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Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is a little-known, old fort near Las Vegas. It’s actually been around since 1855 and has been preserved for its historical significance to the westward expansion of the United States. More than just a place to learn about history, Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is also an amazing hiking spot with beautiful views and wildlife all around you.

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is a small town in the northeast corner of New Mexico, with a population of just over 600. It’s situated on the banks of the Rio Grande River and it’s bordered by Texas to the south and Colorado to the west. The region was first settled in 1881 when Charles Ilfeld opened his general store there. Since then, Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park has been home to cattle ranchers, coal miners, artists, and retirees – all seeking a peaceful life among natural beauty.

This old Mormon fort is a Nevada State Historic Park, located in Las Vegas. In 1855, settlers from Utah arrived and created a settlement at the mouth of the Virgin River, naming it Fort Defiance. The Mormons were trying to establish themselves as an independent republic free from federal interference or oppression by other states. The site was chosen for its proximity to water and because it had high ground that could be used for defense purposes if necessary. When word got back to Washington about this unruly group of people who refused to obey their laws, President Buchanan dispatched troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Latham Owen with orders “to drive these lawless bands beyond our borders.”

Las Vegas Nevada, or Sin City as it is also known, has a long history that started with the Paiute Indians. The Paiute called Las Vegas “the meadows.” They hunted here and gathered vegetables from the valley floor. Later people began to come to Las Vista because of its water supply and fertile land. In 1855 John C. Fremont camped near where Charleston Boulevard intersects today’s Las Vegas Blvd., naming the spot Camp Floyd after Secretary of War J.C.Baker who was his friend and supporter in Washington D.C..

Located on the east side of Las Vegas​, Nevada is a great example of what life was like during the early days of Southern Nevada. The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park is an open-air museum that showcases how early settlers lived here. The park consists of five original structures; four are museums and one house a visitor center. 

The buildings in this area date from 1855 when members of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints settled here until they abandoned it in 1861 to leave for Utah because they believed it would be safer there due to impending war with the United States Army.


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