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Digital Images

If you enjoy Ed Horvat's series in the Durango Herald And The West is History, here is your chance to get a digital copy of the historical photos. Images are $15 each via PayPal and for personal use only. Some of Ed's favorite articles are found below.

If you want help printing the images, contact Blueline Reprographics, a local business that can print your image on canvas, make giclee prints, or offer a myriad of photo options. Tell them the Museum sent you. To frame your photo, contact Affordable Framing at 955 Main Ave.

If you would like a digital copy of another image that appeared in the Durango Herald for personal use, click on the PayPal button below. Images are $15. When we receive payment, you will receive an email by the next business day to confirm which image you want, then an email with a link to the hi-res version of the image.

Downtown Hesperus

Downtown Hesperus 1890, Catalog Number: 86.03.22

This is a picture of Jack Cunningham’s Saloon in Hesperus, Colorado in 1890. A not quite so popular grocery store sits next door. Hesperus started out as small farming community along the La Plata River. When the Fort Lewis military post was moved from Pagosa Springs to just south of Hesperus in 1880, the community grew to support the post. The post was decommissioned in 1890, and it became an Indian School in 1892. The abandonment by the military was an economic loss for Hesperus, but this was somewhat mitigated by the start of the school. The arrival of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad in 1890 helped as well. The first train from Durango arrived late in the year. The Indian School lasted until 1911. The campus then became a high school from 1911 to 1933. The two-year Fort Lewis A&M College was also there from 1927 until the move to Durango in 1956.

SG&N RR in snow

Staging for Parade 1900, Catalog Number: 95.03.12

Little is known of the circumstances around this parade picture from the turn of the century. The location is 6th and Main, now College and Main looking east. Downtown was still not completely developed, with open lots available in the middle of the business district. The caption to this photograph states Mary Hansen is on a white horse, but a close look shows multiple women riding white horses side-saddle, so whichever one is her is up for debate. The men in white suits are said to be members of Woodmen of the World (WOW). This fraternal benefit society was founded in 1890 and was “dedicated to helping its fellow man.” Its purpose was "to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living ;... to encourage broad charitable views...". Today it exists predominately as a non-profit life insurance company. A stroll through Greenmount Cemetery shows many headstones with the WOW insignia emblazoned. Today, a picture taken in a similar direction would show The Balcony Bar & Grill, The Durango Dawg House and the Ore House Restaurant.


Tacoma Train Tragedy 1921, Catalog Number: 92.22.97

Three days after Christmas in 1921, two engines were leading a train down from Silverton to Durango after a recent heavy snowstorm. As the engines neared what is known as the High Bridge, just south of Tacoma, a mixture of snow, mud and large boulders came sliding down the hillside and slammed into the first engine causing it to derail. The second engine, with a snowplow and pulling the tender, also derailed and followed the first engine down the slope for approximately 100 feet and came to rest in the Animas River. Two brothers were acting as engineer and fireman in the lead engine. The younger brother, the fireman, was crushed by the engine as it rolled down the embankment instantly killing him. His brother, the engineer, jumped and saved himself but fractured both legs after landing on rocks. The crew of the second engine were thrown into the river but survived after being treated for hypothermia and minor injuries. Luckily the passenger car with about 20 travelers became uncoupled from the tender and remained up on the railroad grade along with a baggage car and caboose.

Cabins near Castle Rock

Downtown Fire 1974, Catalog Number: 14.01.5

Just over forty-five years ago, a fire was reported to emergency dispatch. The fire was set by an arsonist around 4 am. The fire took over 12 hours to extinguish and ultimately destroyed six historic buildings along the west 800 block of Main. Two 24-year olds, a policeman, Gale Emerson and a fireman, Nick Parks Jr. were killed when a wall in the rear of the structure collapsed on top of them. The arsonist was eventually identified, tried, convicted, and sentenced. He spent 18 years in prison. This part of the block was completely re-constructed, and in June of 1976 the location now known as the Main Mall was dedicated.

DHS Track Team

DHS Track Team 1914, Catalog Number: 86.03.40

The Durango High Track Team of 1914 proudly display their first place trophy in this photograph. No one is identified in this picture; however, the African-American young man is known. His name is Justin Barnett. He went on to serve his country as a soldier in World War I, where he was wounded. In 1917, the army was still strictly segregated, so Barnett was not allowed to join his fellow recruits for their farewell parade. There was much fanfare as they left the train station en-route for basic training. In an editorial, the Durango Herald-Democrat lamented this discrimination and requested that Barnett receive the same send-off as his fellow inductees. When Barnett was finally sent on his way to war a short time later, a large crowd gathered at the train depot to give him the same farewell celebration he was earlier denied.