Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stan and Lana's Adventure - 1/15/12

Stan and I decided that we wanted to go for 
another adventure, so today after church we packed 
us a small picnic and off we went.

Stan and I had already decided where we 
wanted to go this week. 

We were headed to the Ghost Town of St. Thomas, Nevada

Lake Mead is on the rise and the water is 
almost to St. Thomas,so once again the 
small town will be underwater.

We wanted to go and see the foundations and what 
was down there before it disappeared again.

Stan's Grandpa and Grandma Chadburn
lived there until the 1930's.

Here is a little history of the Settlement of St. Thomas

In January 1865, the first Mormon settlers arrived at St. Thomas with Thomas S. Smith as their leader. The settlement was located at a prime farming location, at the confluence of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. The intentions of the Mormon settlement were to be a direct connection to Salt Lake City through a possible route up the Colorado River.
After seeing the impossibility of travel on the Colorado and after a survey showing the town was in Nevada, most of the Mormons retreated out of Muddy Valley in the winter of 1870-71.

When the Mormons left, others claimed their abandoned properties. Then by 1880 the Mormons started to drift back to St. Thomas and the town grew to several hundred again.
By the end of the 1800s, farming was the main function and the life of the valley. Cotton was grown along with other crops. Salt was mined for shipment to St. George and mining towns in Nevada.

The Union Pacific railroad built a branch down the valley and used St. Thomas as a terminus. Between 1910 and 1918 it was a busy frontier town. Then during the First World War the price of copper rose and with thousands of head of stock being freighted from St. Thomas to Grand Gulch mine things really got lively. It was at this same time that the Arrowhead Trail was built through the Valley of Fire to St Thomas, which caused the tourist business to grow for the Gentry Hotel along with the five other businesses including Gentry's Store, R
Hanning Grocery Store, William Sellers Cafe, Howell Garage, and Rox Whitmore Meat Market.

But everything came to a halt shortly after the completion of Hoover Dam in 1936. The resulting rise in the waters of the Colorado River finally forced permanent abandonment of this little frontier town.

The residents of St. Thomas sold their land, tore down homes and moved to
Overton and the surrounding towns. On June 11, 1938, Hugh Lord rowed away from his house, the last citizen to leave. The community was soon covered by the lake, a victim of a rapidly changing landscape and lifestyle in the desert.

Here are the photos that we took of St. Thomas:

We had an awesome day walking around the town 
where his grandparents once lived. 

I hope you enjoy reading about and looking at the 
photos of our adventures.
I can't wait til next week ...

Thanks for stopping by, 

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Such a cool place!

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