St. Thomas, Nevada
A History Uncovered
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Nevada Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Table of Contents
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To some, the story of St. Thomas is a cautionary tale about water in the Southwest?or, rather, the lack of water. The followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (lds) who settled at the confluence of the Virgin and Muddy Rivers in 1865 knew a thing or two about the importance of water. After traveling for weeks in wagons across an unforgiving desert, ...
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This book began as an administrative history of the St. Thomas, Nevada, site for the National Park Service. When the ruins of the town began to emerge from the murky depths of Lake Mead in 1999, the National Park Service realized that it needed to know how to administer the site. A few years later, I was recruited to write this administrative history by the ...
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In 2002, in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history in the Colorado River system, the remains of St. Thomas, onetime town on the Muddy River, emerged from the depths of Lake Mead. This mud-caked Brigadoon drew Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith for a visit. After pounding over the rutted road that wound through sandy washes and ...
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In 1864 the Samuel Claridge family lived in Nephi, Utah. Dressed in their finest clothes, they were eager to attend a meeting with the visit-ing president of the church, Brigham Young. Samuel?s daughter Elizabeth During the afternoon we all attended the meeting, the girls in white having reserved seats in front. The sermons were inspirational and grand. They made ...
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The January 18, 1865, edition of the Deseret News contained a report by Anson Call on a trip through the area on his way to El Dorado Canyon. He Every facility seems to abound here to warrant the establishment of a large self-sustaining settlement. . . . Dec. 1st. This morning we crossed the river and passed up on the upper side of the Muddy. We were well pleased with the extent of land ...
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Rather than submit to the state?s high rate of taxation, the Saints voted to abandon the settlement after receiving permission from Brigham Young to do so if they so desired. The timing of the decision to leave was particularly poor for Israel Hoyt. Israel was in the mountains sawing lumber for a new home when the Saints received the letter from Brigham Young advising ...
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After the Mormon exodus, St. Thomas was a much different place. Opportunists moved in and stripped the town of everything of value. For a time, the town looked more like Dodge City than Salt Lake City, with pros-pecting, hard drinking, gambling, and horse racing. The experience of the Syphus family shows just how different a town St. Thomas was after the ...
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A. E. Cahlan, a prominent local journalist, visited the Moapa Val-ley in the early twentieth century. His experience shows St. Thomas enter-ing the modern era, albeit haltingly. He described some difficulty he had in breaking a twenty-dollar note to pay a bill. He had to visit just about every-one in town to get enough change gathered together. The Moapa and Virgin ...
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In St. Thomas, the twenties started out in a fairly encouraging fashion. In March 1921, the county completed a bridge over the Virgin River at Mesquite. The opening celebration almost depopulated Mesquite, Bunkerville, St. Thomas, Overton, and Logandale, for the day, and saw many attend from Las Vegas as well. Nearly two thousand attended the ...
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St. Thomas resident Hugh Lord did not believe that the waters of Lake Mead would ever actually reach St. Thomas. Early in June 1938, Lord went fishing, driving his car down the Muddy Valley and parking about one hundred yards from the water on a gentle slope. He had some suc-cess fishing, spending several hours out of sight of his car. About nightfall, ...
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...ing anxiously forward to the time when it would emerge from the depths. Fluctuations in water levels have exposed the town site several times. This chapter recounts these emergences and the reunions of former residents held when that happened. It also discusses the town?s subsequent loss of identity. As it emerged from the water in 1999, possibly for the last time, the ...
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Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 11 b/w photos, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Shepperson Series