Clark County’s Past

When we were in Las Vegas earlier this year, Ruth & I went to Henderson to see the Clark County Museum that claims to tell the whole history of the Las Vegas area. We went from there to Boulder Dam. All I can say is that this area has a colorful history, and this museum does a pretty good job of explaining it even though it tends to not refresh exhibits as often as it should. It has one great advantage, however. Anna Roberts. A Local historian, Anna was also a collector who donated a lot of what she had accumulated to this museum.

The result of this bonus is 30 acres of exhibits. The response to it all depends on interest. I, for example, loved the info about weddings but was far less interested in the mining and railroad equipment scattered about. All in all it was fine to see. The 30 acres includes many historic homes and a trail that winds through too many tools, lots of farming equipment, and perhaps too much information about early residents.

Any tour begins in the adobe-styled visitor center and continues outside. The center contains lots of exhibits, and I was especially fascinated by the ones that explained the early years of Las Vegas’ evolution. This museum promises to explain this area’s changes from prehistory to the present and delivers on that promise.

Inside was the wedding chapel info. Las Vegas rapidly became the place where many weddings were performed. There were 3 reasons why this happened. There was no waiting to wed, many chapels, and 24 hour-a-day services that suited all denominations and tastes. Betty White had just died, and an exhibit focused on her Las Vegas wedding to Alan Ludden, the love of her life.

There was lots of information about early cultures in this area including Paiutes and the Anasazi peoples. Then it all segued into exhibits about pioneers in Las Vegas. There was stuff about local mines with some more mining equipment. By the time I got outside to the trail to Heritage Street I admit to some burnout. But the Mojave Desert info drew me back in, and I was enchanted by a now unfamiliar sight, an old caboose.

I was sent back 250 million years to learn that a shallow sea covered present day Nevada. I learned about adobe dwellers and pueblo residents and caves. I was informed about the gold rush, the local culture that included the Jilly Bean, Potosi, and Techatticup mines. I could have learned about ranching, farming, river traffic on the Colorado, Hoover Dam, Joshua trees, the early history of Boulder City. It was all there.

But I was more interested in early Las Vegas’ gambling history. I really enjoyed the info about its first casino-resort called the EL Rancho Vegas followed by the development of The Strip and the Last Frontier and then the Flamingo Hotel and complex, but it all ended too soon in 2006. I did appreciate this museum’s promise to feature each of the casino-resorts in detail with frequent changes, but a lot has happened in Las Vegas since 2006.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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