Breckenridge travel blog

Barney Ford home

Barney Ford

A luxurious house in its day

Gondolas - there was no rain when we started

Robbie's Tavern was very nice

Breckenridge, CO Playing tourist again, we explored the eastern side of Main Street, finding some great little shops. We also visited the Barney Ford Museum. Barney was a runaway slave in the 1840s who first went to Chicago and then to various other towns setting up restaurants, saloons, and barber shops. He had learned barbering while a slave. He had also seen how to treat guests while working on a steam boat while on loan from his owner. Barney jumped ship in Illinois dressed as a woman and the underground railroad took him to Chicago where he began his career. When he came to Breckenridge after the Civil War, he opened a shop with a restaurant on the main floor, a saloon on the top floor, and a barbershop on the bottom floor. His restaurant was known for good food. He served oysters which were a delicacy but were obtainable because of the railroad coming to Breckenridge. He was quite a man. Barney Ford was an escaped slave who became a wealthy Colorado businessman and civil-rights pioneer. He's a member of the Colorado Black Hall of Fame, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, and has a stained-glass portrait in the House Chamber of the Colorado State Capitol. Returning to Main Street, we headed to the free gondola ride up to Peak 8. It is used by town folk to get to and from work as well as by tourists. We rode the gondola and lunched at Robbie’s Tavern,a slope-side bistro. As we were leaving, it began to rain bucketfulls. We reached the gondola just as it shut down. The rain had eased and the sun was out, but the gondola was shut down because of lightning in the storm. We were offered a bus ride back to ground zero. We accepted, as did everyone else currently up top so the wait for the bus and the eventual ride was about 20 minutes. They were very efficient - apparently this has happened before!

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