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Rocky Mountain PBS to premiere Colorado Experience: Mr. Barney Ford

Updated: May 17, 2022

On Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 7 pm, Rocky Mountain PBS will premiere Colorado Experience: Mr. Barney Ford, a 56-minute documentary about Barney Ford’s life and legacy.

Barney Ford portrait, Colorado Historical Society

Born into slavery in 1822, Barney Ford endured racism, claim jumping, fires and financial hardship to become one of Colorado’s most prominent businessmen of his time. Considered one of the state’s founders, Ford fought tirelessly for civil rights while continuing his pursuits as an entrepreneur. In 1882, Mr. Ford built an elegant home in downtown Breckenridge where he operated two successful restaurants. Today, the restored Barney Ford Museum, operated by Breckenridge History, honors Mr. Ford’s legacy locally and regionally.

The Rocky Mountain PBS team filmed the episode over several months in the summer of 2020. Several Breckenridge residents were interviewed and will be featured in the documentary, including Larissa O’Neil, Breckenridge History Executive Director, Robin G. Theobald who lived in the home as a boy, and June Walters, Breckenridge History Manager of Public Engagement. Other interviewees are from Campbell Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Colorado Black Chamber Of Commerce, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and the Black American West Museum.

Rocky Mountain PBS’ original, award-winning history series Colorado Experience explores the people, events and places that have shaped Colorado. Now in its 8th season, Colorado Experience airs Thursdays at 7pm & 7:30pm on Rocky Mountain PBS. The Barney Ford episode will also premiere live on YouTube with live commentary from the filmmakers and interviewees, on Wednesday February 24th at 7pm. It will be livestreamed on on Thursday February 25th at 7pm. As of Friday February 26th, it will be available for on demand viewing at

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