• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

St. Thomas

Gentry Hotel of St. Thomas

The Gentry Hotel of St. Thomas

Nevada Historical Society

Before the Water Rose
Starting as a pioneer settlement in 1865, St. Thomas grew to be an established town of farms, homes and stores. Life passed slowly until Hoover Dam was built. St. Thomas was doomed as the rising waters of the Colorado River slowly filled canyons and valleys, creating Lake Mead. The residents of St. Thomas sold their land, tore down homes that had been lived in for generations and said goodbye to friends and neighbors. On June 11, 1938, Hugh Lord rowed away from his house, the last citizen to leave. The community was soon covered by the lake, a victim of a rapidly changing landscape and lifestyle in the desert.

 
Waters of Lake Mead encroaching on the St. Thomas Post Office June 11, 1936

St. Thomas Post Office on June 11, 1936

Nevada Historical Society

While we cannot bring St. Thomas back to life, we can show the town and its people the respect we’d like our home town to receive. Please do not climb on foundations or disturb any artifacts you find. These remnants remind us of the people of St. Thomas, those who played, worked and lived here.

 
A street in St. Thomas being covered by the encroaching waters of Lake Mead

A street in St. Thomas being covered by Lake Mead waters

Nevada Historical Society

The National Park Service protects and preserves more than 380 sites of cultural, historic and natural significance. From the stone dwellings at Mesa Verde to the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg and here at the ruins of St. Thomas, we learn about those who lived before us.

We rely on you to help us safeguard these treasures. Please help us by reporting illegal activities such as offroad vehicle use, vandalism, and theft of historic artifacts. You can call a park ranger at 1.800.680.5851(emergencies only) or 702.293.8998 (non-emergencies).

Did You Know?

Hoover Dam In Take Towers

Lake Mead was named in honor of Dr. Elwood Mead. As Commissioner of Reclamation from 1924 - 1936, he drafted new specifications for a giant project that would dam the Colorado River and create the world's (at that time) largest artificial lake.