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And the West is History: Rondavu Skating Rink Fire – 1947

Located at 425 East Sixth Ave., the Rondavu Roller Rink was a popular Durango spot. The building was the former Palm Palace Dance Hall. It was known as the College Inn for a short time before Ralph and Ed Morford leased the building. After renovations and remodeling, it opened for skating in late 1947. The day before the fire pictured above, they had installed a new under-floor furnace that was thought to be the cause of the blaze. By 1949, the Morfords had opened another skating rink at 121 West 32nd St. This skating venue lasted longer, but in March 1964, it too burned to the ground. Possibly looking for a business not quite so susceptible to fire, Ed Morford opened a coin-operated car wash at the same 32nd Street location. It successfully operated for many years at that north Durango site. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 13.07.3 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)