What’s in store in 2024

January 29, 2024 | Category: Making History Happen

As the first month of the new year draws to a close, we are excited about all the possibilities ahead of us. With new preservation projects, museum updates, educational programs, tours and events, we plan to pack as much as possible into 2024. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the excitement coming your way over the course of this year.

 

Preservation work

Breckenridge History is working to move the Keystone Drill to an accessible location near the B&B trailhead. This work will include adding a new shelter to help protect the drill from our harsh environment. This will allow us to not only preserve the object, but hopefully preserve the history through interpretation. Many of our historical sites exist well off the beaten path making it more difficult for people to learn about their history. This unique object will be accessible to anyone and everyone and include interpretive signs so that community members and visitors alike can learn a little bit more about Breckenridge’s history.

For those that can’t make it to our more remote sites, we also have an exciting new tool: a historic sites preservation map. Executive Director Larissa O’Neil has worked diligently to create a matrix including as many historical sites as possible in and near Breckenridge. Each site has been evaluated for historic preservation based on five criteria: accessibility, location, historical significance, interpretive potential and how at-risk the site is. We have taken that matrix and adapted it into an interactive map where you can browse or search for sites, view photos and see the planned preservation efforts. We hope this map will help people gain a wider understanding of all the historical sites in our area and will also be a valuable tool in evaluating our future preservation efforts. In a worst-case scenario, it will also function as a way for emergency responders to see where historical sites are located and evaluate how to deploy resources in case of a wildfire.


 

Museum updates

This year will be an exciting one for our museums! We are currently in the design phase for a full re-envisioning of the museum inside the Breckenridge Welcome Center. Working with Timelooper, an immersive museum exhibit design company, this project includes the development of three new galleries to tell the story of Breckenridge from the formation of the Rocky Mountains to present day. This immersive experience will include artifact displays, interactive exhibits, and cutting-edge technology to help visitors envision their place in Breckenridge’s history and community. Imagine walking into our upstairs gallery and having a conversation with a miner from the 1800s. By creating a database using primary source information, we will be able to have a hologram of a miner who can tell you all about life here in the 1800s. The holograms will be able to speak in a variety of languages, include captions and can even include curriculum from our schools to help reinforce the education our students are getting at school. For traditional museumgoers, the galleries will include plenty of space for artifact exhibits and interpretive panels, making sure everyone can have their own journey through Breckenridge’s history. Our history is tied directly to our land and being able to tell that story will help visitors to see themselves and their actions as a part of our community and history.

We are also planning for new updates to the Edwin Carter Museum ahead of the museum’s 150th anniversary in 2025.  The Edwin Carter Museum honors the life and work of the miner turned conservationist. After seeing the negative effects mining had on the environment, Carter worked to preserve Summit County’s natural history by using taxidermy to create more than 3,000 specimens of the area’s wildlife. During his lifetime, he operated a museum out of the same log cabin where the museum stands today. After his passing, many of his animal specimens became the foundational collection for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Carter also became the first private citizen to lay in state in the Colorado Capitol.

 

Educational programs

Breckenridge History started a new after-school program last year in partnership with Project Thrive and TheatreSilco. The program runs on Wednesdays for six weeks. So far, we have completed a full session at Silverthorne Elementary School and are in the middle of a session at Dillon Valley Elementary School. Thanks to an in-kind donation from Vail Resorts EpicPromise, we plan to continue the program at Summit Cove Elementary School and return to Silverthorne Elementary School to finish off this school year. We hope this will be the beginning of a lengthy program continuing on in future years.

Each week, the program lasts for two and a half hours and focuses on a different theme in Breckenridge’s history. Topics range from Ute history and gold mining history to Victorian children’s games. Students range in age from 5-11 years old and each week have an activity to participate in to help further their understanding of the historical information.

In addition to our after-school program, we continue to serve students with field trips to our sites and in-class instruction. Thanks to a grant from BGV Gives, these programs are offered for free to any school in Summit County. So far this year, we have plans to work with students at every age level from the elementary schools to high school. All our educational programs are tailored to meet educator and student needs, and our curriculum is developed to match Colorado State educational standards.

Tours and Events

As we enjoy the bevvy of snow the most recent storms brought our way, we have started up our French Gulch snowshoe tours. Every Friday, while the weather cooperates, we offer a two-hour guided snowshoe that winds through our trail system to the Reiling Dredge and back to the B&B trailhead. Snowshoe and pole rentals are included, and guests of all ages are welcome. When the snow melts away, we will again turn this snowshoe into a hike. Summer will also bring back our Hike Home with a Miner tour of Iowa Hill, which lets participants venture into the boarding house at the top of the trail. Our Walk Through History and Bawdy Breckenridge tours continue to canter through all seasons and are a great option for anyone looking for an overview of Breckenridge’s history. Tombstone Tales will kick off again as the days get longer this summer. And, of course, gold panning will be back at Lomax Gulch this summer for anyone looking to claim their fortune (or at least have some fun looking).

In addition to our regular programming and free museum tours, we also plan to offer specialty tours each month in 2024. These specialty tours will be built off passion projects from our guides and administrative staff and will cover a wide range of topics. In February, we will offer walking tours focused on black history in Breckenridge. This will include information on Barney Ford and end with the opportunity to explore the Barney Ford Museum. Stay tuned for information on events in the coming months, including programming in the Briggle House. We will also host our annual Fourth of July party on the lawn at the Barney Ford Museum to thank local frontline workers.

We are looking forward to an exciting year in Breckenridge and hope you will join us in celebrating our community’s history!

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