Boulder City Magazine® June 2007 Issue
|Boulder City History
by Dennis McBride, Boulder City Museum &
In the earliest days of Hoover Dam construction tourists who visited the site often found themselves dodging Big Bertha transports, dinky engines, and other dangerous machines in order to get a look at the work going on in Black Canyon. In June 1931 the Bureau of Reclamation built a lookout point high on the Nevada canyon rim downstream of the construction site. Getting there was quite a trek: tourists had to climb a path up the mountain near what is now the security checking area to a promontory that gave a sweeping view of the canyon and river more than 700 feet below. There was a concrete platform and chain link fencing to keep people from falling off.
|This viewpoint was originally known as the Crowe’s Nest, named for Six Companies construction superintendent Frank Crowe. Despite its remote location the Crowe’s Nest was frequently crowded with tourists snapping photos of the construction work. On September 19, 1931 the Crowe’s Nest served as “chapel” for the marriage of Minnie “Ma” Kennedy and her bigamist beau, “Whataman” HudsonMinnie was Aimee Semple McPherson’s evangelist mother.
On September 22, 1932, more than 800 Elks from throughout the West gathered at the Crowe’s Nest where they dedicated a flagpole on the occasion of George Washington’s 200th birthday. Set into the concrete base of the flagpole were four copper plaques honoring Washington, the Elks, several Department of Interior officials, and a signed sentiment from Herbert Hoover himself which read, “Here man builds his vision into stone that generations to come may be blessed.” The Crowe’s Nest was thereafter "Elks Point".
Boulder City Magazine®
|Not long after the Elks dedication, the government built a more accessible observation point closer to the construction site and Elks Point was demolished. The flagpole and plaques, however, remained on the ridge above the canyon.
Eighteen years later the Elks moved the flagpole and plaques from Black Canyon, hauled them up to Boulder City and on June 19, 1950 re-dedicated them at the Boulder City Cemetery where they remained for another 48 years overgrown and hidden.
In 1998 the flagpole and commemorative plaques were moved a second time onto the grounds of the Homestead assisted living facility where they remain today.
Sponsored by the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum.
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