Issue #18 – Finding History outside the Urban Jungle: Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs

Nested 30 minutes outside Las Vegas sits Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs. Over thousands of years the park and surrounding areas have changed from a lush wetland filled with Ice Age habitants, to a homeland of Native Americans, to a ranch for the common man, and now a nationally protected area of land for scientists and travel goers alike. The term Ice Age is a bit deceiving because the land in Nevada was not covered in ice, but was actually a giant wetland. Tule Springs, also known as the upper Las Vegas Wash, was a tributary of the Colorado River. The large watering holes and excellent shady areas became home to prides of American lions, herds of bison, giant mammoths, dire wolves, and saber tooth cats.

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Thousands of years later, when most Ice Age animals were now extinct (scientists don’t know why), the area became to home to the Paiute Indians. The access to water lead the tribe to the area. They were able to fish, grow crops, and build shelters with the trees and rock formations nearby. In the 1900’s it became a stage coach stop for those traveling through the dry desert. In the 1940’s it was converted it to a working ranch for cattle and crops. Tule Springs Ranch was first designated as a park when it was acquired by the city of Las Vegas in 1964. It was renamed Floyd Lamb State Park in 1977 when the state assumed control.

 

 

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Currently, Tule Springs Ranch is being used for Horses4Horses, and organization that assists veterans, abuse victims, and foster children. They teach life skills and have the members work the ranch and tend to the horses. Floyd Lamb Park, and the surrounding area, is now protected under the National Park Reserve and will be named “Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument” Scientists are eager to excavate the area and find out important information on ancient habitants. This is the first step towards a new exploration into the history of Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs

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