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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: McKinney Clothing Float – ca. 1922

Spectators view the patriotic-themed McKinney Clothing Co. float as it travels south down Durango’s 900 block of Main Avenue around 1922. This west side of the block was known as the “Saloon District” until Prohibition started in Colorado in 1916. In 1893, there were 10 bars located in the district. By the end of World War I, the block had transitioned to mostly barbershops, billiard halls and tobacco stores, though there was also a theater and photography business located along that stretch. The unmarked street-level building seen to the far right had once been the El Moro Saloon. It was in front of this building that Sheriff William Thompson and Town Marshal Jesse Stansel exchanged gunfire in a simmering dispute about the enforcement of gambling laws in 1906. Thompson died, and the severely wounded Stansel was later tried for his murder. He was eventually acquitted, as contradictory testimony identified Thompson as the instigator of the conflict. Today, it is once again a bar, now known as the El Moro Spirits and Tavern. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 86.04.25 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)