Sunday, January 25, 2009

St. Thomas, Nevada

Near Logandale and Overton is what used to be the town of St. Thomas. In 1865, the Mormons established St. Thomas, at the junction of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers. The colonists farmed, raised cotton, and worked with the Southern Paiutes. In 1912, there was enough business to have a railroad branch built to St. Thomas. The town became the halfway stopping point on the Old Arrowhead Trail, having a hotel, good meals, and a reliable garage. Re-routing U.S. 91 and ceasing operations of Grand Gulch copper mine in the 1930's hurt the town's economy. Life returned more to normal with the discovery of a silica sand deposit, beginning operation of a salt mine, and the discovery of the Lost City.

Then the Hoover Dam project was started. Evacuation notices were posted on everything for five years, however no one left until rising water was spotted in the Virgin Canyon. Many of the buildings were moved to towns on higher ground. The cemetery was dug up and relocated to just outside of Overton.

This is what became St. Thomas cove in Lake Mead.

Looking out over St. Thomas now.

The last few years the area has been in a drought so the waters of lake mead have receded and St. Thomas has been uncovered. When you walk around you can see some of the old foundations. You used to be able to see where the streets were but most of that is gone now.

The family decided to explore the lake bottom to see what we could find. Mostly a lot of mud and sea shells.


Linda A. said...

I love the post. It was such an errie feeling to think that we stood not only where a town stood, but also the bottom of a lake. Weird!

Mike and Pam Sirrine said...

Looks super neat...but nothing like the St. Thomas I remember..jk