Raul Jusinto

Blue Diamond


Blue Diamond
The Blue Diamond mercantile was built in 1941.

Blue Diamond Elementary School
The school has continuously operated since 1929.

Cottonwood Spring
The historic Cottonwood Spring is located in the center of this picture.

Blue Diamond in the 1930s
Photograph of Blue Diamond/Cottonwood Valley, Nevada, before 1930. Alice Lake - Earl Rockwell Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives. Original cropped by Raul Jusinto.

Clark County Marker marker reads:

The village of Blue Diamond, near the base of the Spring Mountain Range in Red Rock Canyon, was originally known as Cottonwood Springs. Between 1830 and 1848, Cottonwood Springs was a stop on the Old Spanish Trail for traders from Santa Fe to California. The trail became a wagon road, the Old Mormon Road, in use until 1905 when the railroad was completed.

In 1855, Mormon missionaries mentioned salvaging wagon parts at Cottonwood Springs. Lt. George Wheeler’s report in 1872 noted Paiutes growing pumpkins, melons and corn here. An adobe house built near the spring sometime between 1880 and 1893 was in use until the 1960s, when it was abandoned and deteriorated.

In 1903 the railroad acquired the spring and the surrounding 80-acre Cottonwood Ranch. From 1905 to the 1920s the ranch was used by a number of people, including Vincent Matteucci, who raised and supplied produce to Las Vegas and Goodsprings.

In 1924, Matteucci and his business partner Peter Buol sold a gypsum mining claim in the nearby hills to the Blue Diamond Company of Los Angeles. Blue Diamond indicates high quality gypsum, comparable to “that of the blue diamond among precious stones”.

The company operated a mine, housed workers and families at the mine site and shipped gypsum by rail to Los Angeles until they built a local plasterboard mill and plant in 1941. They leased the Cottonwood Ranch property and, to accommodate the increased work force, built housing and a community there named Blue Diamond. Blue Diamond was a company owned town until 1965 when properties were sold to the public.

Today Blue Diamond is home to a few hundred people who enjoy the quiet, the stars at night, the freely roaming burros and the history of this beautiful place.

Nevada Historical Markers 33 read:

Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail [Old Spanish Trail] became Nevada’s first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. The trail was later used by the wagons of the “49ers” and by Mormon pioneers. Concrete posts marking the trail were erected in 1965.

Located in Clark County.