Not to be confused with the better-known, longer-operated Durango Smelter, the Standard Smelter was built in 1892 about a half-mile downstream from the Durango Smelter. Built and managed by Otto Mears to refine copper ore, it never reached its full potential. Mears lost his Rio Grande Southern Railroad along with control of the smelter in 1895 because of the collapse of the price of silver, also known as the Silver Panic of 1893. The smelter closed, and by 1910 was torn down. The site of this smelter is now occupied by Nature’s Oasis in Bodo Industrial Park. The Durango Smelter (also called the San Juan & New York Mining & Smelting Co., as well as the American Smelting & Refining Co.) was located where the Durango Dog Park is now, across the river from Santa Rita Park. Read more local history at durangoherald.com/westishistory.
Ed Horvat for The Animas Museum, firstname.lastname@example.org