The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park holds the history of early Las Vegas within the museum and the walls of the Fort. More than 150 years ago, a spring-fed creek flowed through the valley and attracted native Paiute people to this site, as well as traders, emigrants and gold seekers traveling the Old Spanish Trail to California.
The site later became a Mormon outpost, complete with a post office, and served as a way station for travelers. Ten years following the building of the original Fort by the Mormons in 1855, Octavius Gass purchased the site and developed a large scale ranch. The ranch included a blacksmith shop and a small store to serve travelers. In 1881, the ownership of the ranch was passed on to Archibald and Helen Stewart. In 1884, when Archibald was killed in a gun fight, Helen continued to operate the ranch and also went on to become an important woman in Las Vegas history.
In 1902, Helen sold the ranch and the water rights to the railroad. A new town, called Las Vegas, sprang into existence in 1905 when the rails reached the valley. From this place, Las Vegas was born, and has since expanded to become a city known all around the world.
Step back into time and walk the paths and experience the history of the Paiutes and the Pioneers. Join us for events throughout the year and Saturday educational programs. This is the place where the community can share the history of Las Vegas and why it is important to preserve it.
The Friends of the Fort strives to keep the history alive at the Fort. We support a volunteer program, and fund activities and family events. Help us to continue our positive efforts.
Visit the Fort located at 500 East Washington Ave, in Las Vegas. Call to learn about upcoming programs and events at (702) 486-3511.