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The Strater Hotel Story

The Strater Hotel story takes you on an unforgettable journey. Beginning with the birth of Durango, Colorado in 1881, it guides you through the development of this historic town and the impact one man’s dream has had, and continues to have on the entire region.

There is truly no hotel and no history of a hotel, that compares to the Strater Hotel Story.

This 208 page full color publication is literally filled with hundreds of photographs, many going back to the 1880’s, when Durango was in her infancy.

Along with the photographic treasures are a detailed written history of the development of Durango at its birth and the story behind the Strater family that moved to Durango in 1880-81.

Phil Aleo then develops the history of the Strater from it conception to the present, supported by beautifully restored photographs. He includes a photo tour of the Strater as it stands today.

Sample Pages

Cover Photo

Back Cover

Back Cover

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Taken during the annual “Snowdown” festival in Durango, this photo, taken by local Durangoan and owner of Photo/Genesis Photography, Jonas Grushkin, captures the beauty of the Strater with the backdrop of the snowcapped Smelter Mountain. Main Avenue is lit up as the fireworks are going off, the bands are playing and the parade is casacading down the street.

Thousands of spectators line the streets in the middle of January, enjoying one of the largest and most festive of events in Durango every year.

The back cover states:

The Strater Hotel Story takes you on an unforgettable journey. Beginning with the birth of Durango, Colorado in 1881, it guides you through the development of this historic town and the impact one man’s dream has had, and continues to have, on the entire region.

There is truly no hotel and no history of a hotel, that compares to the Strater Hotel Story.

The journey begins with the birth of Colorado. The story unfolds with details on the importance and influence of the train on the development of Colorado and then takes you to the birth of Durango in 1880 and how and why the Straters came from Cleveland Ohio to this small town in Colorado.

The influence that they had on the town has left an undeniable impact on the  towm that is still recognized to this day, over 130 years later.

Page 17

Pg 17

The Durango & Silverton Railroad enroute to Silverton from Durango. The 50 mile ride is breathtaking, as you travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

More than 200,000 tourists enjoy this unforgettable experience each year.

Page 23

Page 36

Pg 23
Pg 36

The first chapter entitled: “A Snapshot of Colorado in the 1800’s includes the life of a number of very important personages  that were instrumental in the development of Colorado.

Page 23, begins the story of the man known as the “Pathmaker of the San Juan,” Otto Mears.

Chapter 2, entitled: “Durango Is Born” showcases a number of photos that have never before been seen by the public. A number of these photos were located and identified during the extensive research that went into the development of the Strater Hotel Story.

Page 36 displays Durangos original City Hall. The lower photo captures the heart of Durango before 1889.

On July 1st, 1889, the majority of all the buildings in these photos, was reduced to ashes.

Page 57

Pg 57

Chapter 3, entitled: “Henry Strater and the Strater Hotel” traces the Strater family from their roots in Cleveland Ohio and retraces their steps as to why they came to Durango in her infancy in 1880.

This chapter explains the impact the Strater brothers had on the fledgling town.

The photo of the Strater Hotel shown here on Page 57, was taken just after the hotel was constructed, in 1888.

Page 67

Pg 67

Page 76

Pg 76

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Pg 92

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Pg 101

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Pg 116

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Pg 138

Page 144

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Page 146

Pg 146

Durango - looking north from near the top of Smelter Mountain.

The upper photo was taken around 1887 when Durango was still quite young. Main Avenue is for the most part is still undeveloped.

The lower photo was taken in 2007.

The Strater Hotel arount the turn of the century in 1900 circa. The Strater Bar is still in operation at this time. Charles Stilwell and Hattie Mashburn are running the hotel.

Top Photo
Main Avenue as it looked facing southward from around Eighth Avenue.

 

 

Lower Photo
Captures the electric trolley as it makes its run on Main Avenue. (Early 1900’s circa)

The Strater Hotel Story has numerous newspaper clippings / articles dating back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s. These make for much more than simply entertaining reading.They reveal a history of the Strater and Durango as well as the personages written about, that up till now had not been known.

 

The Strater Book contains photographs details the development and changes that have occurred since 1887.

This page details the changes of the original Opera House located in was originally the Columbian Hotel, next to the Strater.

 

The Mahogany Grille is an extraordinary restaurant. The menu provides a great variety of exquisite dishes prepared to perfection.

The author’s favorite is “Pepper Steak Herbert.”

Chapter Six provides a Photo Tour of the Strater as it looks today. No two rooms are alike. The detail and beauty of each room will leave you in awe.

The Strater has the largest collection in the world of American Walnut Victorian Furniture. The walls of the rooms are all done up with Bradbury & Bradbury hand screened wall paper. Nothing has been left to chance. Even the ceilings add to decor and the beauty of each room.

The photos on this page are room 108. This was originally part of the original dining room in 1888. Today, it is the largest guest suite in the hotel.

Room 220 was awarded one of the top three prestigious Gold Key Awards in 1989. The furniture, velvet draperies and Bradbury & Bradbury wall papers provide a unique atmosphere to each of the 93 rooms at the Strater. 

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