Bowling alley in the basement of the May Palace Restaurant.
I am absolutely thrilled with the article that 360 Durango just put out on Horsefly History Tours! Joy Martin crafted a beautiful article that captures my vision for the tours. My main goal is for every customer to walk away with a different perspective on downtown. We get used to seeing our modern downtown through one lens but every decade has a different lens to look through. Of course this isn't just true of Durango. History is important. People's stories are important. We can't forget those who walked before us.
Pinch me because I must be dreaming! I had a dream years ago that my grandmother (who passed away long ago) was carefully showing me old black and white family photos that I had never seen. She was concerned that the past would be forgotten. About 10 years ago I started researching my family's genealogy and I have studied our family pictures and the details in them. It sparked a curiosity in me about what their lives were like, what were they feeling in those photos, how did they survive and what drama's were they caught up in? One side of my family immigrated here at the turn of the century from Italy. They settled first in Chicago and then made Michigan their home. They were immigrants to a new country with a new language and they pursued the American dream with vigor. Even though I have never lived in Saint Joseph, Michigan, I can feel the energy of my relatives when I walk down the same streets they did.
Durango, Colorado is my home and over the years I've started learning about the history here. I read a fantastic book called Salone Italiano by Kay Niemann that tells the true story of an Italian family that immigrates to Silverton, Colorado not long before my own family moved to the United States. There were so many parallels and I realized that my family could have just as easily moved here. This area was still a frontier in the late 1800's and people had grit and perseverance. I am so excited to help bring the stories of the industrious women and tough men who lived out their lives here. Just as there are parallels to my ancestors, so are there parallels to our lives and the lives that early Durangatangs lived.
I invite you to come along with me as I learn about the people and places that shaped Durango. Most of the people and businesses that I have reached out to have been so encouraging and gracious. Please Please Please feel free to comment on this blog with any stories you might have to add. I would love to collect as much information as possible! I know there are a lot of people out there that would be very interested.
My great-grandmother who immigrated from Faeto, Italy in 1909. She died at age 29 from Tuberculosis leaving behind a husband and 4 small children.