The Strater Hotel, opened in 1888 during a mining boom in Durango, Colorado. Four years later, owner Henry M. Strater added another hotel, the Columbian, next door. After the financial panic of 1893, Strater consolidated the hotels into one that drips with Victorian flourishes. Durango, the seat of La Plata County in southern Colorado. Durango was organized in September 1881 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) to serve the San Juan mining district. The city is named after Durango, Mexico, which was named after Durango, Spain. The word Durango originates from the Basque word "urango" meaning "water town." Durango, on the rushing Animas River, qualifies. Photo by Carol Highsmith.