Established in 1859, the historic town of Breckenridge is a home rule municipality that is the county seat of Summit County, Colorado, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the town had a population of 4,540. The town also has many part-time residents, as many people have vacation homes in the area. Breckenridge is also a popular ski resort during the winter months, servicing multi-difficulty ski slopes on the Rocky Mountains. Summer in Breckenridge attracts outdoor enthusiasts with hiking trails, wildflowers, fly-fishing in the Blue River, mountain biking, nearby Lake Dillon for boating, white water rafting, alpine slides, and several shops up and down Main Street. Every year, Breckenridge hosts the Breckenridge Festival of Film, established in 1981, as well as an annual Fourth of July parade.
The town of Breckenridge was formally created in November 1859 by General George E. Spencer. Spencer chose the name "Breckinridge" after John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, Vice President of the United States, in the hopes of flattering the government and gaining a post office. Spencer succeeded in his plan and a post office was built in Breckinridge; it was the first post office between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City, Utah.
However, when the Civil War broke out in 1861, the former vice president sided with the Confederates (as a brigadier general) and the pro-Union citizens of Breckinridge decided to change the town's name. The first i was changed to an e, and the town's name has been spelled Breckenridge ever since.