Breckenridge Historic District

Breckenridge Historic District
The Theobald Building is one of downtown Breckenridge's Victorians. | Photo by Steven Martin /

Staff writer

Most of Breckenridge, with its mix of commercial, residential and religious buildings dating back to 1860, qualified for the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The town’s nomination for the Breckenridge Historic District cited “a well-preserved mining town” and identified 155 historically and architecturally significant buildings in 45 city blocks.

The buildings are made of wood and display a range of styles, including Italianate, Gothic, Greek Revival and Eastlake, plus log cabins. The commercial buildings have the kinds of facades popular in the 1800s, and the homes have Victorian features such as bay windows, decorated porch posts, bracketed cornices and gingerbread gables.

Most of the buildings are from a mining boom in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s, though a few date back to the 1860s.

Here are highlights of the district:

• The town’s oldest buildings are the Chinese Laundry building at 107 N. Main Street and two homes in the same block, all with rough-hewn log walls. The laundry was built in 1862 and the homes sometime in the 1860s.

• The Gold Pan Saloon at 103 N. Main Street opened in 1879 as the Herman Strauss Saloon and is home to the oldest continuously held liquor license west of the Mississippi River. In its heyday, it served as a general store and assay office as well as a drinking establishment.

• The J.P. Looney House, 322 N. Main St., is a two-story home from the 1900s with features typical of the time, including the bay window, clapboard facing, gable over the porch supported by decorative posts and pitched gable roof with dormer.

•The Riggs Cabin next door, at 320 N. Main St., is a simpler, working-class home from 1890s. It’s just one-story high and features broad-axe construction.

• The Theobald Building, 101 S. Main St., is a two-story commercial structure from the 1880s with an Italianate false front and bracketed cornice.

• A two-story commercial building in the Greek Revival style from the 1880s at 123 S. Main Street. It’s a clapboard-faced false front and has Greek detailing.

• Father Dyer Methodist Church, 310 Wellington Road, has been relocated from its original location at 105 French Street. John L. Dyer, a lay preacher who served the area’s mining camps, built the 50- by 25-foot chapel in 1880 and held the first service on Aug. 22, 1880. It was the first religious service on the Western Slope. Dyer also served the region’s mining camps, using skis to get around.

• The one-story Barney Ford House Museum, 111 E. Washington Ave., was built in 1882 as a home for the runaway slave who built a business empire in Denver and moved to Breckenridge in 1879 to start a restaurant and boarding house. Ford lived here with his wife, Julia, and their three children. He went on to become a noted civil rights leader.

Breckenridge Historic District