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And the West is History: Monarch DC-3s at City-County Airport – Ca 1947

Durango’s municipal airport, on what was then known as Reservoir Hill, opened for flights in October 1929. It was a successful airport for the community, but commercial passenger service was never practical at the airfield because aircraft could not perform instrument landings because of the surrounding mountains. With the development of the city-county airport at its current location near Oxford in 1946, the newly incorporated Monarch Airlines began passenger service on Nov. 27 of that year. The one-way trip to Denver was $18.35, but flights stopped in Monte Vista, Alamosa, Pueblo and Colorado Springs before reaching the capital city. Here, two Douglas DC-3s are shown on the dirt tarmac and landing strip. The municipal airport remained open until 1953 when all airport traffic moved to the recently dedicated “La Plata County Airport.” In 1956, Fort Lewis College moved to the site of the former municipal airport on the mesa east of downtown. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 94.26.72 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)