"~~Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park~~" Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park by Yaqui

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.

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  • In a nutshell:More than just the bright lights!
  • Last visit to Old Las Vegas Fort State Historical Park: Dec 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (3)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    I just read a book about Mormons and the culture around Utah with Indians. Fascinating. Maybe I can get to this place one day

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    You really get to see a lot of old forts out that way. Again; nice description of the sites and the pictures enhance the tour.

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    saw this on your list of new pages. i would like to visit next month but somehow i do not envision the spouse having anything to do with this. apple corer - that we could use.


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