After the departure of the early Mormon settlers in 1857, early Las Vegas continued to be a watering stop for overland travelers on the Mormon Road/Old Spanish Trail. The area was mainly ranches and mines until railroad rivals eyed the Las Vegas Valley. Sen. William Clark of Montana bought the land and water rights to the former Mormon settlement from ranching pioneer Helen J. Stewart. The foundation for modern Las Vegas was laid in 1905, as auctioneers gaveled out the plans for the future of Las Vegas at Clark's town site. Today, those sights and sounds are recalled as the community comes together to recreate the past in Mormon settlement days and for the Helldorado Parade, marking the city's birth.
Dr. Linda Karen Miller is a local historical interpreter in Las Vegas. She reenacts Helen J. Stewart and has raised funds for a Stewart statue at the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, the site of the former home of Stewart. Linda is a retired educator of over 40 years and a former National Teacher of the Year in American history and social studies.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.