In 1997 the Animas Museum acquired two attached structures which were facing demolition. Originally these buildings were located across the railroad tracks behind the Strater Hotel. The image below (catalog number 05.45.26) is a postcard made in the mid-1970s. The original location of the Peterson House is just below the yellow star.

Durango Postcard

One building had been built around 1900 as the office for the Vulcan Foundry. The other building was built in the 1880s by (or for) the railroad. This railroad building was built without a foundation, allowing it to be moved as needed. When the foundry closed in the 1920s, its small office building was attached to the south side of the railroad building, enlarging the house. The buildings were separated for the trip to the Museum.

Exterior of house

After many years of work, the Peterson House was opened to the public on June 15, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to close the building. The photograph above was taken by Collections Manager Amber Lark before the grand opening. Take an online tour and learn about life in La Plata County in the 1930s.

Download the Junior Curator Sheet here


Return to Online Exhibits

Return to Museum Home