The Building That Started It All: The Old Mormon Fort

Photo courtesy Nevada State Parks

Photo courtesy Nevada State Parks

If you’ve looked around Las Vegas and wondered, “Where are all the old buildings?” make it your mission to visit the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort just north of Cashman Field. Built by Mormon missionaries in 1855, the fort was nestled in a meadow alongside a creek; it quickly became an oasis for passing Paiute and gold-seeking travelers along the Old Spanish Trail. The settlers—the original group numbered 29—farmed the area but abandoned it two years after it was built. Today, Las Vegans can play the role of Mormon pioneer, walking the paths surrounding the fort and exploring the adobe building filled with historical relics. The fort hosts numerous events and workshops: From 10 a.m. to noon June 7, visitors can learn to make a dreamcatcher; from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 21, a Navajo host teaches how to make fry bread; the same day, from noon to 1 p.m., learn how to make adobe bricks; from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 28, create your own petroglyph. Fort admission: $1 for adults, free for children 12 and under. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tue–Sat.

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