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And the West is History: Wetter Mercantile – ca. 1905

Located on the corner of Sixth Street (now College Drive) and Main Avenue, the Wetter Mercantile was an early Durango business success. The owner Ernst Wetter, in the long apron, is seen standing to the right of the counter. Wetter arrived in Animas City from Germany in the late 1870s and married Annie Daum in 1896. In the 1890s, Wetter managed the Fulton Market in the 800 block of Main and also became involved in the Wolf Hide & Wool Co. In 1903, he started the Colorado Cold Storage and Creamery just west of Main on Sixth Street. By 1905, he became proprietor of the Wetter Mercantile, which existed into the 1930s. The Wetter building, constructed in 1883 is the oldest on the 600 block of Main and today houses Jean-Pierre's French Bakery. Though successful in business, the Wetter family had their share of heartbreak. Two sons died at the ages of 28 and 30, respectively. However, a daughter lived to the age of 97, dying in 1996. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum (Catalog Number: 04.29.34 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)