“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)

McWilliams’ Townsite


McWilliams' Townsite Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, June 4, 2008
1. McWilliams' Townsite Marker
Inscription. Created by J.T. McWilliams in 1905, the Original Las Vegas Townsite was Las Vegas' first business and residential development.

J.T. McWilliams (photo top right) was hired to do survey work in and around the Las Vegas Valley for the San Pedro, Loas Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad in 1904, and later platted a townsite west of the railroad tracks. Located along the wagon road between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, the townsite became home to roughly 1,500 people who worked at nearby mines and other businesses. By 1905 there were numerous stores, bars, freighting companies, banks and a bakery.

Under direction of the owner, former Montana Senator William A. Clark, the railroad platted a townsite across the tracks to the south and east of McWilliam's Townsite. Wanting to control development, the railroad's land auction was held on May 15, 1905, threatening the future of the original townsite. Immediately after the auction, man businesses abandoned the area for the new Las Vegas Townsite. McWilliams' Townsite languished until four months later a fire destroyed much of the area.

Lacking basic amenities until the 1940s such as paved streets and a sewer system, the townsite never fully recovered to is glory days. Later additions expanded the "Westside," offering affordable housing for people who came to Las Vegas
Grace Temple image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, June 4, 2008
2. Grace Temple
Marker is located adjacent to Grace Temple.
to build Hoover Dam, Henderson's Basic Magnesium Plant, or work in the hotels. Industrial development and a freeway have eliminated all but roughly half of the original townsite.
Erected by Las Vegas Pioneer Trail. (Marker Number 6.)
Location. 36° 10.746′ N, 115° 9.107′ W. Marker is in Las Vegas, Nevada, in Clark County. Marker is at the intersection of H Street and West McWilliams Avenue, on the right when traveling north on H Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 721 H Street, Las Vegas NV 89106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. James the Apostle (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Moulin Rouge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Harrison Boarding House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Westside School (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jackson Street Commercial District (approx. half a mile away); Christensen House "The Castle" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Auction Site / First Train Depot (approx. 0.6 miles away); Auction Site (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Las Vegas.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Pioneer Trail - West Las Vegas
Also see . . .  Pioneer Trail Brochure. The Pioneer Trail is the vision of the West Las Vegas community that wanted to celebrate the history of West Las Vegas and the early pioneers that settled the area and contributed to its culture and heritage. A community group was formed to interview long-time residents and research the history of the area. The result was an extensive oral history collection and access to photographic archives that wove a tale of dreams realized and lost, civil rights victories, speakeasies and the development of a strong community, ethnically diverse and culturally rich. (Submitted on December 7, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.) 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 602 times since then and 90 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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