Raul Jusinto

Clark's Las Vegas Townsite Auction


Clark's Las Vegas Townsite Auction
Photograph of people gathered at the Las Vegas Townsite auction, 1905. Ferron-Bracken Photo Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

Clark's Las Vegas Townsite

Las Vegas Townsites
Aerial photograph of Las Vegas looking west, 1930. Ray Cutright Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives. Cropping and text layers added to original by Raul Jusinto.

Clark's Townsite
This work, "Clark's Las Vegas Townsite", is a derivative of "Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada" by Ken Lund, used under CC BY-SA 2.0. "Clark's Las Vegas Townsite" is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 by Raul Jusinto.

Las Vegas Centennial Commission marker reads:

At this site [Main Street and Fremont Street] on May 15th 1905, the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad auctioned off lots for the creation of the new city of Las Vegas. With 110 degree temperatures scorching the crowds, about three thousand people gathered to bid on the prime lots, many of which sold for up to $1,750 each. Instantaneously, a tent city sprang to life, and soon permanent buildings marked the emergence of the new city. Las Vegas began its life as a railroad town.

Las Vegas Centennial Commission marker reads:

Las Vegas was established as a railroad town in 1905; at the head of Fremont Street, the Mission-style depot represented the railroad's dominance over the economic and social life of the town for several decades. The streets of downtown were laid out parallel to the railroad tracks and not on a North/South grid. The building of Hoover Dam in the 1930s and the rise of the gambling industry in the 1940s and 1950s fueled spectacular growth in the Las Vegas Valley. With the growth came the loss of many of the town's early buildings. Some important buildings that have been lost include the Clark County Courthouse on Second Street (now Casino Center Boulevard), the ice plant on Main Street and the hospital on Eighth and Ogden. Historic preservation efforts have been successful for several properties, including the 5th Street School, the Las Vegas High School, the Old Mormon Fort and the Post Office and Federal Building. The preservation of Las Vegas' early buildings offers us a rare glimpse of our past in this rapidly changing city.

Event Location: Main Street and Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada.