nevada historical markers
#35 - OLD MORMON FORTlocation: 500 E Washington Ave, Las Vegas
Las Vegas had its beginning at this location on June 14, 1855, when 32 Mormon missionaries arrived from Utah under the leadership of William Bringhurst. They set to work establishing farm fields that summer, and began to build a 150-foot square adobe fort that September, closing eight 2-story houses. They cultivated small gardens and fields, planted fruit and shade trees, and tried to convert the local Southern Paiutes.
Most of the Mormons departed in 1857, and by 1895, Octavius Decatur Gass began developing the Las Vegas Rancho, using the adobe structures as headquarters. He farmed and raised beef cattle, supplying travellers and miners in the Potosi region.
Helen J Stewart, owner of the property from 1882 to 1902, expanded the ranch to 1,800 acres, which she sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad for the Las Vegas townsite. The company auctioned the land on May 15, 1905, starting the process of building the Las Vegas around you today
Deep in the heart of the golden west, home means nevada to me
The Nevada State Historical Marker Program was launched in 1964 for Nevada's centennial to commemorate events such as the Old Spanish Trail in Southern Nevada and the great train robbery in Verdi, west of Reno.
These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada.
I started visiting the markers around my city during quarantine and I found that I enjoyed learning about the history of the land. I've almost seen all of the ones that are in my city and I hope to one day be able to visit more of the rural locations.
It's almost like a treasure hunt because you never know if the marker is going to still be standing in the original location or not. Over the years, the State Historic Preservation Office has decommissioned some markers because vandalism persists at certain sites or because marking some locations no longer seems appropriate for various reasons.
Thank you to Nevada Department of Transportation which has contributed considerable funding to maintain the markers for the last decade.
Other Important Sites:Nevada State Historical Preservation Office || Nevada Landmarks's List || A Guide To Nevada's Historical Markers
The number of markers in the Nevada system.
The number of markers I have seen.
The number of markers I still need to see.