Background and HistoryIn the 1850s, Mormons navigated the rough and desolate terrains of the American Southwest in search of new settlements. At the time, present-day Las Vegas was sparsely inhabited by various Native American tribes. However, these native groups provided fierce resistance to any new arrivals from other parts of the rapidly growing United States of America. Click to buy your Las Vegas monorail pass. In 1855, missionaries from the expanding Mormon denomination established a small fort along a creek that was fed by springs in the Las Vegas Valley. This settlement was initially established as a stopping point for other individuals traveling to Salt Lake City, which became a major hub for the Mormons. Standing approximately 14 feet tall, adobe and brick walls protected all of the structures and residents at the fort. The threat of violence from neighboring Native American tribes ultimately led to the abandonment of the small community in 1857. Failed agriculture, food shortages and unsuccessful mining efforts also contributed to the rapid decline of the Mormon's temporary complex in the Las Vegas area. In the late 19th century, the fort was converted into a ranch by early residents of the Las Vegas region. The installation of railroad tracks in the area stimulated the revival of the property. In fact, the complex was used as a materials-testing lab during the construction of the massive Hoover Dam. In 1971, municipal leaders in Las Vegas officially purchased the fort as part of widespread efforts to preserve local history. Two decades later, the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park opened to the public as a recreational and cultural destination. The Daughters of Utah Pioneers have also been actively involved in preserving the heritage of the site.
Features and AmenitiesThe Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort has been reconstructed and renovated to reflect its original appearance and character. As you walk the grounds, you'll see replicas of bandwagons that were commonly used by Mormon pioneers and other individuals in the Wild West. Towers, walls and other masonry structures have also been rebuilt according to the original layout of the fortifications. The complex wasn't initially built for military purposes, so you won't find too many strategic weapons and other defensive installations. Instead, a general store and some craft shops dominate the historic venue. From casks to chairs, many of the furnishings inside the replica buildings are made of locally-sourced wood.
Visiting Old Las Vegas Mormon FortThe Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort stands as a notable landmark near the intersection of East Washington Avenue and North Las Vegas Boulevard just outside of Downtown Las Vegas. Free outdoor parking is available at this historic site and the adjacent Las Vegas Natural History Museum . A much larger parking lot is also located at the neighboring Cashman Field. On game days and during special events, visitors to the fort and museum might not be allowed to park for free near the sports venue. Running northbound and southbound on N Las Vegas Boulevard, the RTC 113 bus offers affordable and quick transportation to the state historic park. This express line makes numerous stops in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas. Some of the hotels and resorts on the historic Fremont Street are also within a reasonable walking distance of the fort.
Location: 500 East Washington Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 89101
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