The State of Nevada maintains 7 museums to explain itself, including the scientifically, archeology-based Lost City Museum in Overton north of Las Vegas in the Lake Mead area that focuses on early settlement, this relatively new facility, and the State Railroad Museum in Boulder City near Hoover Dam. There are 3 in the Reno area that include another state museum in its capital Carson City, a classic railroad museum, and a state historical facility. There is a depot museum in Ely that is on the loneliest road in one if this state’s more interesting communities. The state museum in Las Vegas happens to be at the springs where this city began. It opened in 2011 before COVID closed everything for a while. Ruth & I visited it for the first time on this recent trip.
The State Museum in Las Vegas is actually 5 facilities, 3 of which are quite interesting. The Springs is truly where this city in the desert began. You can see The Strip from one walk. We ran into a couple on the shuttle that was also visiting the springs for the first time and planned to return for a more complete look. The Springs contain what was once the water supply for this city plus a large botanical garden and now a butterfly habitat. It was fun to wander among trees and enter passageways that were once for actual residents. The shuttle goes to a community that contains some early homes that have been moved here, Las Vegas’ first railroad depot, and some businesses like the ones that would actually have been part of the new city’s landscape.
Another full museum on this site contains the Origen Museum that offers temporary exhibits like a fine current exhibit on pets. An orienting film is available here. The shuttle takes visitors to Boomtown 1905, the close-to original town that became what is now Las Vegas. It was my favorite part of this state museum and gave access to several desert paths that wandered through a tortoise habitat and took those interested to an area that explains the existing waterworks.
The city in The Mojave Desert that became Las Vegas is often described as a miracle. It truly is a miracle city given the Mojave’s somewhat limited water. This museum does a good job of explaining this area’s vivid past with showgirls, antique slot machines, and reconstructed fossils that cause shudders of amazement.