Virgin Valley Heritage Museum offers insight into Mesquite’s past

Proud of its history, the Nevada town of Mesquite invites visitors to get acquainted with the border town’s past, starting with a visit to its diminutive museum at 35 Mesquite Blvd. Housed in a flat-roofed rock building erected to serve as a library during 1939-41, the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum contains remnants of its past dating back to original settlement by Mormon colonists in the early 1880s. The single-storied museum, later turned into a hospital, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Visitors park behind the museum and its neighbor, the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, as there is no on-street parking on busy Mesquite Boulevard. Once parked, it makes sense for visitors to take in both cultural attractions. In sharp contrast to its elderly neighbor, the modern gallery features a sleek appearance with lots of glass. It showcases the work of local artists and serves as a meeting site for artists’ workshops, classes and other gatherings. Both facilities remain open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.

Two historical markers stand on the museum grounds. One marks the importance of the Old Spanish Trail. Overland travelers and traders followed this major transcontinental route under various names from the 1830s until modern highways began to develop in the early 20th Century. First U.S. Highway 91 and later Interstate 15 approximated portions of the old trail. The other marker notes the early settlements in the Virgin Valley, which depended upon water from the capricious Virgin River to sustain their agricultural way of life. Tiny pioneer-era Bunkerville lies just three miles south of Mesquite on Riverside Road, its streets still boasting a handful of charming 19th-century dwellings. Travelers can return to I-15 from Bunkerville by heading south and crossing the river at Riverside.

Mesquite celebrated 25 years as an incorporated town just last year, but it existed as a community for almost a century before its official incorporation in 1984. For decades just a sleepy farming town with a few businesses scattered along U.S. 91, Mesquite had no need of a city government. All that began to change in the 1970s when Interstate 15 supplanted U.S. 91 and Mesquite began to look like a good prospect for development. It started with one modest casino-resort. Soon there were more casinos, more golf courses, more tourists, more businesses, more residents, more subdivisions and more need for local authorities to plan and manage orderly development.

Mesquite’s past almost became a victim of its future. Locals recognized the need to document the past and preserve what they could of it. Longtime residents were generous in sharing family records, photos, artifacts and personal recollections. The eclectic collections morphed into a museum. Mesquite’s past began to come back to life in the cramped rooms of the old-library/hospital.

A rich cultural resource, the museum files contain source materials for research, including first-person recordings of interviews with pioneers and their descendants. Of course, like most such facilities, Mesquite’s museum never has had enough space to display all of its collections to the best advantage. The situation should improve when an adjacent building, an old fire house now undergoing remodeling, opens to the public.

The city employs knowledgeable local residents to greet museum visitors. They point out features of the collections and answer questions about Mesquite’s early years. They indicate important photos on the walls, hand visitors printed guides and encourage them to see some of the old buildings pictured still standing in the downtown area on a walking or driving tour that starts at the museum.

While on this tour, take note of the century-old Abbott house on Mesquite Boulevard at Hafen Lane. This fine old residence surrounded by a yard and shade trees once served as a small hotel. It has been repurposed into The General Store, a new business featuring antiques, hand-made novelties, gifts, collectibles and consignment items. Opening last September, it became the setting for a November art festival on the grounds. An antiques show planned at The General Store in April provides reason enough to revisit Mesquite this spring.

Margo Bartlett Pesek’s column appears on Sundays.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like