NileGuide Expert Says:
Little-known museum that presents a fascinating history of the hardships surrounding the construction of Hoover Dam.
1305 Arizona Street
Las Vegas, NV 89005
In the midst of the Great Depression, thousands of unemployed men were drawn to the Mojave Desert in the hopes of obtaining work in Black Canyon, where Boulder Dam was under construction. At first, these men--along with women and children--lived in tents near modern-day Boulder City, where summer temperatures hit triple digits. In 1931, Boulder City was built to house the dam workers. The museum housed in the Boulder Dam Hotel, itself a historic building built in 1933, tells the stories behind the people who built the dam, as well as how Boulder Dam was constructed.
The Boulder Dam Hotel is located in Boulder City's Historic District, and the museum is on the second floor. Admission is only $2.00. Visitors learn about the harsh conditions that people endured so they could find work during a time when work was scarce—in 1933, the unemployment rate was an unimaginable 25%. The jobs at Boulder Dam were perilous. Ninety-six men lost their lives, officially, during the construction of Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam). The museum explains the construction of the dam, the types of work done, and the living and working conditions. Exhibits include hands-on displays, photographs, oral histories, and artifacts.