On Sept. 29, 1908, a fire started in Lamb’s Grocery on Main Street in downtown Cortez. It quickly grew, and besides the grocery, it consumed a butcher shop, the Clifton Hotel and the Harrington Pharmacy. Inexplicably, the town water tank and the reservoir that fed it were empty and no water was available to the fire department. Here, you can see merchandise from the Guillet Brothers Mercantile (large stone building pictured) piled in the street. The owners anticipated the fire would burn their building, too, and thus removed all the goods they could. They were able, however, to save their building by spreading dozens of wet Navajo blankets on the roof. Today, this stone building houses The Journal, Loungin’ Lizard Restaurant and Stonefish Sushi.
Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, firstname.lastname@example.org