BOULDER CITY, NV — By Angela Thompson Smith

BOULDER CITY, NV — By Angela Thompson Smith


It began in 1930 with the arrival of families with husbands desperate to work, and children to feed. Boulder City, NV didn’t yet have a name, Las Vegas was a tiny outpost in the Mojave Desert, and the Colorado River flowed free, muddy and swift down to the Mexican delta. The families settled in tents, called Ragtown, near the river awaiting the allocation of jobs on the biggest Bureau of Reclamation project in years. Tentatively called the Black Canyon Dam, later to be renamed Hoover Dam, the structure provided work to hundreds, came in under budget, and was built in record time.

Originally designed to be demolished following the completion of the Dam, the workers and their families claimed the town as their own and it was incorporated in 1959. Boulder City has an intriguing history: it was originally designated a Federal Reservation, alcohol and gambling were prohibited and it became a tourist spot for the rich and famous. Consisting of tiny clapboard houses, with streets and avenues named for the states served by the Dam, the small town named Boulder City thrived.

Today, Boulder City is an active community of around 15,000 with new homes and schools, a historic (and haunted) hotel and a famous theater owned by local celebrity Desi Arnez, Jr.  Jaded visitors from Las Vegas spend “ A Day Away” in Boulder City or travel on to visit the Hoover Dam and the newly-built O’Callahan-Tillman Memorial Bridge with its spectacular views over the Colorado.


Publishing Editor’s Note:  Angela gives us a brief summary of the wonderful little town called Boulder City.  The beautiful photo shows part of the town and adjacent Lake Mead.  Top photo looking from Hemenway Park down into the valley shot by Dann De Boer, and the Boulder City shot was contributed by  Angela.  Original Story Date: 2013

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