The Animas Museum building is the former Animas City School. Constructed in 1904-1905, this three-story sandstone building served the students in District No. 1 until that district merged with Durango's Distrist #9 in 1939. After that time, the building served as an elementary school in the Durango school system until the school was closed in 1967.
The museum building was the first structure placed on Durango's Historic Register in 1992, and it continues to be Durango's only history museum.
This mission of the La Plata County Historical Society, which owns and operates the Animas Museum, is to keep La Plata County history and culture alive for present and future generations. As part of the society's vision, it promotes public awareness of our collective past through the museum and its exhibits, educational programs and advocacy. The museum serves as a great resource for local history research with its countless books, photos, maps, cemetery and obituary records, townsite surveys, and much more.