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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Mercy Hospital – 1956

Within a year of its organization, the new town of Durango had a hospital. Opened in part of a building that also housed St. Joseph’s Convent and St. Mary’s Girls Boarding School, patients were first admitted in September 1882. Operated by the Sisters of Mercy, it was named “Mercy Hospital of the San Juans.” By April 1885, a newer standalone hospital was built in the 1900 block of East Third Avenue. Additions were added in 1898 and 1931 making a 40-bed hospital. The 1931 addition can be seen to the left in this photo with the next addition from 1953 seen on the right in the 1800 block. When this photo was taken there were 95 beds. By May 1970, another addition to the southeast was added and the main entrance relocated. The pre-1953 buildings were torn down, creating a 105 bed medical center. Finally, Mercy moved to its present location at Three Springs in 2006. All of the hospital buildings were demolished and the land was acquired by the city of Durango. Today, the Durango Public Library sits on this site. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 77.77.46 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)