Breckenridge has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when gold was first discovered along the Blue River. Native Americans were here prior to the miners, but it was the gold hungry settlers that helped make Breckenridge the town we know it as today.
In 1859 camp was established alongside the river to easily access the free flowing gold. There are no longer any remnants of the base camp but one can see how it set the precedent for Main Street which too sits along the roaring Blue River. As more and more miners continued to arrive in pursuit of wealth the town grew, expanding to current day Ridge, French and High Street creating the largest historical district in all of Colorado.
A quick stroll through downtown will take you past homes built over a hundred years ago, the oldest operating bar west of the Mississippi, and a church that was established in 1879 that still holds services today. With all this history and the pride that Breckenridge takes in being the oldest historical district in Colorado it should come as no surprise that Breckenridge has a surplus of museums to share it’s in depth history with all of its guests.
Below is a list of the many family-friendly museums in our historic little town of Breckenridge, Colorado.
The Breckenridge Historical Museum sits in the center of Main Street directly off the Blue River Plaza sharing the old “Bailey Building” with the Breckenridge Welcome Center. This interactive museum features various exhibits highlighting the town’s history and literally takes you back in time as you walk alongside a well preserved log cabin from the 19th century that was discovered during renovation.
The Barney Ford Museum honors Barney L. Ford, an escaped slave who came to Breckenridge and established himself as the first successful black entrepreneur and civil rights leader in Summit County. He opened a successful restaurant named Ford’s Chophouse and Restaurant which was known for serving delicious food and tall drinks. The museum itself is his old Victorian home where each room is dedicated to a different part of his life.
The Red, White and Blue Fire Museum takes you back to when there were three fire houses in Breckenridge. There was the Red: Hook and Ladder Company, the White: the Independent Hose Company and the Blue: The Blue River Hose Company each serving different parts of Breckenridge. They combined in 1882 to form the Red, White and Blue Firehouse that protects current day Breckenridge. This voluntary museum displays an antique hose cart that has been recently restored, an original human powered ladder cart and the uniforms and equipment from the first three companies.