THE SKI RESORT OF BRECKENRIDGE
Breckenridge a Brief Historical, Geographical and Economic Introduction.
Breckenridge: In the Beginning
Breckenridge, located in the Blue River Valley, Summit County Colorado, lies in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. At 9,600 ft above sea level and with a total population of 2,670 (year 2003) it emerged as a mining camp along the banks of the Blue River. Breckenridge is now one of the most popular skiing resorts in North America visited by tourists from all over both in the winter and in the summer months.
It has always been a popular area, for different reasons, even from its first recorded moments of history. The area around Breckenridge was important well before a town developed there. It is know that this area was the hunting ground of the Ute Indians during the summer months.
However, it was only in the nineteenth century that a town began to emerge. The humble beginnings of Breckenridge coincides with the Gold Rush. Great interest in the area followed the discovery of gold in the Blue River, which still runs through the town. It was officially founded in November 1859 and the name given to it was Breckinridge. The founder of the town was General George E. Spencer. The new community was named after John Cabell Breckinridge (1857-1861), Vice President during the Presidency of James Buchanan. The naming of the town was not casual. The aim of the community was to obtain a post office for the town and it was thought they stood a better chance of achieving their objective by naming the town after the vice president then in office.
However, on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1864 Vice President Breckinridge sided with the Confederates and was expelled from the senate for treason. This was something of an embarrassment for the newly formed town. Hence the subtle change of spelling. Breckinridge was renamed Breckenridge. This diplomatic alteration of one vowel was enough to disguise the real inspiration for the name and thereby avoid the embarrassment caused by the change in the political climate
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