After the construction of Hoover Dam was completed, Boulder City was still considered a federal reservation. This posed interesting challenges for Boulder Cityites who no longer worked for Six Companies Inc., one of the contracted companies for the construction, or even those who had no involvement with the construction, but still wanted to call Boulder City home.
One such challenge was presented to the Dodge family, who had lived in McKeeversville for ten years during the construction, moved to Henderson in 1942 when Mr. Dodge began working for Basic Magnesium, and elected to return to Boulder City where they felt most comfortable in 1945. While the land was still owned by the government, Mr. Dodge managed to purchase two small homes for around $1,500 at 620 and 618 Arizona Street.
Alice Dodge recollects her childhood memory of the homes in a 2005 oral history, “…you came up the driveway off of I Street and, you know, it seemed like a fairly wide driveway and came around then and there was the little building and when we first went into it, it almost did look like a ticket office. There was a little kitchenette area kind of thing in the east, northeast corner and that was, it was just counter and sink and stove and fridge… And the bathroom sat sorta in the center and there were no partitions anywhere.” Upon further questioning, Alice confirmed that there was, quite literally, a toilet and a washbowl in the middle of the room. “No doors, no partitions, or anything. I was absolutely shocked and appalled when I walked in there, [laughing] and my Dad assured us that he would make a house out of it.”
Mr. Dodge did just that, going straight to work building walls and fixtures in the little house. Also included in the purchase was a bigger home across a shared driveway which was being rented by a short-term Bechtel employee. Nine months later, in June of 1946, the renter moved out, and the Dodge’s could officially call the collective homes “theirs.”
Alice’s childhood home, which she fondly referred to as 620 ½ Arizona Street, still exists as a quaint house up on a hill in historic Boulder City.