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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Early Downtown View – Ca. 1885

This photo of the 1100 block of Main Avenue, taken around 1885, shows many businesses destined to be destroyed by the downtown fire of 1889. Almost all of the buildings were of frame construction and made of wood. When the fire started along 10th Street and moved to the northeast, helped by wind, the structures didn’t stand much of a chance. Interestingly, the tin shop and secondhand store shown to the far left, survived intact because of its brick construction. This building exists today near the corner of 12th Street and Main. For many years it was the Model Tire Store, but more recently is home to Catacombs Fitness. To learn more about the fire of 1889, take a self-guided downtown walking tour using the Historical Society’s informative brochure. Copies are available at the Animas Museum and the Welcome Center on Main Avenue or download an electronic version at animasmuseum.org then click on the “events” tab. –Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 92.22.263 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)