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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: Removing Power Poles on Main – 1924

At the bottom left of this picture, a young girl in white appears to be eating ice cream and watching workmen as they prepare to pull down a power pole on the 800 block of Main Avenue. She is standing in front of Parsons Drug, the likely source for her ice cream, on the corner of Main and Ninth Street. From its inception in 1880, downtown’s Main Avenue was unpaved for 44 years. A horse-drawn streetcar running down the center of the street began operation in 1891. Even when the streetcar was electrified the next year, the street remained a dirt road. The streetcar made its last run in 1921. The rails were removed by 1924, and the city made the decision to make the downtown thoroughfare an asphalt street. Here, workers prepare the street for paving by removing power poles once needed by the streetcars. The wiring was moved to the alleyways on each side of Main. Many of the buildings seen here on the west side of the 800 block were destroyed in the downtown fire of 1974. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 22.28.1 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)