Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lost City and St. Thomas

This Sunday we journeyed to the ruins of a city established long before many civilizations (the Lost City) and a historic town once buried under water--all this right in our very own backyard!

The sign says, “Pueblo Grande de Nevada: Existing today as a 30 mile-long series of adobe ruins, this “Lost City” was once the home of an ancient Anasazi Indian Civilization. Beginning with the Basketmakers (300 B.C. - A.D. 700) & followed by the Pueblos (A.D. 700 – 1150) this valley was inhabited by a sedentary population of Anasazi farmers. They grew corn, beans, squash and cotton on the valley floor (the high ground was used for housing). Watered by the Muddy River which sources at Warm Springs, 25 miles north of here living in pithouses and later multi room adobe pueblos. These people maintained a rich culture as manifest by archaeological museum was built in 1935 to preserve the remains of the great civilization which suddenly disappeared CA. A.D. 1150, possibly due to severe, widespread drought.” –Lost City Museum. Maybe even diseases, enemies or they've exhausted the soil. Whatever lessons to be learned about surviving on this land was lost with the city.

But first, a quick stop for breakfast at Purple Fez Bistro inside the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino in Mesquite. I ordered the Deuces Bonus: 2 eggs, bacon, sausage patty, hash browns and 2 pancakes (or biscuits and gravy) for $4.49 (can't shop, cook and clean up for that!).

Then we were off to browse the Lost City Museum.

Displayed inside were baskets, pottery, cross-section miniature models of the pithouses and Anasazi pueblos, and an original excavation sight. Amazing to see the works of these amazing basket and pottery makers. Besides the little gift shop, there was lots of history on Lake Mead's Cold War legacy (a B-59 bomber on the lake floor) and a factory (to build Hoover Dam) underwater. So much to show so I've uploaded the photos to my Flickr album for Lost City and St. Thomas.

After checking out the reconstructed life-size pueblos and storage units, we drove closer towards home to the historic town site of St. Thomas, settled by Mormons in 1865.

Story has it that when the stateline shifted from Utah to Nevada, the resdients were faced with taxes in arrears payable in gold. Rather than paying, they left* and other people claimed their abandoned territories. The Hoover Dam construction and flooding forced residents to leave the town in 1935 and the town has been covered by the waters of Lake Mead until recently.

In 2003 Lake Mead water levels dropped drastically, exposing building foundations of mansions and wells (some with no guard rails so please be careful; I would not want to fall down there).

It was a fun day (and boy am I sore)!

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