Las Vegas (The Meadows)
In the Las Vegas Springs
The famous Las Vegas Springs rose from the desert floor here, sending two streams of water across the valley to nurture the native grasses, and create lush meadows in the valley near Sunrise Mountain. The natural oasis of meadow and mesquite forest was the winter homeland of Southern Paiutes, who often spent the summers in the Charleston Mountains. An unknown Spanish-speaking sojourner, named this place “Las Vegas” meaning “The Meadows”.
Antonio Armijo led a trading party from Santa Fe to California in 1829-30, traversing part of the Las Vegas Valley. One branch off the main Old Spanish Trail included the Springs as a resting spot. On one of his western exploration trips, John C. Fremont camped here on May 3, 1844 and was the first to officially put Las Vegas on the map.
Because of artesian water here, Mormons established the Las Vegas Mission and Fort in 1855 a few miles east of the Springs. The San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad Company acquired water rights and land, with which it created the City of Las Vegas in 1905.
STATE HISTORICAL MARKER NO. 40
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
SOUTHERN NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY