Pony Express – 1860-61 St. Joseph, Missouri – Sacramento, California Also Overland Stage & Freight Route 1858-1868
Note: The above is a replica of the marker placed c. 1947. However, no records prior to 1862 show a station here. This includes the 1861 Pony Express schedule. In 1862, this new station was built by the Central Overland Stage & Freight and used by others.
This monument was constructed by enrollees, U. S. Grazing Division, C. C. C. Camp G-154, Company 2517 in 1941 and sponsored by the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association (#98 of their monuments) it was later adopted by the Sons of Utah Pioneers (#240 of their monuments) and rededicated in 2017.
Las Vegas Old Mormon Fort (Nevada’s Oldest Building)
Las Vegas had its beginning at this location on June 14, 1855, when thirty-two Mormon missionaries arrived from Utah under the leadership of William Bringhurst. They set to work establishing farm fields that summer, and began to build a 150-foot square adobe fort that September, enclosing eight two-story houses. They cultivated small gardens and fields, planted fruit and shade trees, and tried to convert the local Southern Paiutes.
Most of the Mormons departed in 1857, and by 1865, Octavius Decatur Gass began developing the Las Vegas Rancho, using the adobe structures as headquarters. He farmed and raised beef cattle, supplying travellers and miners in the Potosi region.
Helen J. Stewart, owner of the property from 1882 to 1902, expanded the ranch to 1,800 acres, which she sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad for the Las Vegas townsite. The Company auctioned the land on May 15, 1905, starting the process of building the Las Vegas around you today.
The Las Vegas Mormon Fort was added to the National Historic Register (#72000764) on February 1, 1972 with a boundary increase (#78003379) on December 12, 1978. The text below is from the nomination form from when it was added to the register:
The Church of the Latter Day Saints was instrumental in the early settlement and development of southern Nevada with the establishment of Mormon colonies. The Las Vegas Mission was the first of these settlements to be established, and was selected by the church to: (1) Raise crops which could not be raised in the colder northern Utah climate; (2) Find new homes for the numerous Mormons coming to Salt Lake Valley area; and (3) To establish a halfway station on the Mormon trail between San Bernardino and Salt Lake. A thirty man mission group left Salt Lake City on May 10, 1855, and arrived in Las Vegas on June 14, 1855. After touring the Las Vegas Valley on horseback, the decision was made to establish the permanent location on the site of the original stopping place, and work was commenced immediately on the Las Vegas Mormon Fort* The fort was located adjacent to one of the two clear streams of water flowing from the nearby Las Vegas springs which nurtured native grasses, and created lush meadows in the valley near the Sunrise Mountain.
The natural oasis of meadow and mesquite forest was the winter homeland of the Paiute Indians, who spent their summers in the Charleston Mountains. The valley and the meadows were first known to the Spanish, who named Las Vegas “The Meadows” and marked it as such on maps of the southwestern desert.
Antonio Armijo stopped at the springs in 1829-30, traveling the route which became known as the Old Spanish Trail. After 1830 the route was traveled by Spanish traders, emigrants and frontiersmen who rested beside the springs. On one of his western exploration trips, John C. Fremont camped here on May 3, 1844.
On about August 3, 1855 the missionaries started to build the walls 14 feet high, two feet thick at the bottom, and one foot at the top. The adobe fort, enclosed eight two-story houses. Outside the fort the missionaries cultivated small gardens and fields, two and one half acres being assigned to each of the party; they planted fruit and shade trees, and established friendly relations with the Paiutes. Near the fort was also built the first smelter west of the Missouri River. This was used by the Mormons in their Potosi lead-silver mine venture.
After the Mormons departed in 1858, called back £o Utah by their leader Brigham Young, Octavius Decatur Gass established the Las Vegas Rancho, using the adobe structures as headquarters. He farmed 800 acres in field crops, orchards, and grazed many cattle, supplying produce to miners and travelers.
In 1882 the Archibald Stewart family bought the ranch. Soon thereafter Mr. Stewart was killed in a feud with one of his neighbors. Mrs. Stewart, with children, continued to operate the ranch as an oasis in the desert, expanding it, from 800 acres to 1,800 acres. For 20 years Helen J. Stewart was known as a gracious, intelligent hostess to those who traveled the southwest. She exemplified the best of pioneer characteristics Initiative, determination, steadfastness, plus compassion for “those less fortunate. Her story ranks equally well with that of the earlier Mormon missionaries.
