mormon state

Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park

The Old Las Vegas Mormon State Historic Park is a state park that contains the Old Mormon Fort, the first structure built by Europeans in what would become Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 50 years later.

The first settlers, Mormon missionaries, arrived on June 14, 1855 and selected a site, along one of the creeks that flowed from the Las Vegas springs, on which they would build the fort. The fort served as the mid point on the trail from Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California.

The fort was surrounded by high adobe walls that extended for . While called a fort, it never really was home to any military troops. Around 1860, a small detachment of U.S. Army troops were assigned to protect the settlers at the fort. They stayed for about 5 years.

In present day Las Vegas, the site is just east of Las Vegas Boulevard and slightly north of the downtown area and Fremont Street. This is the only state park located in a city that actually houses the first building ever built in that city.

A visitor center is available to help explain the history of the fort. The fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is marked as Nevada Historical Marker 35


Ownership of the fort and the land around it changed hands many times and it had several close calls with destruction. Protection finally seems assured when the state acquired the site as a state park in the 1990s.

While the fort was called Fort Baker during the Civil War, this was only as a deception by the Union Army since no troops were ever stationed there. The fort was named after Edward Dickinson Baker.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 1, 1972. Additional land surrounding the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1978.

At some point, the now defunct Las Vegas Land and Water Company acquired the property. In 1955 the land was acquired by the Las Vegas Elks. With support of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the city of Las Vegas acquired the fort in 1989.

A $4.5 million renovation was completed in 2005.


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