Baseball a central feature of life in Durango in 1894

Town teams were the pride and joy of every community, but it was more than just the honor of the game.

Bets were liberally placed on the home nine. Co. K, as well as other companies, were ordered to Cripple Creek during the mining strike and violence of 1894. This surprised a lot of young men who had joined for the social activities and the “glamour.”

Durango Herald, Aug. 4, 1894

Parties down from Silverton say there will be a couple of hundred baseball enthusiasts accompany the Silver club to Durango Sunday.

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The Graden Mercantile company are having plans made for an elevator to be erected adjoining the San Juan mills of which the company is owner.

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You are cordially invited to attend the men’s meeting at the YMCA rooms next Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock. No collections are taken and your time is well spent, come and see.

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Notwithstanding the great interest centered in the ball game Sunday, a great many are looking forward with a good deal of expectancy to the balloon ascension and parachute jump from Athletic park. The accession will be made immediately after the game.

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Athletic park will present an improved appearance tomorrow. A force of men have been at work during the week leveling the ground, cutting down weeds, etc.

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Aug. 6

Co. K will visit [the] Athletic park in uniform today and before the game will give an exhibition drill of army tactics as conducted at Cripple Creek.

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Durango soldiers feel proud over the fact that Co. K. proved the best one hundred yard shot of the companies stationed at Cripple Creek, making the best average.

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The advance guard of Silverton’s ball club arrived last evening.

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The Union Sunday school under the direction of aggressive Christian workers from the various city churches is rapidly developing a large, live Sunday school. An interesting adult Bible class is a most important feature.

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Aug. 7, 1894

A wagon load of peaches was brought in the city yesterday from Bluff City, Utah

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Balloon ascension and parachute drop by John Leonard was a feature of the entertainment at Athletic park Sunday.

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For the first time since the Cripple Creek troubles the populace had the pleasure of seeing Co. K drill on Sunday at the park.

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A telegram has been received from N. Simpson, manager of the Rico ball team saying it will play the Durango nine on August 13 for expenses.

Few expect Rico to win, except the people from that town, as they have not played with anybody but Telluride this season, and have done very little practicing.

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Durango Victorious

Score fifteen to one in favor of Durango

Durango boys are mostly hard hitters.

At least 1,000 people witnessed the game.

Duane Smith is a Fort Lewis College history professor. Reach him at 247-2589.

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