Markers Found Along I-15

56 Virgin Valley

on Interstate Highway 15 in Mesquite, Nevada

Famed western explorer Jedediah Smith visited Virgin Valley in 1826. Captain John C. Frémont passed through here in 1844.

The valley served as the right-of-way for the Old Spanish Trail (1829-1848) and for the Mormon Road or southern route of travel to southern California.

The area was settled by pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who colonized Bunkerville in 1877 and Mesquite in 1880.

The Virgin River provided water for the development of the valley’s agricultural resources.

40 Las Vegas (The Meadows)

on West Charleston Avenue and Valley View Road in Las Vegas, Nevada

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 spent the summers in the Charleston Mountains. An unknown Spanish-speaking sojourner, named this place “Las Vegas” meaning “The Meadows,” marking it on a map of the Southwestern Desert.

Antonio Armijo stopped at the Springs in 1829-30, traveling a route, which became known as the Old Spanish Trail. After 1830, the route rested beside the Springs. On one of his western exploration trips, John C. Frémont camped here on May 3, 1844.

Because of artesian water here, Mormons established the Las Vegas Mission and Fort in 1855; the Valley became a huge cattle ranch from 1866 to 1904; and the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad Company acquired water right and land, with which it created the City of Las Vegas in 1905.

36 Moapa Valley

on State Route 169 two miles north of Logandale, Nevada

Rich in prehistoric culture, and noted by the explorer Jedediah Smith in 1826, Moapa Valley is crossed by the Old Spanish Trail.

In 1865 Brigham Young sent 75 families to settle the area, to grow cotton for the people of Utah, and to connect Utah with the Pacific Ocean via the Colorado River.

Located near the junction of the muddy and virgin rivers, and now under Lake Mead, the “Cotton Mission” was named St. Thomas for its leader, Thomas Smith. A prosperous, self-contained agricultural industry was built up in the valley, which included orchards, vineyards, cotton, grains, and vegetables.

The December 1870, survey placed the valley in Nevada which meant property owners owed back taxes to Nevada. The settlers, now including those in St. Joseph, (old) Overton, West Point, and Logandale, began leaving two months later. They abandoned the results of 7 years of labor, more than 18 miles of irrigation canal and several hundred acres of cleared land.

Other Mormons resettled the land in 1880. The area remains one of the most agriculturally productive in the state.

33 The Old Spanish Trail 1829 – 1850

at Town Center in Blue Diamond, Nevada

Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada’s first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. The trail was later used by the wagons of the “49ers” and by Mormon pioneers. Concrete posts marking the trail were erected in 1965.

32 The Old Spanish Trail 1829 – 1850

in Fantasy Park, 1/4 mile east of Las Vegas Boulevard North and Washington Street in Las Vegas, Nevada

Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada’s first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. The trail was later used by the wagons of the “49ers” and by Mormon pioneers. Concrete posts marking the trail were erected in 1965.

31 The Old Spanish Trail 1829 – 1850

on Interstate Highway 15 in Mesquite, Nevada at Stake House

Stretching for 130 miles across Clark County, this historic horse trail became Nevada’s first route of commerce in 1829 when trade was initiated between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. The trail was later used by the wagons of the “49ers” and by Mormon pioneers. Concrete posts marking the trail were erected in 1965.