Photograph of Main Street in Breckenridge, which was probably taken between 1898 and 1900, showing the store buildings (including Evans Pharmacy). Breckenridge was founded in August 1859 when a party of prospectors including Ruben J. Spalding, George E. Spencer, and William H. Iliff discovered gold while panning the placer gravel deposits in the Blue River. When Iliff spread the word about his discovery in Denver, hundreds of men stampeded into the Breckenridge area. In 1860 the prospectors organized the town of Breckinridge, which they named after the Vice President of the United States, John C. Breckinridge. When Breckinridge later became a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Union supporters changed the spelling of the town's name to Breckenridge. The placer mining lasted about three years before the gold played out, and by 1868 there were only about twenty or thirty cabins in Breckenridge. The discovery of gold in fissures and veins during the ...
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