Pueblo Grande de Nevada

Pueblo Grande de Nevada is Nevada State Historic Marker number Forty One and located in Clark County, Nevada. The ruins become to be known as Nevada’s “Lost City”. The marker is located about two miles south of Overton along State Route 169.

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Pueblo Grande de Nevada - Source National Park Service
Pueblo Grande de Nevada – Source National Park Service

The site dates back to before the year 500 A.D. and the Basketmaker Indians and later the Ancestral Pueblo people in 1150 A.D. Archeological studies show signs of human activity and occupation as far back as 8,000 B.C.

The ruins become known to American Settlers in 1827, when Jebediah Smith found artifacts while exploring the region. The Pueblo Grande a complex of villages, was first seen by white settlers forty years later in 1867. There is little interest in the area, the ruins or the story they had to tell, until 1924. John and Fay Perkins of Overton, Nevada, discovered the ruined complex. The “Lost City” captured the imagination of Nevada and soon became a tourist spot.

To the south of Overton Beach are prehistoric salt mines. Early inhabitants in the area mined salt from these caves. The mined salt is used for trade, survival and food preparation. During excavations in 1925 and 1926, many artifacts are discovered in the caves, including pottery, stone clubs, sandals and other items. These artifacts offered a limited glimpse into the daily lives of the people who worked the salt mines.

Flood Waters

Rising waters of Lake Mead swallowed some of the ruins, with the construction of Hoover Damn. The waters flooded the “Lost City”. The area has been the subject of numerous archeological studies which allow us to better understand the ancients peoples of the land. Today, the Lost City Museum of Archaeology in Overton continues to tell the story of the area and preserve the various artifacts discovered over the past two hundred years.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

Indians of a highly developed civilization lived throughout Moapa Valley from 300-1100 A.D. Several hundred ancient pithouses, campsites, rockshelters, salt mines and caves of Anasazi people make up what is commonly known as “Lost City.” These people cultivated corn, beans and squash in fields irrigated by river water. They also gathered wild seeds and fruits and hunted widely for deer, antelope, desert bighorn sheep, small mammals and birds. They wove fine cotton cloth, fired beautifully painted and textured pottery and mined and traded salt and turquoise to coastal tribes for seashells. Early dwellings were circular pithouses below ground; later dwellings above ground were single-story adobes having up to 100 rooms.

Lake Mead, created by Hoover Dam, flooded the most intensively developed portion of Lost City.

Trail Map

Nevada State Historic Marker Summary

Nevada State Historic Marker No.41
NamePueblo Grande de Nevada
LocationClark County Nevada
Latitude, Longitude36.525, -114.4338


Powell of the Colorado Nevada State Historic Marker 37

Powell of the Colorado Nevada State Historic Marker 37 is a marker commemorating the 1869 exploration of the Grand Canyon by Major John Wesley Powell. The historic landmark is located overlooking Lake Mead, Nevada.

Powell of the Colorado Nevada State Historic Marker 37- The 1871 Powell Expedition preparing to depart Green River.  Photo NPS
The 1871 Powell Expedition preparing to depart Green River. Photo NPS

After 1867, Powell led a series of expeditions into the Rocky Mountain, Green River and Colorado rivers. In 1869, he set out to explore the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon as part of several trips. Along with ten men and equipped with four boats and food for 10 months, Powell set out from Green River, Wyoming, on May 24. Passing through dangerous rapids, the group passed down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River (then also known as the Grand River upriver from the junction), near present-day Moab, Utah, and completed the journey on August 30, 1869.

Powell retraced part of the 1869 route in 1871–72 with another expedition that traveled to the Colorado River from Green River, Wyoming to Kanab Creek in the Grand Canyon. Powell used three photographers on this expedition; Elias Olcott Beaman, James Fennemore, and John K. Hillers, who documented the journey.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

On August 30, 1869, Major John Wesley Powell landed at the mouth of the Virgin River, about 12 miles south of here, thus ending the first boat expedition through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

The expedition left Green River City, Wyoming Territory, on May 24, 1869. For three months Powell and his men endured danger and hunger to explore, survey and study the geology of the canyons along the Green and Colorado Rivers.

Exhausted and near starvation, the Powell party was warmly greeted and fed by the hardy Mormon pioneers of St. Thomas, a small farm settlement about 11 miles north of here.

The original sites of St. Thomas and the junction of the Virgin and Colorado Rivers are now beneath the waters of Lake Mead.

This, and later Powell surveys, stimulated great interest in the water conservation problems of the Southwest.

