Overton Beach History
The Indians built pit houses and, later, two and three story houses. The earlier tribes hunted and gathered their food, while later people farmed extensively.
"Mesa House" is the term used for the last occupational period in the area. The people were living in a number of villages during the Mesa House period ca A.D. 1100-1150.
Surveys and excavations of Lost City began in 1924 under the Southwestern Museum, most of the work being done from 1935-1938. Many artifacts and reconstructed pueblo houses are now at the Lost City Museum in Overton.
In 1912, there was enough business to have a railroad branch built to St. Thomas. The town became the halfway stopping point on the Old Arrowhead Trail, having a hotel, good meals, and a reliable garage.
But then the Hoover Dam project was started. Evacuation notices were posted on everything for five years, however no one left until rising water was spotted in the Virgin Canyon. Many of the buildings were moved to towns on higher ground.
Sometimes, when the lake gets low enough, buildings, dead trees, and rusted machinery can be seen.
Mountains of salt
Over the years, it has grown in peoples imagination to fantastic proportions - 3 miles long, all salt, and that as clear as glass. Its names include Big Salt Cliff, Salvation Salt, Salt Point, and Salt Mountain.
Lake Mead waters now cover this huge salt deposit, as well as most of the caves.
Did You Know?
"The wilderness . . . that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future. It seems presumptuous for men and women . . . to dare to undertake a program for perpetuity, but that surely is our challenge." -- Howard Zahniser