TRIVIA: Breckenridge


Test your knowledge of Breckenridge.

  • During the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in the summer of 1859, Gold was discovered along the Blue River resulting in a base camp eventually called Breckenridge. While none of this base camp remains today, Breckenridge contains more than 350 historic structures, making it the largest historic district in the state of Colorado.  Most notably, the Gold Pan Saloon was founded that same year as a rough-and-ready bar for the miners. Today, the bar is still in business at 103 N. Main Street and stands proud as the oldest continuously operated bar West of the Mississippi.


  • Breckenridge became Colorado’s first major resort to allow snowboarding (in 1984).  The Winter Dew Tour recently began coming to Breckenridge, giving snowboarders and freeskiers the chance to compete in one of the best parks and pipe in the world.


  • Breckenridge has a ghost named Sylvia, a miner’s widow living in the 1860’s.  She occupied a women’s boarding house on Main Street and is said by many to still occupy that building.  Sylvia was said to be a prospector herself (of suitors, not gold), but failed to strike it rich and passed away alone.  Today visitors can try to spot Sylvia at the former boarding house (now The Prospector Restaurant on 130 S. Main Street). Local lore suggests that she only reveals herself to males, still in hopes of finding a mate.


  • On November 3, 2009, Breckenridge created a national buzz after voters (by a nearly 3-to-1 margin) legalized the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.  The victory of passing the “Rocky Mountain high law” was considered symbolic because it conflicted with state and federal laws.


  • Breckenridge long-time local and snowboard legend Todd Richards has lived in the area for 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. 


  • In 1887, “Tom’s Baby,” a 13.5 pound gold nugget, was discovered by local miners Tom Graves and Harry Lytton. Tom’s Baby is now on display at the Colorado Museum of Natural History in Denver.  Since the presence of the mining industry in Breckenridge, the town has produced over 68,000 lbs of gold.


  • Breckenridge almost became a ghost town in 1969 when the population dipped to 393. Luckily, the following year the Porter Lumber Company was issued a permit for a ski area.


  • “The Big Snow” occurred in 1989.  Snow fell everyday from November through February, forcing residents to dig tunnels to travel through town and stopping all trains from visiting Breckenridge for months.  (Makes us think of the movie “The Shining”!)


  • Breckenridge is located approximately 40 miles West of Denver, in Summit County. It lies at an elevation of 9,600 ft and is bordered by Lake Dillon to the North amidst the Rocky Mountains.


  • The town of Breckenridge was formally created in November 1859 by General George E. Spencer. Spencer chose the name “Breckinridge” after John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, Vice President of the United States, in the hopes of flattering the government and gaining a post office. Spencer succeeded in his plan and a post office was built in Breckinridge; it was the first post office between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City, Utah. However, when the Civil War broke out in 1861, the former VP sided with the Confederates (as a brigadier general) and the pro-Union citizens of Breckinridge decided to change the town’s name. The first i was changed to an e, and the town’s name has been spelled Breckenridge ever since.

 Leave a Reply