Boom Towns of the Great Basin

Boom Towns of the Great Basin

Boom Towns of the Great Basin

Boom Towns of the Great Basin

Excerpt

The Great Basin has been a unique feature of the American Scene. At the beginning it was scorned as The Great American Desert; even today it is scorned by many who think some of its people enjoy too many liberties, but its activities have been as wide and varied as any part of the Western frontier.

Geographically it is a rough triangle with its three largest cities Salt Lake City, Reno, and Las Vegas as the anchor points. It is the only large section of land in the nation without drainage. Once most of it was covered by an ancient lake, of which only Great Salt Lake remains. Its rivers disappear in the land instead of seeking a way to the ocean. The Las Vegas area is drained by the Colorado, but its ethnic relations with the basin are too close for it not to be connected.

Name any phase of pioneer life and the Great Basin has known it. It had Indians and Indian wars. It had those intrepid explorers, the trappers. It was a highway for the covered wagon era. Part of it was the scene of the most successful colonization in the history of the country, and under the most adverse conditions. It knew the whoop of the cowboy and the trail driver, and above all it knew those argonauts of the second phase of Western history, the prospectors. It endured the worst hardships, and has settled into civilization. If a thing could be done the people of the Great Basin did it.

We have not attempted to write a complete history of the basin, but enough to show how, and why, it was conquered. We have . . .

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