Henderson Historical Society Stories

Newsletter – January, 2020


Coming Attractions:

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020Report to Henderson City Council: HHS will present a brief summary of the organization’s  2019 events and activities along with comments related to the benefits an historical society brings to a community. 


Join author Randall Cannon for a fast lap through the history of early professional motorsports in southern Nevada, a history that began decades before Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Focusing on the purpose built – but long departed- Henderson motorsports facility, the author will share rare images and anecdotes from original research for the recently published history This evening program is presented by the Henderson Historical Society for their “Henderson Speaks” series.  

When: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Time: Doors Open 6:00 P.M. Program begins @ 6:30 P.M.                                                                                              

Where: Nevada State College Theater, 1300 Nevada State Drive, Henderson, NV  89002 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – It starts with a vision. – In 2013 Windom Kimsey, owner of TSK Architects, collaborated with local residents and City officials to create a plan for the redevelopment of the Water Street District. Join us as he shares the exciting updates and on-going developments throughout Downtown Henderson which includes his won urban infill mixed-use project, South End on Water. In the spirit of redevelopment, in 2019 Windom helped to organize an international design competition that redefined the nearby Townsite Homes and featured winners from Las Vegas, China, and Sweden. Water Street is the place to be … come find out why!

Saturday, April 18, 2020 – Heritage Days/Pioneer Days/ Industrial Days: Honoring the Founders of Black Mountain Golf Course and County Club including Herschel Trumbo, Jack Miller, Joe McBeth, Dave Jamison and Lou LaPorta, all of whom helped make Henderson a “Place to Call Home”. Also scheduled for this event is the Henderson Historical Society’s Annual Report to the Membership.

            Location of event: Eagles Hall, 310 Pacific Ave, Henderson, NV 89015

            Time: 5:00 P. M. to 7:00 P.M. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020 – Tasty Memories: A Fund Raiser – The Henderson Historical Society and The Clark County Museum Guild are cooking up an evening of fun. The group will be serving old time Henderson recipes from the Tasty Memories Cookbook 1989.  Event held outdoors on the grounds of the Clark County Museum. It will be a night to remember.

            Time: 6:00 P. M. – 8:00 P. M.

            Cost: TBD

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 – Hear the Dream of Carlton Adair and the Vision of Ronald Boedekker. Learn how the dream of Lake Adair became a reality at Lake Las Vegas 35 years later.

Wednesday, May 16, 2020 – Gone But Not Forgotten – Whatever became of those wonderful childhood haunts. Speakers at this event will tell stories about Carver Park, Victory Theater, the Thunderbird Raceway (our drag strip), The Swanky Club, Old Vegas Downs, and the Grotto at St. Peter’s Church.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020Paper Boys – Listen to the exploits of those who literally delivered the news to our doorsteps presented by some of Henderson’s aging paperboys.


A major HHS accomplishment in 2019 was Henderson Speaks. “Henderson Speaks” is the title of a program of presentations and panel discussions by eyewitnesses to Henderson History. The programs are free to the public and tailored to teach newcomers the history of their adopted community and to give veterans of the Henderson experience a chance to reminisce and share their memories of Henderson. Programs are video recorded and shared via You-Tube for those who are unable to attend in person. The following are brief summaries of 2019 programs presented by the Henderson Historical Society.


History of Clark County Museum: Mark Hall-Patton, Dawna Jolliff and Jeanne Brady told the history of the Clark County Museum. They began their story with the Museum’s 1968 beginning when it was known as the Southern Nevada Museum, and housed in the repurposed Townsite School Gym on Water Street. In those days it was the only museum in Southern Nevada. The presentation continued with storytelling that described the on-going acquisition of the museum collection and the move to a modern, expansive location on the Boulder Highway. The history of the museum included a number of fascinating stories of mystery and adventure.  Learn more by watching the YouTube recording at the following url :


Founders Day: A gathering of Henderson old timers came together in rememberance of Estes McDoniel and his family with great stories about one of the legendary Henderson founder. The evening was highlighted with great photos and a video recording produced by Basic High School students when McDoniel retired in 1974. 


