Getting mentally packed for a reporting trip later this month to southern Nevada, I ran across this delightful bit of business, from (I think) 1904:
William R. Clark, a U.S. Senator from Montana, had bought an old ranch in the valley in 1902, land that became the staging area for the Union Pacific’s construction of a rail line connection Salt Lake City with Los Angeles.
The railroad was completed in 1905, but according to Eugene Moerhring’s history of Las Vegas, a fellow named J.T. McWilliams bought land west of the tracks even before it was completed, pushing a competing townsite which he advertised in Southern California newspapers. You don’t have to drill far for that water!
“The climate of Las Vegas is delightful the whole year round.” I admit, it’s “delightful” to cook eggs without need for an oven or cook stove.
Scot – I’m having a terrible time laying off the comedy gold found in so many of the early western real estate boosters’ rhetoric. I could write an entire book filled solely with this stuff. Maybe that’s my next book.
John: From what I’ve heard, you might have equal writing fun going from early 20th Century LV shilling to Rio Rancho hucksterism Back East only a few decades back. I’m sure the TV ads in NYC for RR included somber analysis of the water usage impact.
IOW, write that book, too.