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Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort 

 

William Bringhurst and 29 Mormon missionaries arrived at this location just north of present day Downtown in 1855 and built a 150 square-foot adobe fort .... the beginning of Las Vegas!  The fort is at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Washington Ave. 

 

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 The Mormon outpost provided a way station for travelers and included a post office.  Lead was discovered in nearby mountains and mining and smelting facilities were added to the facility--but, the mining effort was not successful.  
 

 About two-years after being founded, the Mormon fort was abandoned due to dissention between two of the local leaders; in 1865, Octavius Gass bought the site and turned it into a ranch.  Eventually tne old fort became the property of Archibald and Helen Stewart, Helen later sold the ranch to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad in 1902--and in 1905, Las Vegas was born! 

 
 An old wagon found near the north-west corner of the fort. 
 

 

This is the last remaining original building at the fort.  In 1929, the Bureau of Reclamation leased and renovated this structure during the construction of Hoover Dam; it was used as a test lab and office.

 
 

Looking north inside the building.

 
 On the south-end is a room featuring a spinning wheel and the rudimentary comforts of a home. 
 

This is a replica of the first American flag to be flown over the fort (raised on July 4, 1855 on a thirty-foot flag pole).  The original flag was made from "domestic" matierial, an old red shirt, and blue jeans.  This replica was sewn by Randy Hale, President of the Friends of the Fort. 

 
 A view of the building as seen from the center of the fort stockade.  
 A plaque commemorating the firrst Las Vegas Post Office. 
 This is a replica of the wall that enclosed the stockade of the fort--this photo was taken from the entrance. 
  

A scene looking back at the stockade wall and the entrance to the fort. 

 

A grape arbor located outside of the enclosure--on the north-west end of the site. 

 

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  This wagon wasn't really on display and was found in the living area of the fort's caretaker. 
 

The Story of the old Las Vegas Mormon Fort on a plaque dating from 1939. 

 

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