Many people are surprised about the history of Las Vegas. While it is known today as Sin City where anything goes, it is hard to believe that some of its earliest settlers weren’t exactly looking for an all night party. So while we keep most of â€œwhat happens in Vegas, in Vegasâ€ today, it is always fun to look back at the beginnings of the city.
This is why we love the story of The Mormon Fort Historic Park. Yes, we said Mormon as in the religion. It is not surprising that some of the first settlers (after the various Indian Tribes) in Las Vegas were Mormon given that Nevada is so close to Utah. Established in 1855 by William Bringhurst and 29 Mormon missionaries, the Old Mormon Fort was the valleyâ€™s first permanent structure. It was a 150-foot-square adobe fort that served as a mid way rest stop for travelers between Los Angeles and Utah. It was close to a creek, which was helpful for cultivating fields and orchards.
During the Civil War, the fort was occupied by various Army troops sent there to protect the settlers in and around the fort. In addition it was a resting spot for the Union soldiers. After the war, the land was sold off and turned into a ranch and changed hands many times after that. The city of Las Vegas purchased it in 1989, turned it into a State Park in 1991, and completed a $4.5 million dollar renovation on the area.
Now a popular historical site, you can visit The Old Mormon Fort and check out the various artifacts from the first settlers. It is both an indoor and outdoor exhibit. You will learn about the early settlers as well learn about the hardships that they endured during the early days of Vegas. While youâ€™re inside, you can watch a video and review a timeline of the area. Outside, you can see the last remaining piece of the original adobe fort inside the ranch house, which is also the oldest standing building in Nevada. It features information on the Paiute Indians, the original Mormon settlers and very cool artifacts such as a spinning wheel, corn separator and more. And, if you are a civil war historian, than you will definitely want to check out the reconstruction of the soldiersâ€™ living quarters. Behind the soldiers living quarters, you will find an 1850â€™s freight wagon as well as a beautiful creek where you can enjoy some peace and quiet and maybe even a picnic lunch.
There is so much about Las Vegas to discover beyond the bright lights of the strip. Discover it on a tour with us! On any of our private tours of Las Vegas, we can take you for a stop at the old Morman Fort. Email usÂ or call us at 800-549-8155 to book your tour today!
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