Before the town of Durango was a reality, there was a small town that inhibited the Animas River Valley on the northern end of modern Durango. It's official designation as a townsite was recorded in 1876, and by August of 1877, Animas City had 45 houses, 150 people, four stores and a post office. Animas City enjoyed steady growth until 1880, when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad decided to build it's own town, Durango, just less than a mile downstream. While Animas City could not compete with this new town to it's south, it did not just vanish off the maps.There where a handful of hardy individuals who chose to stay, and the two towns sat side by side through the early1900's, the Great Depression, and World War II. After the war, however, there was a growth spurt in population and a housing shortfall that eventually brought Animas City to it's end. Animas City was annexed to City of Durango on January 1, 1948.
This building houses the Animas Museum. It was built in 1904-05 and was the Animas City School