From the editor: Summit Daily News celebrates 30 years as the first draft of history
Editor’s note: This column has been updated to correct the year the silver boom started in Colorado.
Intertwined with the story of a place is the history of how its residents got their news.
Summit County’s first newspaper, Kokomo’s Summit County Times, hit the press Sept. 27, 1879. Breckenridge was established 20 years earlier after gold was discovered along the Blue River, but miners had to rely on Denver’s now-defunct Rocky Mountain News before a local paper was launched.
The silver boom began in Colorado in 1879, leading to the creation of at least 14 additional newspapers in Summit County during the next decade.
Among those is the county’s longest-standing newspaper, the Summit County Journal, which joined the fray April 4, 1883. The paper ceased publication in 1909 before it returned to newsstands in 1914. It now publishes weekly and is owned by Swift Communications, parent company of the Summit Daily.
The Summit Daily published its first issue 30 years ago on Aug. 21, 1989.
As we count down to our 30th anniversary Wednesday, we’ll publish daily features about the history of Summit County, covering everything from our mining and skiing heritage to life in the Old West.
Saturday: Striking gold
Reporter Deepan Dutta dives into the history of mining in Summit County, how Frisco and Breckenridge were named (and renamed) and how the towns survived the boom and bust lifestyle of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Sunday: First tracks
Reporter Antonio Olivero sits down with Breckenridge Ski Resort’s co-founder, who says the town was all but a ghost town when he arrived in 1960. Arapahoe Basin got things started much earlier in 1946, when it opened with a rope tow and $1.25 lift tickets, ultimately shaping Summit County into the recreation destination it is today.
Monday: Old West gunslingers
Reporter Sawyer D’Argonne talks with local historians about notorious Summit County outlaw Pug Ryan, who robbed the Denver Hotel in Breckenridge.
Tuesday: Test your history knowledge
Digital editor Heather Jarvis put together a quiz for residents and visitors to test their knowledge of Summit County history.
Wednesday: Looking back
Former Summit Daily editor Alex Miller explores the history of the daily, which was born at a crossroads in the newspaper business.
Also in Wednesday’s edition, you’ll find Still Standing, a magazine exploring the history of Summit County and the Summit Daily. In its pages is information about some of our communities’ oldest businesses, including those that were moved from the bottom of what would become Dillon Reservoir.
As a recent transplant to Summit County, this project has been fun and educational, helping me to better know the place I call home. I want to thank the Frisco Historic Park & Museum, the Summit Historical Society and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance for helping us learn more about Summit County and proving great historical images
Summit County newspapers
• Sept. 27: The Summit County Times is published in Kokomo, a town halfway between Frisco and Leadville. (Published through 1881)
• July 22: The Breckenridge Daily Journal is printed, edited by the Democrat Jonathan Cooper Fincher. (Published through 1888)
• Aug. 1: The Summit County Leader is available on newsstands in Breckenridge, edited by Republican Charles E. Hardy. (Published through 1892)
• Breckenridge Mining Gazette and Robinson Tribune (published through 1883) begin printing.
• Eagle River Shaft, Kokomo’s Ten Mile News (published through 1883) and Summit County Circular (published through 1882) are founded.
• June: The weekly Montezuma Millrun (published through 1888) hits the presses.
• Republican Oren K. Gaymon establishes the Dillon Enterprise (published through 1899).
• April 4: Fincher publishes the weekly Summit County Journal. (Published through 1909 and 1914 to present)
• Summit County Herald is published in Kokomo. (Published through 1884)
• W.S. Montgomery, of the Leadville Journal, publishes the weekly Summit County Democrat. (Published through 1889)
• The weekly Breckenridge Bi-Metallic is formed with editor George H. Clark and publisher Sam W. Jones. (Published through 1893)
• March 5: The weekly Breckenridge Bulletin is published with A. I. Wood as editor and manager. (Published through 1909)
• The weekly Summit County Miner begins in Breckenridge. (Published through 1903)
• April 14: Montezuma Prospector forms. (Published through 1909)
• Frisco’s weekly Successful Miner hits the presses. (Published through 1908)
• Oct. 2: The consolidated Summit County Journal and Breckenridge Bulletin is released.
• April: Publication of the Blue Valley Times begins in Dillon, edited by John Luethold. (Published through 1914)
• Aug. 12: The Summit County Journal and Breckenridge Bulletin disband, turning back into the Summit County Journal, which is still published weekly today.
• The weekly Breckenridge Herald is published. (Published through 1918)
• The weekly Summit County Star begins publication in Breckenridge. (Published through 1921)
• The weekly Summit Gazette forms in Breckenridge. (Published through 1927)
• July 31: Publication of the twice-weekly Summit Sentinel begins. (Published through 1995)
• January: Copper Cable, owned and edited by Miles F. Porter IV and Mary E. Staby, is released at Copper Mountain Resort.
• June: Porter and Staby publish the weekly Ten Mile Times in Frisco.
• Aug. 21: First issue of the Summit Daily News is published (with a misprint that said 1898)
• Swift Communications purchases the Summit Daily.
• Swift Communications purchases Summit Sentinel and the Summit County Journal.
Editor’s note: Jefferson Geiger and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance contributed to this timeline. This is not a comprehensive history of newspapers in Summit County.
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