Take a break from your outdoor adventures and learn about the rough and tumble history of Durango, Colorado.
Come join Horsefly History Tours: History With a Bite! as we venture back in time to search for the hidden history lurking just out of sight in Historic Downtown Durango. If your jam is learning about dates and architecture these tours are not for you. HHT tours reveal the darker side of Durango's past; thus, "History With a Bite!"
Learn about Durango’s Wild West history and the characters and events that have shaped this town since it was founded in 1880 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Together we will learn about the gunfights, ghosts, “soiled doves” and madams, outlaws, and the town’s one and only legal hanging. Durango has intriguing treasures to reveal…if only you know where to look.
Miner’s flocked to Durango in the 1880’s and 1890’s in search of their fortunes. Men who spent their lives in dark dreary mine shafts chipping away with pick axes at cold dripping rock which too often entombed them. Miners described this work as being a living hell. These same miners may have been the ones to carve out a network of tunnels under Downtown Durango. Bootlegging was prevalent after prohibition and the tunnels aided in the transport of the illegal moonshine. Also used for coal storage and safe passage; some of the tunnels still exist. And Horsefly History has been given access to one of the most historically colorful and dramatic tunnels in existence. Once under a popular saloon (and today a local dive) the tunnel ran underground from the saloon to the entrance of a busy brothel.
Come along on this Halloween themed tour and see the tunnel for yourself. Only Horsefly History Tours will guide you there. Along the way you will hear true ghost stories from the buildings and businesses that line Main Avenue. Restless spirits still roam the streets they did in life so long ago. Visit the site of the “hanging tree” where an angry mob of townsfolk lynched a murderous outlaw. Be silent as we listen for the voices of children who laugh and play in the dark. And brace yourselves for the grand finale where you will walk through a dark and creepy tunnel previously closed to the public. Our starting location is TBD.
To best experience Durango during its “Wild West” era is to step back in time. What better way to do that than by travelling Historic Downtown in a horse drawn carriage? Listen to the clip-clop of horse hooves as they hit the same streets that horse carriages did 135 years ago. Learn about the spirits who restlessly roam the streets and inhabit the buildings of downtown. Life was tragic and full of sorrow for those who carved out a life in 1880’s Durango. Many souls are still seeking their fortunes, mourning their losses, and looking for justice. Horsefly History Tours has partnered with Prairie Fire Percherons to offer this 45-60 min ghost tour by carriage. Meet in the lobby of The General Palmer hotel for an introduction and then climb aboard Prairie Fire Percherons historically accurate horse drawn carriage for a Downtown loop. Ghost stories will be told along the way. Please be forewarned that references to ‘houses of ill-repute’ are made along with other vices commonplace at the turn of the Century. Parental guidance is suggested. We look forward to getting spooked with you!
Coal Dust & Oysters
This tour focuses on South Main Avenue. This district was the dirtier part of town and therefore had more immigrants and affordable hotels. Visit the site of a notorious gun battle between two rival gangs. A hotel with a strange murder and the businesses of two famous Coloradans whom you may not have guessed lived in Durango. This tour is 1.5 hours. At this time, no children under 14.
Murder & Mayhem
This tour will focus on North Main Avenue where various people have met their fate. A lover's triangle, an infamous duel, and a notorious family feud with a murderous ending are all subjects of the tour along with many others.
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