Mrs. Stewart sold her ranch in 190^ to the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad Company for the Las Vegas townsite, which was auctioned in lots to buyers on May 18, 1905, starting contemporary Las Vegas.
A further note of interest, on January 10, 1856, the Las Vegas Mission was notified by the U.S. Post Office Department that the town would henceforth be known as Bringhurst, New Mexico Territory, and thus the7 Las Vegas Mormon Fort became the first Las Vegas post-office building. Las Vegas became a portion of the territory of Arizona, and finally became a part of Nevada on January 18, 1867, the state then firming up what are today’s boundaries of Nevada.
A note about Fort Baker. Fort Baker was apparently a fort in name only. It was a name assigned to the Las Vegas area, as a diversionary tactic during the Civil War in an effort to divert the attention of Confederate spies and sympathizers in California from the real objectives of getting Col. James H. Charleston’s command of the 1st California Volunteers across Arizona to New Mexico (Los Pinos). Information was released to the effect that a portion of the command would be assigned to Fort Yuma, Arizona. Three companies of infantry would go to Fort Mojave, Arizona, and one company of infantry and three of cavalry would go to Fort Baker at Las Vegas, at that time also in Arizona Territory. In reality, none of Carleton’s command ever reached, or served at Mojave or Baker nor was it designed that they should.
The fort as Las Vegas retains the name “Mormon Fort” as it was built by the Mormons assigned to the Las Vegas Mission, and was used by them as a fort during their sojourn at Las Vegas, 1855-1858.
Another note of significance, Las Vegas Mormon Fort is the oldest inhabited building in Nevada today.
Built in 1933, the Leeds Civilian Conservation Corps Camp is significant as perhaps the best remaining example of a CCC camp in Utah. These camps were typically built of relatively temporary frame construction, and the surviving buildings and features such as the stone terraces at the Leeds camp present a unique, if somewhat limited, view of these important facilities. The economic impact of the Great Depression was especially severe in Utah where unemployment averaged 25 percent during the 1930s and was once as high as 36 percent. Because of the pressing need for conservation work, such as flood control, water resource development, etc., in the arid climate of southern Utah, the CCC work projects were of great importance locally.
Approximately 250 men were housed in frame barracks that were located to the southwest with other buildings such as a mess hall, library, and showers. The remaining stone structures are but a few of those originally built. The men were typically from out-of-state and served in the CCC for 9 to 12 months. Temporary remote “spike” camps were established near many of the actual construction projects. The Leeds CCC Camp was closed in 1942, and most of the frame buildings were removed before 1950.
Located at 90 West Mulberry Lane in Leeds, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#93000062) March 4, 1993.
Leeds Historic CCC Camp
In the depression year of 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated the Civilian Conservation Corps. This program provided much needed employment for the nation’s youth 18-25 years old. The men had to complete the 8th grade, and have 3-4 family members dependent on their paycheck. The men received $30.00/month of which $25.00 was sent home to their family.
The men at this base camp developed the Oak Grove Campground, built bridges and constructed roads from Leeds to St. George. They were instrumental in preserving and protecting forests, waterways and other natural resources. But the real benefit was that it gave these young men hope, self respect, and a new start in life.
Our task today is to preserve and restore this Utah CCC camp site. Your donations will be used wisely. For more information on other local CCC camps: www.wchsutah.org
This one and one-half story house follows the French Second Empire style with eclectic variants. It has a mansard roof and two gabled dormer per side. It has a wide frieze with brackets. The Roman arched window bays with transom filled in. The architecture is similar to a style of houses in Ogden and Brigham City. There is an usually wide open wall area between the first and second windows. It is significant because it is an example of the Second Empire architecture.
It is hard to tell the original exterior wall treatment and the windows have phony shutters. The house is worthy of restoration.
This 1880 house is one of the best examples of French Second Empire architecture in Salt Lake. Helaman Pratt, the original owner, was a colonizer in several areas in the West. Later the house belonged to Franklin Richard Snow, a leading Salt Lake businessman.
This was one of the first homes in the City Creek area. It was built before Canyon Road came through so it faced downtown rather than on to a road like the rest of the houses.
Helaman Pratt, the original owner of this house, was born in Mt. Pisgah in 1847 as the Mormons were crossing the plains. He helped settle the Muddy River mission in Arizona and the Sevier area. He served two missions to Mexico, one in 1875 and one in 1883. He was made president of the mission in 1884. Pratt spent the rest of his life after there as a leader of the LDS Church in the Mormon colonies in Mexico.
Pratt acquired the property in City Creek in 1880 from Joseph L. Kinsburg who ran a mill in the area. Pratt lived in the house from 1880 until he went on his mission in 1883.
In the early 1890’s Pratt agreed to sell the house to Franklin Richard Snow, a son of Erastus and Artimesia Beman Snow. Snow had also served a mission to Mexico in 1883 and he might have met Pratt there.
Gas Works Park is a ca. 20-acre public park located on the north shore of Lake Union at the south end of the Wallingford neighborhood. It is recognized in the National Register of Historic Places. Aside from the machines and structures of the former gasification plant, the location offers a stunning panorama of the Seattle skyline. If you can, wait till the lights start coming on at dusk!
History and Transformation
In the early 20th century, Seattle Gas Light Company purchased the land. They built a gas manufacturing plant in what was then a highly industrial area. At the time, it was the largest private utility in Seattle.
The plant produced illuminating gas, so-called because it was used for lighting. Later, the gas was also used for cooking, refrigeration, and heating homes and water. Hence, the origin of the park’s name — Gas Works Park. The gas was originally generated from coal. Production later switched to oil gas generators.
Gas production operations ceased in 1956. In 1962, the City of Seattle began purchasing the area. The transfer was completed and the park opened to the public in 1975.
The Play Barn
The building known as the Play Barn dates to the original coal-gas facility and was constructed of wood. It features the former pump house, ca. 7,340 square feet and boiler house, ca. 5,720 square feet. Their wood frames remain intact and in place on concrete slab foundations.
The former boiler house was turned into a picnic shelter. The tubes of one former boiler remain in place at the eastern end of the building. They are an impressive display of technology from days-passed.
The former pump house showcases most of its machinery still in place. It features pumps, piping and also its old 3,000 hp compressor. An old smoke arrestor hood has been refurbished as a play structure for climbing.
Kite Hill offers stunning views and a fascinating history to its visitors. Thousands of cubic yards of rubble from old gas plant buildings were covered with fresh top soil, sewage sludge, and sawdust. What sounds gross at first was a successful early attempt of bioremediation. It is a natural way to decontaminate soil and groundwater. The area offered plenty of both from past days of gasification plant operation. Today, Gas Works Park is fully decontaminated and covered with lush green field grass.
Once visitors have reached the top of the hill, they are met by an unexpected artpiece — a sundial. It was created by two local artists, Chuck Greening and Kim Lazare. Their material of choice was concrete, which they delineated with rocks, shells, glass, bronze, and many other materials. The sundial tells time by using the body of the visitor as the gnomon. The viewer’s shadow tells the time of day and the season.
The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#02000862) on January 2, 2013 and is located at 2000 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, Washington
Presented to James K. Knudson Administrator Defense Transport Administration – By – Robert M. Gilmore — From No. 1678, One of the oldest locomotives on the Southern Pacific system, which was built in April 1900 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Company of Patterson, New Jersey. During the 52 years it was in operation, the locomotive gave approximately one million miles of service over the various districts of the Southern Pacific. After many years in freight service in this country it was transferred to the Southern Pacific of Mexico in 1946 and operated between Nogales and Guadalajara, Mexico in freight and passenger service until December 1951 when it was returned to this country and retired in 1952.
This bell given to Park Valley, by Cam Harmon, Brigham City, Utah. Erected at Park Valley October, 1969
Pony Express – 1860-61 St. Joseph, Missouri – Sacramento, California Also Overland Stage & Freight Route 1858-1868
This monument was constructed by enrollees, U. S. Grazing Division, C. C. C. Camp 116, Company 2529 on August 23, 1940 and sponsored by the Utah Pioneer Trails and Landmarks Association (#91 of their monuments) it was later adopted by the Sons of Utah Pioneers (#237 of their monuments) and rededicated in 2017.
Established in the 1920s, the Fitch family cemetery is unique and significant for its role as a private cemetery for a mining entrepreneurial family and is located near the family’s historic mine, mining headquarters, and residence.
Approximately one-half acre in size, it is designed in the form of a circle and features a wrought iron fence, a stone pathway, and a surrounding rock wall. As members of the Catholic faith, the Fitch family also had an altar for saying Mass and places to kneel built at the cemetery. Several members of the Fitch family are buried at the cemetery, and it continues to function today as the family cemetery.
This cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (#79003471)