A Stranger in Vegas Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort
Water is the primary source of life, and it was water that gave life to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a small place that has flourished rapidly and recently. Yet, it seems like its history goes further than its genesis. Unfortunately, the cost of that rapid growth was the abandonment and abolishment of its history. The aim was to reach a point forward without caring if it was at the expense of the past.
A quiet small museum in the middle of rowdiness I fortunately bumped into, after like 30 minutes of driving around it trying to figure out its entrance ; The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park. I was apparently the only visitor that time, and fish swimming in a small lake which water comes from a tiny river. I had no idea where I was so I walked farther to the inside. The inside feels like an abandoned Roman battleground, it was alone but also peaceful and pretty. There were a couple of subversive ancient walls made out of mud and dust bricks, some of them are clearly rebuilt. There were some ancient wagons and chariots, and other ancient machines and instruments in different places of the area. There was running water crossing the place so I was wondering why it was deserted. I needed answers for where I am and here is what I found about that place:
“More than 150 years ago, a spring-fed creek flowed through the valley, creating an oasis in the desert. The site attracted native Paiute people, traders, emigrants and gold seekers traveling the Old Spanish Trail to California. The place was called Las Vegas. In June of 1855, William Bringhurst and 29 fellow Mormon missionaries from Utah arrived at this site and built a 150-foot square adobe fort, the first permanent structure erected in the valley. In 1865, Octavius D. Gass bought the site and developed a large-scale ranch that included a small store and blacksmith shop to serve travelers and nearby mining communities. In 1881, the ranch was passed on to Archibald and Helen Stewart who continued to operate the ranch after Archibald was killed in a gunfight. In 1902, Helen sold the ranch and water rights to the san Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. A new town, Las Vegas, sprang into existence in 1905 when the rails reached the valley. From this place, Las Vegas has since expanded to become one of the nation’s major metropolitan areas.” Source the museum guidebook
Everything started with water, the essential source for life. The Fort built in 1855 consisted of an adobe enclosure 150 feet on each side, with towers or bastions at the northwest and southwest corners. The adobe building closest to the creek is the only surviving part of this structure.
Amazing history exists in the most unexpected places. History nowadays is not given any importance. We should care more about our past because one day past is what we will be and we don’t want to be forgotten and abandoned.