Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park Travel Guide

  • Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park
    by Yaqui
  • Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park
    by Yaqui
  • Things to Do
    by Yaqui

Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park Things to Do

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 1, 2010

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    I'd have to say this visitor center is wonderfully built & modern. It blends so nicely into the landscape and it filled with a wonderful array of displays and exhibits that covers the beginning of the fort to what Las Vegas is today. We really enjoyed the displays because they are done so nicely. An excellent way to bring the family in to learn the beginning of Las Vegas!

    Visitor Center Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

    Admission: Ages 13 and older, $1; ages 12 and under, free

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    by Yaqui Updated Aug 1, 2010

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    Located within the park is the Ranch House, the oldest building in Nevada because some of the original wall from the fort was incorporated. It contains informative exhibits tracing the area's history, including a collection of photographs of the fort spanning from 1934 to 1992. The ranch house also contains a pump organ, spinning wheel and butter churner, all used by former inhabitants. Other artifacts found at the fort include an apple corer, cake griddle, rug beater and bullet mold. A replica of the first flag flown over Vegas is displayed along one wall, complete with 19 stars and 13 stripes.

    Visitor Center Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

    Admission: Ages 13 and older, $1; ages 12 and under, free

    Original adobe wall!
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    by Yaqui Updated Aug 1, 2010

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    Under Bringhurt’s direction with 29 other Mormon missionaries from Utah, began construction on June 14, 1855 to build a 150-foot square adobe fort, cultivate crops, build relationships with the Indians, and act as a way station for individuals traveling between California and Salt Lake City. With the initial success of the fort, Brigham Young had called a second group of missionaries, including women and children, to the mission. Work among the Native Americans included aiding them in farming, preaching the gospel and baptizing. Many were baptized and even some Native Americans were called to serve as missions among their own tribes to preach the gospel. The discovery of lead ore in the vicinity led to more and more settlers to move here. Yet, tension arose between leaders, terrible heat, and bad crops, the missionaries abandon the fort in 1857 to return to Utah.

    Ownership eventually landed in Octaviuse D. Gass in 1865. He had made some success with the ranch, but owed on back taxes sold he sold it to Archibald and Helen Stewart in 1881. In 1882 Archibald Stewart moved his wife Helen and their three children to the 960 acre ranch. What was unique about the ranch is the O.D. Gass had incorporated some of the remaining fort walls into the ranch house.

    Sadly two year later after establishing a profitable ranch. Archibald was shot and killed. His now widow wife, retrieved his body and made a coffin for him from the families doors. She stayed strong and remained at the ranch keeping the family together and ranch profitable. In 1893 the first post office was established naming it "Las Vegas". She later sold the ranch to San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad in 1902. In 1929, the Bureau of Reclamation used the fort's ranch house as an office for the construction of the Hoover Dam.

    Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday

    Admission: Ages 13 and older, $1; ages 12 and under, free

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park Favorites

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    by Yaqui Updated Aug 1, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In 1882 Archibald Stewart moved his wife Helen (b.April 16, 1854) and their three children to a 960 acre ranch that he bought from O.D. Gass that was once part of the Mormon Fort that had been established in 1855. Sadly two year later after establishing a profitable ranch. Archibald was shot and killed. His now widow wife, retrieved his body and made a coffin for him from the families doors. She stayed strong and remained at the ranch keeping the family together and ranch profitable. In 1893 the first post office was established naming it "Las Vegas". She later sold the ranch in 1902 to the railroad. She was known for her kindness to travelers, local Native Americans, and was very actived in her community till her death. When she passed away from battling Cancer on March 16, 1926 the City of Las Vegas shut down and people came from all over attend her funeral to pay their respects to the "First Lady of Las Vegas!"

    500 E. Washington Ave Las Vegas, NV 89101

    (702) 486-3511

    Visitor Center is located North on Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington St.

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    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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