Past Events

red, white and blue, image of sailor in uniform

May 11th, Second Saturday Seminar Series, 1 p.m. As we prepare for this year’s edition of History La Plata, Front Lines to Home Front – La Plata County and WW II, we are finding too much fascinating information to fit in one publication. View the first video "Front Lines" here.

inside of a saloon

Local historian Charles DiFerdinando taught us about the history of one of our favorite watering holes, the El Moro Saloon on April 13th. View the recording here.

Victorian woman with text

March is Women's History Month and our Second Saturday Seminar Series on March 9th was a talk on the women in La Plata County from the beginning. View the recording here.

collage of images of Buffalo Soldiers

It's live, Buffalo Soldiers: Return to Animas City The Video! If you missed the event or want to hear the story of the Buffalo Soldiers again, you can watch it now on our Youtube channel here.

  Images of early La Plata County

February 10th, 2024 was La Plata County's 150th birthday! Our Second Saturday Seminar Series was a talk about the beginnings of the county with local historians Charles DiFerdinando and Susan Jones. View the recording here.

Robert McDaniel with San Ildefonso pot

View a recording of Robert McDaniel's talk on Polychrome Pottery from the Zia Pueblo given on January 13, 2024 at the Aniams Museum.here.

Image of book cover

On Saturday, December 9, as part of our Second Saturday Seminar Series, we had a virtual book signing with the authors of “Women of the Colorado Gold Rush Era”, Julie VanLaanen Bell and Jan Gunia. Their recently published book includes a chapter on Mary Nye Hall who was a member of the Baker Party. (Hint: this book would be a great holiday gift for a history buff! Maria's Bookshop also has copies for sale.)

View the recording here.

Flag with text about seminar

On Veteran’s Day, November 11, we honor all veterans, especially those from La Plata County. You can view a recording of this webinar (with speaker notes!) here.

Funeral at Greenmount Cemetery

With apologies to Willa Cather, our October webinar program "Death Comes to Durango" featured local historian Charles DiFerdinando talking about how people dealt with death in early Durango. View the recording here.

Image of old Fort Lewis

To prepare for our Buffalo Soldiers event, local historian Charles DiFerdinando talked about the history of the Fort Lewis military establishment through 1890. You can view a recording of the webinar here.

Image from the Tacoma Power Plant

Second Saturday Series Seminar, on Zoom and in person at the Animas Museum, Saturday, August 12th at 1 p.m. Local historian Charles DiFerdinando told us about the history of electricity in Durango. You can view the recording here.

Image of Ancestral Puebloan pot

Second Saturday Series Seminar, Saturday July 8th at 1 p.m. Archeologist Mona Charles will be joined us as we wrapped up our grant project analyzing the Ancestral Puebloan pottery in the Museum's collections. You can view the recording here.

Image of book cover

Second Saturday Series Seminar, recorded Saturday June 10th at 2 p.m. Historian John Steinle joined us on Zoom to discuss his newest book "Colorado in the Civil War." View the recording here.

Ironhorse Logo

Second Saturday Series Seminar, recorded Saturday, May 13th at 1 p.m. Durango's Citizen of the Year Gaige Sippy joined us on Zoom only for a history of the Ironhorse Bicycle Classic. You can view the recording here.

Title Image with pot and logos

If you missed our presentation to the San Juan Basin Archeology Society on May 10, 2023, you can view the recording here.

Image of Durango's Main Ave. in the 1920s

Second Saturday Seminar Series, April 8th at 1 p.m. on Zoom only. Join local historians Charles DiFerdinando, Gay Kiene, and Susan Jones as we set the stage for the publication of History La Plata. This year, History La Plata will focus on the 1920s and will be inserted in The Durango Herald the weekend of May 20th. We will be discussing topics that we found in our research above and beyond what we have room to print. View the recording here.

Image of Olga Little on truck loading supplies on burros

In honor of Women's History Month, Let's Talk Little. Olga Little that is. Olga Schaaf Little was a renowned jack packer. She saved animals, mines and men. For thirty years she led her burro team with much needed supplies into the La Plata Mountain mines and brought out silver and gold ore, often where men dared not go. Gay Kiene from the Animas Museum shared Olga’s adventurous story. You can view the recording here.

Image of Dolph Kuss and ski team around 1955

Local legend Dolph Kuss came to Durango in the early 1950s and created the recreation programs that Durango is now known for, from fishing to swimming to tennis to skiing and beyond. This webinar introduced a "podcast" series you can download to hear Robert McDaniel's interview of Dolph. View the webinar and download the podcasts here.

Image, colorized version of catalog number of Dolph Kuss, left, with the ski team around 1955.

Robert McDaniel with San Ildefonso pot

Second Saturday Webinar Series recorded on Saturday, Januiary 14th with founding director Robert McDaniel talking about our recent pop-up exhibit featuring an incredible San Ildefonso pot in our collection. You can view the talk here.

Images of some of the old churches in Durango

Second Saturday Webinar Series, recorded December 10th, local historian Charles DiFerdinando talks about worship in early Durango. (Catalog number from a postcard series circa 1910.) The recording is available here.

Image of steam locomotive pulling a freight train over a trestle

Second Saturday Webinar Series, recorded November 12th, local historians Charles DiFerdinando and Susan Jones provided a short history of Durango’s other narrow-gauge railroad, the Rio Grande Southern. (Catalog number 00.48.21, photo of an RGS train over the Lightner Creek Trestle taken by Robert Heinich.) You can view the recording here. Apologies for the sound issues!

