McWilliams' Townsite
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member brwhiz
N 36° 10.743 W 115° 09.108
11S E 666205 N 4005390
This Historical Marker is mounted on a steel post in front of the Grace Temple on the east side of H Street just south of McWilliams Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is stop 6 on the Las Vegas Pioneer Trail self-guided tour.
Waymark Code: WMFMT2
Location: Nevada, United States
Date Posted: 11/04/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Charter Member Uncle Alaska
Views: 9

McWilliams' Townsite

Created by J.T. McWilliams in 1905, the Original Las Vegas Townsite was Las Vegas' first business and residential development.

J.T. McWilliams (photo top right) was hired to do survey work in and around the Las Vegas Valley for the San Pedro, Loas Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad in 1904, and later platted a townsite west of the railroad tracks. Located along the wagon road between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, the townsite became home to roughly 1,500 people who worked at nearby mines and other businesses. By 1905 there were numerous stores, bars, freighting companies, banks and a bakery.

Under direction of the owner, former Montana Senator William A. Clark, the railroad platted a townsite across the tracks to the south and east of McWilliam's Townsite. Wanting to control development, the railroad's land auction was held on May 15, 1905, threatening the future of the original townsite. Immediately after the auction, many businesses abandoned the area for the new Las Vegas Townsite. McWilliams' Townsite languished until four months later a fire destroyed much of the area.

Lacking basic amenities until the 1940s such as paved streets and a sewer system, the townsite never fully recovered to is glory days. Later additions expanded the "Westside," offering affordable housing for people who came to Las Vegas to build Hoover Dam, Henderson's Basic Magnesium Plant, or work in the hotels. Industrial development and a freeway have eliminated all but roughly half of the original townsite.

Marker Title (required): McWilliams' Townsite

Marker Text (required):
See Long Description

County (required): Clark (Las Vegas)

Marker Type (required): Metal Plaque

Other Marker Type (optional): None

Is Marker Damaged? (required): No

Other Damage Type (optional): None

Marker Number (If official State Marker from NV SHPO website above, otherwise leave blank): Not Listed

URL - Website (optional): Not listed

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mineral54 visited McWilliams' Townsite 07/12/2019 mineral54 visited it