fastest" resident.
1981- Breckenridge installs the world's first high-speed quad chairlift on Peak 9. The lift, capable of transporting 2,800 skiers per hour, started the industry's high-speed quad revolution.
1984- Breckenridge became Colorado's first major resort to allow snowboarding.
1985- Breckenridge's third interconnected mountain, Peak 10, opens and the resort hosts the worlds first Snowboarding World Cup.
1993- Peak 7, the ski area's fourth interconnected mountain, opens for hiking access and glade skiing.
1997- Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort are merged with Vail and Beaver Creek to form Vail Resorts, the largest mountain resort company in North America at the time.
1998- $18 million is invested into on-mountain improvements, including two new high-speed quads--the most in the resort's 37-year history.
1999- Another $14 million invested includes construction of Ten Mile Station on Peak 9. Breckenridge celebrates being the country's most popular ski resort that season with a record 1,392,242 skier visits.
BRECKENRIDGE HAS CHARACTER(S) Breckenridge local and snowboard legend Todd Richards has lived in the area for more than ten years. Well known as a medalist in the 1998 Olympics and numerous X Games, Todd is a member of the Breckenridge Freeride Team and can often be seen in the Breckenridge Terrain Park on Peak 8.
1999-2000- The country's highest-capacity lift and first double-loading six-passenger chairlift, the Quicksilver Super6 opens at Breckenridge, replacing the world's first high-speed quad. For a second straight year, Breckenridge is the most-visited resort in the US, tabulating 1,441,000 skier visits.
2002- Breckenridge increases intermediate terrain by 30 percent with the Peak 7 expansion, adding seven new trails and the six-person Independence SuperChair. The new Peak 8 SuperConnect transports visitors from Peak 9 to Peak 8 with incredible speed.
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