Behind Swinging Doors is the result of curiosity--the author's as well as that of others. Were the mining towns and camps of early Breckenridge and Summit County rip-roaring, never-stopping, hard-drinking places with saloons lining the streets? Or were they more sedate than the images usually pictured? What role did the saloons play in the lives of the early residents? How many saloons were there? Where were they located? What were they like inside? Did personal cultural baggage play a role in the operation of the saloons? Were the drinking and gambling regulated? Were the regulations enforced? Did the saloons change over the years? What caused any changes? Did the temperance movement affect saloons in the county?
Behind Swinging Doors is an attempt to answer these and other questions about the saloons that existed in Breckenridge and Summit County from 1859 (the beginning of the first gold rush) until 1900 (an arbitrary date on the author's part). The author enjoyed doing the research and learning about the saloons and their operations: she hopes you, the reader, enjoy the story.
Written by Sandra F. Mather, PhD.
(c) 2003 by the Town of Breckenridge