The War With Nature

1918 Influenza Pandemic


Crowds at the Durango Depot in 1918

The United States entered the Great War (World War I) in the spring of 1917. In Durango, the first draft occurred in July. The first group of enlistees left September 5 on the Denver & Rio Grande railroad.

The Pen-Dike Studio's staff of photographers covered the draftees' send-off celebrations. The banner proclaiming the "San Juan Contingent" is visible on the railcar. The photo above is believed to be from the September 19 departure. Photo courtesy Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.

Camp Holabird

The draftees headed to army camps for basic training. Camps such as Camp Holabird in Maryland (above, from the Animas Museum Collections) were sprawling tent cities with less than ideal sanitary conditions. Art Wyatt, who later became mayor of Durango, was sent there. Many of the men from Durango went to Camp Funston, Kansas (below, from the Animas Museum Collections) near Fort Riley.

Camp Funston


Return to Online Exhibits

Return to Museum Home