Images of cabinet cards from Durango photographers

Second Saturday Webinar Series, recorded October 8th at 1:30 p.m. "Early Photographers of Durango." The great-granddaughter of photographer Frank Gonner, Kathy Gibson joined us to share the stories of several other photographers who documented the landscape and the people who lived here. You can view the video here.

Image of whistlestop campaign

"No Crown of Thorns!" Reenactment of Senator Henry Teller's whistlestop tour in 1896. Part of the Southwest Colorado Humanities Roundtable History Live! series. View the video on our Youtube channel.

image of the City Coal Mine

Second Saturday Webinar Series, recorded Saturday September 10 at 1pm on Zoom, "Coal: The Other Black Gold." Join local historian Charles DiFerdinando to learn about the importance of coal in the development of Durango and La Plata County. A link to the recording may be found here.

image of the Animas City Cemetery Tour

Join local historians Susan Jones and Charles DiFerdinando for a virtual tour of the Animas City Cemetery. A link to the recording may be found here.

image of flames over Durango

Join local historian Charles DiFerdinando to learn about the July fire that changed Durango's history. A link to the recording may be found here.

History La Plata 2022 cover

History La Plata 2022 is here! Pickup a copy at the Museum or online here. View the recording of our webinar about it here.

Logo for talk by Danny Pierce

If you missed Danny Pierce's talk about his father Thomas Guthrie Pierce at the Museum on April 30, you can watch it here on Youtube.

Logo and image of two men and a burro.

In conjunction with the 50th "golden" anniversary of the La Plata County Historical Society, Charles DiFerdinando explored the early Gold Rush to the La Plata Mountains in a two part webinar.

The videos of part 1 and 2 can be viewed here.

Image of Patty Joy and a stack of quilts

The video for "Quilts: 1885 - 1920" with Patricia Joy is available here.

Image of St. Mark's church

Dr. John Boyd, historian for St. Mark's Episcopal Church presented his talk "The Banker's of St. Mark's Church" in two parts. The video is available here.

A double portrait of Gustaf Nordenski⍥ld: Left 1895 (Stockholm) and 1891 (Durango, CO, by Frank Gonner) with GN's letter of July 23, 1891 superimposed.  Graphic by J. Reynolds

For our November webinar, Judith Reynolds told the story of Gustaf Nordenski⍥ld, the young Swedish scientist who in 1893 published the first serious study of "The Cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde" and who was erroneously referred to as a 'Baron' in the controversial summer of 1891. Watch the video here.

The graphic above is a double portrait of Gustaf Nordenski⍥ld: Left 1895 (Stockholm) and 1891 (Durango, CO, by Frank Gonner) with GN's letter of July 23, 1891 superimposed. Graphic by J. Reynolds.

Animas City photo

Take a virtual tour of Animas City, the topic of our October webinar. View the video here.

Collage of pictures from Live! event

Scenes from our Live! event on September 25th.

If you missed Dr. Andrew Gulliford's talk about his book The Woolly West at our Animas Museum Live! event, you can listen to it here The Sheep and Cattle Wars.

Main Ave Bridge photo by Frank Gonner

Our September webinar took a look at the photography of Frank Gonner told by his granddaughter Kathy Gibson. The recording can be viewed here.

John Steinle speaking in front of the Peterson House

Historian John Steinle, author of a new book on the 1893 Silver Panic spoke about how the crash affected Colorado and La Plata County. Watch a video of the talk here.

Bear the dog eating ice cream

Durango Police, members and locals including Bear dropped by the Museum for social distancing and ice cream on National Night Out.

Two men near a firetruck holding the brochure

Learn about the Great Fire of 1889

Download a device friendly copy of the walking tour here or a printable version of the pdf here. You can also pick up a copy at the Durango Welcome Center (Main Ave. & 8th St.) or the Durango & Silverton Railroad Museum.

Our first in-person event was held at the Museum on June 12. It was a Members Only event to celebrate the June 1901 wedding of Zaidee Rockwood to Clayton Perkins. Learn more about Zaidee's dress here.

Group of people at event Four women in a golf cart

The Animas Museum Team at the Durango Chamber of Commerce's Girls Gone Golfing event, May 2021.

Durango Police Badge

Our May webinar featured Police Historian Sharon Greve telling stories from the 140 year history of the Durango Police Department. You can view that here.

Tom Graden photo

If you missed our April webinar on Tom Graden, you can view that here.

Image of Hattie Mashburn

If you missed our March webinar on Hattie Mashburn and Bessie Rivers, you can view that video here.


If you missed "A Little Bit of History and Valentine's Fun" you can watch the video here.

Log Cabin Christmas logo

If you missed our first Second Saturday Seminar on Zoom, A Log Cabin Christmas, you can watch the video here.

You can still visit our Virtual Halloween Party! Click on the image below:

Virtual Halloween Party

Jerry Day speaking at the Animas Museum

Jerry Day speaking about the history of the K-36 locomotives at the Animas Museum.

Charles DiFerdinando speaking at Durango Craft Spirits

Charles DiFerdinando speaking about the Buffalo Soldiers at Ft. Lewis. Durango Craft Spirits Distillery Tour

Support Local History

Joy Cabin at night, Christmas Bazaar 2019.

The Joy Cabin at night, during the Christmas Bazaar.

Bells of Peace

Shane Voss, principal of Mountain Middle Schools, rings the Animas Museum's bell at 11am on Veteran's Day as the school's students look on.

Dedication of National Register PlaqueDedication of National Register Plaque, October 30.

Loisa Bass HeadstoneLoisa Bass headstone, installed October 8, 2019.