Three Kids Mine –Stories of the old mine, its role in war and peace as told by Mark Hall-Patton, Don Wilson, Richard Millick and Mike King. Patton told the history of the mine from the WWI era through the Korean War, Don and Richard worked at the mine in the 1960s and told the story of how the mine operated and the hardships of workers at the mine and mill in the extreme heat of the Mojave Desert.  Mike King displayed photos of the mine during the period after the mine’s closing in 1961. Mike and his father explored and photographed the site during the long period of disintegration/demolition. Mike King shared the photos and recalled the television and motion picture industry’s use of the mine as a setting for films and television programs.  

See a YouTube recording of the program at:


Remembering the Henderson Home News – Mark Hall-Patton, Tim O’Callaghan, Aaron Mayes and D. J. Allen were panelists discussing the late, great, Henderson Home News. It was all about the paper’s history, the sense of community it engendered and the spirit that made the paper special.  The panelists told how the paper lives on beyond its final edition as a digital collection on line at the Henderson Libraries and as a photo collection at the Clark County Museum. The old paper continues to be a valued resource for on-line learning.

See a YouTube recording of the program at: 


History of Henderson Libraries – MODERATOR: Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County Museums Administrator


MARCIE SMEDLEY – told the history of Henderson’s library including how it formed, and changed up to about 2001.

ROBYN CAMPBELL OUCHIDA – told about working at the old library when she was a high school student when the library was on Pacific Street. She recalled helping to move the library from its Water & Pacific location to Water & Basic. Robyn Ouchida shared more recent stories about her service on the Library Board and her current role of marketing the libraries.

COLLEEN BROWN – told stories of the growth and the professionalization of the library under the leadership of Joan Tinker and Tom Fay. She shared memories of the library from her perspective as a City Clerk, working with the Library Board. Ms. Brown recalled the story of the economic downturn in the 2000s and the impact it had on the Henderson Libraries. 

MARK MCGINTY – spoke to how the Henderson Libraries came out of the recession, restored hours/services, and developed the Libraries’ strategic plan. McGinty gave an interesting prediction of the system’s future.

See a YouTube recording of the program at:


During the past year The Henderson Historical Society (HHS) joined with many entities in Clark County that archive and preserve local history. The fruit of this partnership was the publication of a photographic history of Southern Nevada entitled: LAS VEGAS and CLARK COUNTY MEMORIES.  The Review Journal Newspaper initiated the venture and was assisted by Pediment Publishing, the City of Henderson, Clark County Museum, the Henderson Libraries, UNLV’s Special Collections as well as many pioneer families of Southern Nevada. Participants selected and interpreted photos from their own collections that illustrate local history. The net gain for all participants was access to the many photos collected as well as copies of the publication.   

Skirts that Swept the Desert Floor– The publishers plan to issue a third edition of this history of 100 women whose lives shaped the social, cultural, and economic world of Nevada over the last two centuries. The latest edition will add the story of Henderson Mayor Lorna Kesterson. The Henderson Historical Society assisted the authors in finding photos of Kesterson as well as finding links to resources with information about her life’s work.

Support for Community History Projects – During 2019 the HHS and especially its aging members have helped local history buffs find resources including photos, newspaper articles and human resources for help in recalling the past.

The Society is participating in the City of Henderson’s orientation for new City employees.

The Historical Society initiated a project to get a license plate for the City of Henderson and helped gain public support for the project. HHS members found help from Sig Rogich of Rogich Communications Group. Rogich, whose Nevada roots extend back to Henderson’s early days helped with graphic design and promotion ideas. The City of Henderson helped with the application process. 

A License Plate for Henderson– The Henderson Specialty License Plate is now available at the DMV. The plate honors the City of Henderson and its remarkable history.

Proceeds from the plate will directly benefit the Henderson Historical Society in continuing its mission to foster public awareness and pride to preserve the history of Henderson, Nevada for future generations. The link below leads to the DMV site for details:

Comments are closed.

Filed under: News, Newsletter