County Museum Celebrates Nevada's 150th Birthday With New Exhibit
In honor of the state’s 150th birthday, the Clark County Museum has created a whimsical exhibit that ponders the question: What if Clark County had remained part of Arizona?
The question isn’t so far-fetched, given that today’s Clark County and the Las Vegas Valley didn’t become part of the Silver State until Jan. 18, 1867, more than two years after Nevada was admitted to the Union on Oct. 31, 1864. The result is a display called “Welcome to Las Vegas, Arizona,” that tells the story mostly in photos of what today’s Las Vegas might look like if it were a small town in northwest Arizona.
“This a fun and educational display that I am sure the public will enjoy as part of the state’s year-long 150th anniversary celebration,” said Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, whose Commission District G includes the museum. “We encourage visitors of all ages to explore the many attractions at our museum.”
The exhibit, located in the museum lobby, will be on display through Oct. 31, 2014.
“Anyone who enjoys history also can appreciate the `What if?’ questions of life,” said Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton. “The Las Vegas Valley we know today would be a dramatically different place if Clark County hadn’t become part of the Silver State. We’d be a much smaller community, probably more along the lines of St. George, Utah, or Kingman, Arizona, than the 2 million-plus population we are today.”
The exhibit contrasts photos of today’s Las Vegas with pictures of existing desert towns to show what an imaginary Las Vegas, Arizona, might look like. Instead of the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign greeting visitors at the entrance of the famed Las Vegas Strip, the fictional Arizona community would be a gateway to the Hoover Dam. The dam, along with Boulder City and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, would be the area’s biggest tourism draws. McCarran International Airport would be a far more modest airport, and Reno likely would be the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Visitors can get a free, souvenir brochure entitled, “Las Vegas, Arizona - Where Adventure is Waiting” as an exhibit keepsake.
The Clark County Museum is located at 1830 S. Boulder Highway. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, including the Nevada Day holiday on Friday. Admission is $1 for children and seniors and $2 for adults. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark County is the nation’s 12th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 43 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.