From The Durango Herald May 3, 1883:
“The Herald in receipt of a polite note asking ‘Upon what do you base your expectations for the future of your town?’
“We have schools and churches that would be no discredit to eastern towns of five-fold our population; we have wholesale houses in all the different lines that carry from $25,000 to $10,000 worth of goods each; we have several hundred comfortable residences; our streets are handsomely graded and sidewalks extended everywhere.
“Such are some of the results of Durango energy and enterprise in two years. You ask why? We reply. The rugged mountains of the Silver San Juan are literally ribbed with veins carrying silver and gold.
“Durango is situated at the gateway of the San Juan. All the roads naturally center here. We have a boundless supply of coal right at hand for smelting and manufacturing purposes.
“It is certain that there will be a large smelting, manufacturing and supply town in the great San Juan. Nature has issued a most unmistakable decree in favor of Durango. The natural advantages are all here. Here the future metropolis of the Silver San Juan will be ‘Sabe?’”
“Hundreds of new buildings have been put up in Durango the past year.
“It was remarked by some of the excursionists last evening (at a concert), that they had never seen stars so bright or skies so blue as in this Durango sky. It is true that the very heavens smile upon the magic metropolis.
“The ladies of St. Marks’ church wish to return thanks to those who so freely and generously aided them in their May festival.
“Samuel Smith was down from Cascade Basin, on Tuesday, and reports the snow disappearing fast. The miners are preparing for vigorous work. Cascade Basin will come to the front as a first-class producer before the snow flies next fall. Mark the prediction.
“J. M. McIntyre, a Denver commercial man, finds life at the Grand Central entirely satisfactory.”
Advertisement: “The Sign is in. The Stock Larger than any on the Country. RAPP’S MAMMOTH. All New an Fresh Goods; Clothing, Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes, Blankets.”
Letter to Herald: “‘Brittle Silver,’ I have just arrived in the La Plata mountains, and will proceed to give you my impression in regard to the mines. As yet I have seen but few of the mines, but have seen enough to cause me to make up my mind to stay here and take my chances the ‘boys.’ This decision has been made too, after visiting half the mining camps of Colorado and Utah, and the great mines of the head of the Salmon and Wood rivers in Idaho.”
National News: “Philadelphia – Irish paupers still being shipped to this country by English. 300 hundred Irish immigrants reached this place yesterday Philadelphia.”
“Durango daily Herald; one year postage prepaid $10; Weekly Herald $3: daily five cents.”
“Fred Steinhouse, at the Grand Central Livery, will hire the best teams and saddle horse for the least money.
“The Rescue Hose company invite their friends to attend a social hop at Scott’s hall on Friday evening.”
Duane Smith is a Fort Lewis College history professor. Reach him at 247-2589.