Raul Jusinto



Mesquite High School Gymnasium
Mesquite High School Gymnasium. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Virgin Valley Heritage Museum (Desert Valley Museum)
Virgin Valley Heritage Museum. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Old Spanish Trail Mormon Mesa
Old Spanish Trail: Mormon Mesa. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Listed as a National Historic Trail and U.S Historic District. "IMGP6189" by Robert Wilk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Virigin Valley
The Virgin River.

John Charles Fremont
John C. Fremont (1813-1890).

Jedediah Smith (1799-1831).

City of Mesquite marker reads:

The remoteness of the area, the water woes, the scanty provisions, the scorched earth, and undoubtedly the scorpions, badgers and snakes offered incentive for settlers to recoil, rethink, and reestablish elsewhere.

Mesquite had its origins in February 1880, when leaders and selected families of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered on the northeast bank of the Virgin River. At that time William Branch was sustained as bishop, and church members were given specific duties related to the cotton enterprise. Because water was critical, the pioneers dug a seven-and-a-half mile irrigation canal to be breached in fifty-eight places. A month later, Bishop Branch dispatched this report: The brethren are steadily working on the canal, 12 of the men are down with chills, leaving but 9 at work…110 degrees in shade, and 140 degrees where the men work and filthy water to drink. Families began to leave. By 1883, when Dudley Leavitt’s family moved to Mesquite, the town was deserted. Wide spread damage from subsequent storms forced the Leavitts to relocate as well.

After two failed attempts to settle Mesquite, a few resolute men, including William Abbott, camped along the abandoned irrigation canal. The year was 1894, and the workers, all in their early twenties, labored to repair the damage. Their rations consisted of an occasional crust of bread, molasses, and warm milk from an old red cow tied to a wagon. In a miraculous way the youthful men prevailed. Water once again flowed, the land was fenced and divided, crops were planted, school classes began, and a voting precinct and post office were established. By 1900, nineteen families called Mesquite home – a humble home, as they lived in wagons, tents, adobe structures and under tarps.

Those who continued on in Mesquite harvested meager crops, were resourceful by necessity, and resolved to be cheerful. In their poverty there arose a noticeable attachment and tenderness toward one another. Soon, life in Mesquite offered more then mere existence. There were magical musical moments: singing, choirs, bands, and dancing. Poetry was written, recitations given and nearly all tried their hand at acting. Reveling in celebrations, they used an excuse to feast, picnic, and compete in sports.

In due course, Mesquite became known to the outside world. Mesquite’s grapes and pomegranates took first place at the San Francisco Fair in 1906. Young men served their country, missionaries went forth, trails became roads, and roads became highways. Highways needed bridges, all of which required a united effort at home and input from outside.

Etched in the past – more than the dam, the road, or the bridge – are the builders, the dreamers: those willing to dedicate their lives for a better tomorrow. Tomorrow is here and dreams do come true.

Nevada Historical Marker 56 reads:

Famed western explorer Jedediah Smith visited Virgin Valley in 1826. Captain John C. Fremont passed through here in 1844.

The valley served as the right-of-way for the Old Spanish Trail (1829-1848) and for the Mormon Road or southern route of travel to southern California.

Pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints settled the area of Bunkerville in 1877 and Mesquite in 1880.

The Virgin River provided water for the development of the valley’s agricultural resources.

Nevada Historical Markers 31 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 Mesquite, Nevada.