The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, in downtown Las Vegas on Washington Avenue just off Las Vegas Boulevard, preserves remnants of the first permanent non-native settlement in Southern Nevada. Open all year from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, the park offers glimpses of history in its exhibits and interpretation of events through its programs. It includes a handsome visitor center, a reconstruction of the early fort, a re-created portion of flowing creek, a pioneer garden and part of an original wall built 156 years ago. The entrance fee is just $1 for visitors aged 13 and older.
On a particularly hot June afternoon in 1855, 15 dusty men halted their weary teams of oxen at the water of Las Vegas Creek. Lead by William Bringhurst, they had been on the 52-mile trail from the Muddy River across the Mojave Desert since the day before, June 13, traveling all night following a waterless trail marked by bones of animals that perished on previous treks.
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