Menu Close

lake mead abandoned town

Lake Mead‚ located on the border of Nevada and Arizona‚ is not only a popular tourist destination but also holds a fascinating secret beneath its depths.​ Beneath the shimmering surface of the lake lies the remnants of a once-thriving town that was submerged when the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s.​ This ghost town serves as a reminder of the extraordinary engineering feat that transformed the region and created one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States.​

The Rise of Lake Mead

Prior to the construction of the Hoover Dam‚ the area now known as Lake Mead was home to several small communities.​ The construction of the dam began in 1931 and lasted for five years‚ transforming the Colorado River into a massive reservoir known as Lake Mead.​ The reservoir was named after Elwood Mead‚ a key figure in the development of water resources in the American West.​ With a capacity of over 26 million acre-feet‚ Lake Mead became the largest reservoir in the United States.​

The Submergence of St.​ Thomas

One of the towns affected by the creation of Lake Mead was St.​ Thomas‚ a small farming community.​ Established by Mormon settlers in 1865‚ St.​ Thomas had a population of around 500 residents at its peak.​ However‚ as the water levels in Lake Mead began to rise‚ the town faced the grim reality of being submerged.​

Residents were given ample time to relocate their homes and businesses before the rising waters engulfed the town.​ By 1938‚ St. Thomas was completely abandoned‚ with only a handful of structures remaining above water.​ These remnants can still be seen today when water levels recede during periods of drought.

Exploring the Ghost Town

When the water levels of Lake Mead drop significantly due to drought or other factors‚ the remains of St. Thomas resurface‚ allowing visitors to catch a glimpse of the now-submerged town.​ The town’s foundations‚ concrete structures‚ and even some intact walls become visible during these periods.​ It serves as a haunting reminder of the town that once thrived in the heart of the now-vast lake.​

Exploring the ghost town is a unique experience for visitors to Lake Mead.​ It offers a chance to step back in time and imagine life in St.​ Thomas.​ Visitors can see the ruins of the schoolhouse‚ the old foundations of houses‚ and the remnants of the town’s cemetery.​

A Testament to Human Engineering

The submerged town of St.​ Thomas is not only a reminder of the rich history of the region but also a testament to the incredible engineering accomplishment that is the Hoover Dam.​ The dam not only tamed the Colorado River and provided crucial water resources to the Southwest but also created a recreational paradise that draws millions of visitors each year.​

As Lake Mead continues to be a vital resource for the region and a popular tourist destination‚ the ghost town of St.​ Thomas stands as a silent witness to the transformative power of human ingenuity and the enduring impact it can have on the environment.

In conclusion‚ Lake Mead’s abandoned town of St.​ Thomas holds a captivating story beneath the water’s surface. The submergence of this once-thriving community serves as a reminder of the immense engineering accomplishment of the Hoover Dam and provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the past.​