Thanks to a fundraising effort by the Clark County Museum Guild, renovations on the historic Grand Canyon Airlines Ticketing Office and Bradley House are nearing completion, and the Clark County Museum will soon have a new addition to its collection of buildings on Heritage Street.
Museum staff will be working on adding exhibits to the building on Thursday, Jan. 9. Media is invited to come on site at 10:30 a.m. to get photos and video of the installation work and interviews with museum representatives about the project. Clark County's Parks and Recreation Department will host a ceremony to formerly dedicate the project on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 11 a.m.
Grand Canyon Airlines, Southern Nevada's first scenic flight tour operator, built a ticket office in 1935 on Bullock Field in Boulder City. The building had two small rooms and a porch. After it was replaced by a new TWA/GCA terminal, it was moved to 18 Arizona Street in 1939. It was rebuilt as a house and first used as the home of Grand Canyon Airlines employees. The first to live there were Henry and Ocie Bradley, who were the first African-American family to live in Boulder City. The man who ran the town for the federal government, Sims Ely, did not allow any people of color to live in Boulder City, which had been established to house workers during Hoover Dam's construction. Henry worked as a chauffeur driver for Glover E. "Roxy" Ruckstell, the owner of the charter company, and Ocie made box lunches for flight customers and tourists visiting Lake Mead. Other residents occupied the house over time until it fell into disrepair. It was donated in 2002 by Peter DeBeauchamp and Lisa Page to Clark County and moved by truck to the museum grounds.
"Luckily the owner of the building understood its historic value even though it had really deteriorated over the years," said Clark County Museum Administrator Mark Hall-Patton. "It tells important stories both in terms of our aviation history and the reality of segregation that occurred here and in other communities across the country."
The Clark County Museum Guild raised $250,000 to restore the office and home. The guild hired Melvyn Green & Associates, a Los Angeles-based structural engineering and historic preservation firm, to oversee the restoration effort.
"The Clark County Museum Guild supports our museum's activities and programs in countless ways," said Clark County Commissioner Jim Gibson, whose Commission District G includes the museum. "We are grateful for its partnership and its dedicated effort to preserve and restore this important part of our history. We look forward to opening the building for public tours soon."
The Clark County Museum is located 1830 S. Boulder Highway. The museum has an indoor exhibit gallery featuring displays about Southern Nevada history from prehistoric to modern times. The outdoor Heritage Street area is open for self-guided tours and contains a collection of about two dozen historic buildings including a wedding chapel, print shop, railroad cottage and several homes. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. Admission is $1 for children and $2 for adults. The phone number is: (702) 455-7995. More information can be found www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/museum and on Facebook with the handle @ClarkCountyMuseum. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the nonprofit Clark County Museum Guild can contact the museum or visit the guild's website at www.ClarkCountyMuseumGuild.org.