Las Vegas Mormon Fort and Rancho (Nevada's Oldest Building)
Original Date Visited: 3/17/09
Notes: While there's no fee to view this marker, you'll need to conquer it between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Wednesday through Sunday when the park is open. Otherwise, you'll come across a locked gate. On my first revisiting, I was excited to finally grab this sucker after a decades' long wait, only to find my timing was off by a day. Feel free to use the visitor parking for a quick, no-fee conquering of the marker and its clamper, but any and all visitations into the fort itself requires a state park fee. See the link below for the park's website.
At this location Las Vegas had its beginning on June 14, 1855, when 30 Mormon missionaries arrived from Utah. They built a 150-foot square adobe fort enclosing eight two-story houses, cultivated small gardens and fields, planted fruit and shade trees, and established friendly relations with the Paiutes.
After the Mormons departed in 1858, Octavius Decatur Gass developed Las Vegas Rancho, using the adobe structures as headquarters. He farmed 800 acres, supplying produce to miners and travelers.
Mrs. Helen J. Stewart, owner of the property from 1882 to 1903, expanded the ranch to 1,800 acres, which she sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Company as the Las Vegas townsite, auctioned on May 15, 1905, starting contemporary Las Vegas.
One of the Fort houses remains as a monument to the 1855 pioneers.
We're also paying attention to the fantastic clamper marker that stood for the disappearance of Marker 35. This one is so well done it could've easily been used as an impromptu replacement for Marker 35 and we would've been just fine with that. You can find this little guy just to the south of the museum entrance.
Related Links & Markers:
 -- Las Vegas "The Meadows"  -- The Last Spike Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort S.H.P. (Nevada State Parks)
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