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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

And the West is History: View up the Animas from Reservoir Hill – 1936

Every panoramic view of early Durango holds insight into Durango’s development. This one taken on Sunday, March 15, 1936, shows just how much open space used to exist within the valley that is now almost completely filled with urban development. The large building at mid-picture far left is the original Mercy Hospital. The empty area between it and the river is now where the Durango Public Library sits. Notice how none of the Riverview area is developed, with only dirt trails leading across it. The unpaved road that starts at the bottom of the picture and bends toward the right is now Florida Road as it rounds the base of the hill in its approach to Chapman Hill. The empty space along the river and above the road is today’s Island Cove Trailer Park, and the round mushroom-looking pile of rocks to the right was an early gravel pit. Christ the King Lutheran Church now sits there. The islet within the river was called “Dutch” Island. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 03.40.15 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)

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