Photo: 1900 parade staging

Photo: 1900 parade staging

Little is known of the circumstances around this parade picture from the turn of the century. The location is 6th Street and Main Avenue, now College Drive and Main Avenue, looking east. Downtown was still not completely developed, and there were many open lots available in the middle of the business district. The caption to this photograph states Mary Hansen is on a white horse, but a close look shows multiple women riding white horses sidesaddle, so whichever one is Hansen is up for debate. The men in white suits are said to be members of Woodmen of the World, a fraternal benefit society founded in 1890 “dedicated to helping its fellow man.” The group’s purpose was “to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living; ... to encourage broad charitable views.” Today, it exists predominately as a nonprofit life insurance company. A stroll through Greenmount Cemetery shows many headstones with the WOW insignia emblazoned. Today, a picture taken in a similar direction would show The Balcony Bar & Grill, The Durango Dawg House and the Ore House restaurant. Read more about local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory.

Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org

Photo: 1900 parade staging

Little is known of the circumstances around this parade picture from the turn of the century. The location is 6th Street and Main Avenue, now College Drive and Main Avenue, looking east. Downtown was still not completely developed, and there were many open lots available in the middle of the business district. The caption to this photograph states Mary Hansen is on a white horse, but a close look shows multiple women riding white horses sidesaddle, so whichever one is Hansen is up for debate. The men in white suits are said to be members of Woodmen of the World, a fraternal benefit society founded in 1890 “dedicated to helping its fellow man.” The group’s purpose was “to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living; ... to encourage broad charitable views.” Today, it exists predominately as a nonprofit life insurance company. A stroll through Greenmount Cemetery shows many headstones with the WOW insignia emblazoned. Today, a picture taken in a similar direction would show The Balcony Bar & Grill, The Durango Dawg House and the Ore House restaurant. Read more about local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory.

Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org
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