Photographer: Bill Kirchner ~ Taken: September 26, 2011 ~ Caption: Las Vegas Springs Marker ~ Submitted: October 4, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. ~ Database Locator Identification Number: p175156
Information from the marker:
Bubbling artesian springs flowed here until they were exhausted in the middle of the 20th century, over-pumped to serve the city's growing population.
These springs and the creek they created gave life to the center of the valley. They erupted about 8000 years B.P. (before present). People came to the valley because of the reliable water and the plants and animals it supported. The springs allowed the Anasazi Indians and later the Paiute Indians to irrigate small gardens. Between 1829 and 1848, the natural grasslands watered by the creek made this an important stop for New Mexican mule caravans on their way to California. These Spanish-speaking traders named the campsite "Las Vegas" (the meadows).
Anglos began using the water in 1855, when the Mormons opened a mission about three miles east of the Springs. Later, pioneers John Howell and James B. Wilson developed a ranch at the Springs site. Howell was the first black man to settle in Las Vegas Valley. He arrived in 1870, married a Paiute woman and ran cattle with Wilson from 1872-1874, when Wilson left the valley. In 1876, Howell sold his "Spring Ranch." In 1902, the springs, creek and land were sold to the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, which discontinued ranching at the springs so the water could be used to serve Las Vegas. (Marker Number 1.)
Information from the brochure:
Created roughly 8,000 years before present, these springs and creek gave life to the center of the valley. The Native American populations used the water for irrigation and the stop became a lifesaver for travelers en route to remote areas and California during the mid-1800's. Much of the original historic facilities remain intact, and the site is now a cultural center with interpretive and educational exhibits. Portions of the Springs site are listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.