Inside the Gate   Boulder City
City Design - Inside the Gate - Incorporation - The DocumentaryKNPB-TVPBS Online  

View of Boulder City from the tower
  • Inside the Gate
  • Sims Ely
  • Town Life
  • Family Life
  • Boulder City Home
  • Town Life

    Despite the heat and the constant dust, life inside the gate was good. Everyone in Boulder City had a job, and eventually a house to live in. The Depression didn't touch them. The government took care of Boulder City residents and they didn't have to worry about what was happening outside the gate.

    Store interior in Boulder City Small businesses thrived with little competition. Off-hours, workers could go the sole movie theater, which was air-conditioned, or relaxed at the company pool hall. There were baseball fields, two bars that served 3-2 beer, tennis courts and donkey baseball.

    Pat Lappin:
    Music was very important. Almost everybody played an instrument and so they would get together and play just for their own enjoyment and for other people to listen to. Radio was very important. It kept them up with what's going on in the rest of the world.

    Making bread in Boulder City Unlike the transient lifestyles prevalent in other, more traditional construction towns, these families made Boulder City their true home. Social and spiritual organizations strengthened their ties to the area.

    Frank Carroll:
    The community of Boulder City was brought together by the wives and kids, and especially by the churches. Grace Community Church, the Episcopal Church, the catholic church brought families together, kept families together. The men worked seven days, but what little time off they had they wanted to spend with their family and their social friends, so that the wives were always putting together little socials and the churches would help provide some of the schooling with the kids also. The families were encouraged to stay here in town instead of going to lv and becoming part of that rough and ready era.

    Dance Tomorrow Evening Still, the idea of getting outside the gate for a few hours appealed to many.

    Frank Carroll:
    Friday nights, Saturday nights, there were quite a few dance halls along Boulder highway that the husbands and wives - they might not have kids or they'd get a babysitter - and they go out for the evening and get away from town and go to one of the dancehalls along boulder highway.

    Lee Tilman:
    I hauled a load of men back and forth from Las Vegas to Boulder City. On payday we'd hit every joint on the way. Took couple hours (but) I can't remember having accident - don't know why.

    Boulder Highway, aka "The Widowmaker" There were plenty of accidents along the Boulder Highway during those early years, earning it the morbid nickname "The Widowmaker". Husbands often tried to drive back to Boulder City after carousing all night in Las Vegas, and many never made it back alive.

    Meanwhile inside the gate, family life was stable and enjoyable.
    Next - Family Life

    Nevada Humanities Committee E.L. Cord Foundation Union Pacific Foundation
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