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And the West is History: Ice skating on Animas River near Junction Creek Confluence – 1898

The glacial terminal moraine at what is today 32nd Street is the reason the Animas River meanders at a slow rate through the valley north of there. While not very apparent today, in bygone days, the river would freeze over in this slow-moving portion during the winter and ice skating was a common activity. The picture here, however, documents an even more thought-provoking phenomenon. The people are skating on the Animas, but farther downstream in the much faster moving water at the area where Junction Creek runs into the Animas. The large Ponderosa Pines in the distance are about where the Fairgrounds is today. It’s difficult to image how cold it would have to be and for how long to freeze this faster moving part of the river for ice skating. It’s quite possible that 1898 was the last time it happened. Here, Walter and Katherine Weightman, along with their friend Mollie Miller, pose for the camera. The original photo is in black and white, but colorizing the skaters captures the festive moment. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 88.10.10 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)
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