The Strater Hotel
~ The Classic Hotel with the sense of Beauty and History ~
A proud Prussian immigrant named Anton Strater immigrated in the days before the Civil War to the town of Cleveland Ohio where he enjoyed modest success from his coppersmith and later plumbing business. He fathered three talented and industrious sons who were instilled with their father’s ambition and sense of entrepreneurship and they were lured to the silver boom town of Durango in the 1880’s to start their own plumbing company. The three adventurous brothers were up to the challenge and soon became an integral part of the community and an important factor in the construction of this fledgling but soon to be bustling outpost in the southwest portion of the new U.S. state of Colorado.
The youngest brother, Henry, had interests over and above plumbing however and convinced his brothers and his father to invest what little capital they had acquired into a vision of building the finest hotel to be found in the region. After working day and night and using a total of 376,000 bricks to create a solid structure for the ages, a crew of 20 workers constructed the modern first class hotel which became known as the ‘Strater House’. It debuted to the public on August 31st, 1888.
As it turned out, building a first class hotel and running one required two completely different skill sets and it soon became apparent to Henry that he needed a hotelier to run the enterprise and he signed over a lease to a man with those skills, Mr. Hugh L. Rice. A complicated and somewhat troublesome relationship between the two emerged shortly after the ink had dried on their contract but nonetheless the hotel began its emergence into the vision of the great hotel that it was intended to be. No one knew however that within a short five years after its construction the hotel, Durango and the entire region itself would be reeling under the effects of a devaluation of the silver market as the world made an adjustment from the silver to the gold standard to back its currencies. The region was crippled and the new, beautiful and modern Strater House was forced into liquidation. The Strater family lost its hotel and their entire fortune and it was only saved from complete devastation due to its purchase by a wealthy Cleveland businessman.
In all the years since, the ‘Strater’ has passed the test of time and has come out on the other side as a ‘shiny penny’ in the infrastructure of the town of Durango. This accomplishment is primarily due to the efforts of the Barker family who purchased the hotel back in 1926 and have maintained control ever since. Under the tutelage first of Earl Barker Sr., then Earl Barker Jr. and currently Roderick Barker, the family has expanded, renovated, restored, decorated and generally evolved the property to the first class property it is today. Their intense concentration to details of all sorts with an eye to restoration of its original Victorian heritage, including the world’s largest collection of Victorian walnut furnishings, sets the ‘Strater Hotel’ apart from all others.
Come enjoy the heritage, the history, the charm, the beauty and the comfort of this great American hotel and enjoy all that the town of Durango and its surrounding regions have to offer.
All rooms come with:
Flat Screen TV’s
Fresh complimentary coffee in the lobby.
Your own personal journal to write in is found in each room.
Individual Private Bathrooms
LUNCH • DINNER • HAPPY HOURS • LATE NIGHT • LIVE MUSIC
More Information Relating to Durango
As new mining claims were discovered in the 1870s and the population of the San Juans mushroomed, so did the need for an economical, year-round transportation system. Most of the ore from mines discovered was not yet shipped out by the mid-1870s.
Heading south on Hwy 550 from Ridgway to Ouray, the panorama is full of summits and jagged ridges of the Uncompahgre Wilderness. The very pretty Victorian mountain town of Ouray, tucked beneath a dramatic granite amphitheater…
Leaving Durango, Fort Lewis College sits on a bluff above the town. The college has unique origins, history and mission that visitors to the area should know about. In 1891, Fort Lewis was decommissioned and converted into a federal, off-reservation boarding school.