All About Durango

Durango Colorado


Durango was established in 1879 by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Company on the heels of a gold and silver rush in the San Juan Mountains in 1872. Less then a year after Durango's establishment Durango already had a population of 2,400. While the origin of Durango's name is debated, the most likely source came from Colorado's former territorial governor A.C. Hunt as he toured Durango, Mexico while the name of the new town was being decided. Commenting on how similar the two regions were to each other, in climate and water resources. The name Durango come from the Basque word "Urango" meaning "water town" or "well watered place." Durango, Colorado shares its name with Durango, Mexico as well as Durango, Spain. 

Mining Origins

Durango's history is heavily related to mining, with the location chosen due to the plentiful water and coal resources critical for running smelters to refine the ore found in the area. Miners in the area had been camped in and around Animas City (now a neighborhood of Durango) since 1860. Discovery of large silver deposits, and shortly after gold deposits drew more and more people to the area. Logistical issues of maintaining mining operations attracted the interest of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad Company which started to purchase land close to Animas City under numerous names to conceal the nature of the purchases, keeping the cost of the land low.While Animas City was already established the city had refused the terms in which Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad had offered them, thus leading to Durango's establishment. 


The school district for Durango is District 9-R

Elementary Schools: Animas Valley, Big Picture, Florida Mesa, Fort Lewis Mesa, Needham, Park, Riverview, Sunnyside

Jr. / Mid Schools: Escalante, Miller

Sr. / High School: Durango High School

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This data was last updated: Dec 16, 2018 7:35:am.