St. Thomas

St. Thomas School
Photograph of an abandoned school building, Saint Thomas, Nevada, May 13, 1934. Bureau of Reclamation Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.
St. Thomas Ice Cream Parlor
Photograph of salvage crew on a raft in St. Thomas, June 1938. Elbert Edwards Photo Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.
St. Thomas
The school building remains.
St. Thomas
The Hannig Ice Cream Parlor remains.
St Thomas Map
Map of St. Thomas, Nevada, circa 1933. Merle Frehner Map of St. Thomas, Nevada. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

The Anasazi first inhabited the region (near this site is the “Lost City”).

Named after Thomas Smith. Mormon settlers established a town of farms at this site in 1865. The settlers mistakenly thought they were in Utah/Arizona territory. In 1871, they discovered that they were actually in Nevada when the state demanded five years of back taxes. They refused to pay the taxes and abandoned the town.

By the 1880s, new settlers arrived to this town site. At its peak, there were about 500 people that lived in the town.

During the construction of the Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam), the St. Thomas residents were told that they would have to relocate and that the government would reimburse them for their property.

By 1935, the Hoover Dam was complete and St. Thomas had become inundated by the waters of Lake Mead.

St. Thomas reemerged in 1952 and 1965. In 2002, the St. Thomas ruins permanently reemerged.

Was located in the present-day Lake Mead National Recreation Area.