Halloween 1919 at the Animas City School

Classroom after the fire

After a Halloween party at the school in 1919 the crepe paper decorations were burned in the furnace. The roof caught fire from the burning embers. The newspaper account follows:


A spark falling on the roof caused a disastrous fire early yesterday afternoon which all but destroyed the Animas City School. The building was damaged to the extent of $3,500 with but $3,000 insurance to cover it.

When the fire was discovered it had gained considerable headway. The volunteer department of Animas City was unable to cope with the situation, so the Durango Fire Department responded and soon had several streams of water at work on the blaze. The fire worked its way downwards and before being extinguished had entirely destroyed the roof and second story. The first floor was badly damaged by water.

The school board at once got busy in providing temporary quarters for the school children with the result that the old church and another building are being fixed up to be used until the damage to the school building can be repaired. It is expected that school will again be in session next Monday morning in the temporary structures. The work of repairing will be started at once and rushed to an early completion.

The walls of the school building were erected of stone and were not damaged. The school was erected about sixteen years ago and the final payment on it was made just last July.

A nearly flat roof was installed, and the building continued to serve as a school until 1967. Happily, a hipped roof once again graces the building which is now the Animas Museum.

Until the school was repaired, classes were held in the Presbyterian Church up the hill west on 2nd Street. The teacher, Mr. Edwin King, used the pulpit as his desk and the children sat in the wooden pews.

The image above is catalog number 04.34.5 One of the second story classrooms in the Animas City School right after the fire that happened Halloween night, 1919.

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