Boulder City Magazine® June 2006 Issue
|Boulder City History
by Dennis McBride, Boulder City Museum & Historical Assn.
Boulder City's Rock Houses
While most houses in Boulder City are built of wood frame or brick, there are four houses scattered around town whose construction is unusual for this part of the country. These four houses - 608 Avenue G, 553 California Avenue, 600 Avenue C, and 14 Valley View Lane in Lakeview - are all built of rock.
Boulder City Magazine®
|The house at 608 Avenue G is the earliest of the four, under construction in March 1939, on a lot emptied when the Six Companies tore down several blocks of workers’ housing at the end of dam construction. The house had a fireplace and a bay window in the dining room. It was even more unusual for the two-car rock garage built behind. Who the original owner was is lost in time.
In March 1940, Ben Flury, construction and maintenance superintendent for the Bureau of Reclamation, leased the lot at 600 Avenue C where he built an enormous house from rock reportedly quarried near Red Rock Canyon. Like the rock house at 608 Ave. G, the Flury house had a full basement as well as a surrounding wall made from native stone. Flury died on February 7, 1953 and was buried in the BC cemetery.
Joe and Sophronia Rodeback built their rock house in 1943 at 553 California Avenue, just south of what then was the Boulder City post office, what now is the senior center. Rodeback came to Boulder City during dam construction days and was an insurance salesman and Boulder City’s first real estate broker. In November and December 1945, Rodeback sold ten houses in Boulder City for around $6,000 each. Members of the LDS church, the Rodebacks often hosted church firesides in their home. Joe died in Utah in 1958, and Sophronia in 1961.
Built about the same time as the Flury house was the home at 14 Valley View Lane in what then was McKeeversville, known today as Lakeview. The name of the man who built this little house has been forgotten, but Alice Brumage, who grew up just around the corner, remembers watching in fascination as this man spent time every day mixing concrete and laying the stone himself. Like Ben Flury up the hill, the McKeeversville rock house was surrounded with a wall fashioned from the same stone. This man whose name is forgotten finished his house in about four months.
Because their material and design are so unusual, these homes - three of which stand in the city’s historic district - are worth noting and protecting.
Sponsored by the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum.
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