Photo Courtesy, La Plata County Historical Society


"All Truly Great Thoughts Are Conceived By Walking." ~ Friedrich Nietsche


Walk with us as we explore Downtown Durango as it was in the late 1800's.  Horsefly History Tours will throw open our hypothetical doors with two distinct tours.

Our Coal Dust & Oysters tour will focus on South Main Avenue starting near (meets at the horse sculptures in front of The Palace Restaurant) the D&SNG Train Depot, as did so many immigrants during the mining boom. It was here that many of the more affordable hotels resided due to the proximity to the Smelter and Depot. The tour will end at Four Leaves Winery where HHT customers can sample fruit wines reminiscent of bygone times. 

Our Murder & Mayhem tour will focus on North Main Avenue. It starts at the El Moro Restaurant (meet out front) and ends at Durango Craft Spirits. This tour will take you to notorious saloons and past the sites of legendary gunfights. Durango in the late 1800's and early 1900's was truly the Wild West. Outlaws roamed the streets past saloons where men gambled their money away.  Brothels were commonplace (at one time Durango had 250 "fallen angels") and many of the so called "soiled doves" made a lasting impression that can still be felt today. Dogs and cats ran rampant past dazed consumers of Opium leaving secret dens. Based on coroner records and written accounts, the quickest way to solve a problem was to draw your pistol. Our tours will take you past some of these incidents. We hope you will join us as we take a walk back in time...



Tour Descriptions

Murder & Mayhem

This tour will explore the murderous history of North Main Avenue in Durango. Learn about the town doctor who saved countless lives but took the life of one man; changing the course of his life.  Stand in the very spot where a family feud ended tragically.  Experience a saloon that was not much different than it is today when a notorious brothel operated just behind it. And feel the past when you learn in depth about the day the Sheriff and Marshall engaged in the largest gun duel in Durango's history.  10 people max. Tour is 1.5 hours.


Meet outside of El Moro Spirits & Tavern

945 Main Avenue

Coal Dust & Oysters

This tour focuses on South Main Avenue.  This district was the dirtier part of town due to the proximity of the train station and smelter. Near the very southern end was the Italian district and there you could find the affordable hotels frequented by miners and ranchers.  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. 10 people max.Tour is 1.5 hours.

Meet at the horse statues in front of The Palace Restaurant: 505 Main Avenue

Photo courtesy of Duane Smith