The city of Breckenridge, Minnesota, offers many amenities, but its strongest quality is a hometown, warm and welcoming feeling.
The News Monitor and Daily News set out to determine what Breckenridge residents thought of their city through our monthly Point of View series. Overall, most responses indicated people here enjoy the city’s most attractive quality — the people and relationships.
Jana Sipe Berndt, director of consumer banking of Bremer Bank, has lived in Breckenridge for 35 years. Her favorite part about living here is the “hometown feel” and relationships. Throughout the community, people care for each other, she said.
Morgan Larson is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, used to a much larger city. She had easy access to different restaurants and activities in Lincoln, which has been the biggest change for her, she said. Overall, Larson said she likes it here and is satisfied with the move she made three years ago.
If her friends and family visit, she will bring them to eat at The Wilkin Drink & Eatery, her favorite restaurant in town, she said. She would also visit some of the small shops here. Larson said she is pleased that Breckenridge has a movie theater.
Larson is a student at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton where she studies dental hygiene. She also works at the Breckenridge Elementary School with kindergarten students.
‘I just love the feeling’
Tracy Bommersbach is a kindergarten teacher at Breckenridge Elementary. Originally from Audubon, Minnesota, she’s no stranger to living in a small town. After receiving her college degree at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, Bommersbach began her first teaching job in Breckenridge in 1990. She has now been teaching 30 years here and has lived in the city for 17 years.
“I just love the feeling that this small town has to offer and I love being able to bike around the streets. The trees and flowers are so beautiful here in the spring and fall. It’s a very warm feeling,” Bommersbach said.
The new bike path along Highway 75 has been a nice addition to the city, Bommersbach said, who even used the path while it was under construction.
Bommersbach enjoys riding her bike down the path and to CHI St. Francis Health’s wellness center in Breckenridge. She is pleased the town has that service to offer and said the pool is one of her favorite accommodations.
Bommersbach said she enjoys spending time at home with her family, but when she does head out she enjoys going to The Wilkin and also to the cinema. She also shared a little known hideaway spot — Lake Breckenridge. Eastbound from town you can find a small lake hidden by trees and homes that has a small dam, bridge and picnic area.
Bommersbach also enjoys having Wahpeton so close because it feels like one big community, she said. Even though Wahpeton is across the river, both cities share restaurants, stores and other amenities.
“I love being a part of the Breckenridge community and the Breckenridge Public School,” Bommersbach said. “Together we can make this a great place for kids to learn and grow.”
‘I love the people’
Nellie Olson lives in rural Breckenridge and owns Drifter Chic in downtown Breckenridge. She has owned the business since April 2018.
“I love the people here. It’s really great owning a business here,” Olson said. “I just knew I wanted to be in a small town and not a large city.”
Being a business owner, she has met many people and their children since she enjoys talking with customers and learning about life in Breckenridge, she said. Working in Breckenridge has been rewarding for her, she said.
Russ Wilson has been the Breckenridge mayor for three years. He said he has enjoyed every moment of it. After he retired, Wilson decided he wasn’t ready to stop moving and felt it would be an honor and reward to serve the great citizens of Breckenridge, he said. He hopes to continue serving as mayor for many years to come.
“I find it very rewarding and I enjoy it. It’s an extremely rewarding service. I think everyone should run for office and be a part of public service,” Wilson said. “I work for great people and I get to work with a great group of people.”