Marker Summary

Nevada State Historic Marker 37
NamePowell on the Colorado
LocationLake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude36.3072, -114.4201



Colorado Steamships

From 1852 through 1909, Colorado Steamships ferried people and supplies up and down the Colorado River to mining camps and outposts. Following the discovery of gold in California, westward expansion of the United States was on the mind of most people seeking their fortune of livelihood. Wagon trains, horses and trains all brought people deep into the new county seeking their fortune. Lesser known is the role of the steamships, which brought supplies and people up the Colorado River from Baja California to the Green River in Wyoming.

View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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Callville Nevada – Colorado River Steamship Landing

Callville Nevada is a ghost town and Colorado River Steamboat port, which is now submerged below the waters of Lake Mead. Bishop Anson Call founded and established a colony and warehouse on the Colorado River at the direction of the Mormon Leader Brigham Young. The settlement was located about 15 miles up river from the location of the future site of Hoover Damn.

  Call's Landing or Callville looking toward the west as it appeared in 1926 - Photo courtesy of R. F. Perkins
Call’s Landing or Callville looking toward the west as it appeared in 1926 – Photo courtesy of R. F. Perkins
Bishop Anson Call, Mormon Colonizer, May 13, 1810 – August 31, 1890
Bishop Anson Call, Mormon Colonizer, May 13, 1810 – August 31, 1890

Callville was established on December 2, 1864 when Anson Call arrived on a small bluff over looking the Colorado River in the Arizona Territory. The settlement was located at the conjunction of the later named Callville wash and the Colorado River.

The founding of the settlement was the churches effort to expand trade routes and European immigration into Utah from the south. The small portgage and landing site was one of several along the Colorado including St. Thomas, Saint Joseph, Overton, West Point, Mill Point ( Simonsville ) and Rioville.

During the Civil War, the army of the United States garrisoned at the site, to protect the Colorado River Steamboats and serve as a landing point for army. In December 1865, the outpost had the honor to become the county seat for Pah-Ute County, Arizona Territory. The station was short lived and transferred to St Thomas just two years later.

In 1869, the army garrison was removed. Following the war, Congress redrew some of the state boundaries and the settlement in the Arizona Territory is moved to Nevada. From 1866 to 1878, the landing at Callville was the High Water of Navigation for steamboat traffic on the Colorado River, which is 408 miles from Fort Yuma. The town was abandoned in June 1869 when the Steamships discontinued service to the site.

Today, the town lies in under 400 feet of water. However, the water levels in Lake Mead are at an all time low, and St. Thomas is currently above water.

“Take a suitable company, locate a road to the Colorado, explore the river, find a suitable place for a warehouse, build it, and form a settlement at or near the landing.” 

Brigham Young instructing Anson Call, 1864

Town Summary

LocationLake Mead, Clark County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude36.1133128, -114.6888720
Other Common NamesCall’s Fort, Old Callville

Callville Map


Rioville Nevada – Colorado Steamship Landing

Founded in 1865, Rioville, Nevada was founded by Daniel Bonelli at the confluence of the Virgin River and the Colorado River. Bonelli was a Mormon settler who was sent to the area by Brigham Young. The town is long since drowned in the rising waters of Lake Mead.

Rioville, Nevada also known as Bonelli's Landing, circa 1900
Rioville, Nevada also known as Bonelli’s Landing, circa 1900

Originally known as Junction City, the small crossing of Stone’s ferry was purchase by Bonelli in 1870. Stone’s ferry was renamed Bonelli’s Ferry for its new owner, and the ferry crossing was moved to Junction City which was about two miles down river. In 1871, the site was abandoned by its settlers.

In 1880, a second wave of settlers arrived and the town was renamed to Rioville. The ferry was pulled over the river by a man with a rope line. It cost $10.00 to cross, which included a wagon and 2 persons with an additional charge $0.50 for each additional person. A post office was founded in 1881 and operated until 1906

The original ferry boat at Bonelli's Landing - 1890
The original ferry boat at Bonelli’s Landing – 1890

On July 8, 1879, the steamboat Gila, piloted by Captain Jack Mellon, made Rioville the uppermost landing for steamboats of the Colorado River. The arrival made the town high water head of navigation on the Colorado River and Captain Mellon finally proved that it was indeed the head of steam navigation on the Colorado River. The
Mormon population in town were “wonder-struck” to see a steamboat; one proclaimed it the “biggest thing he ever saw in water.”

Steamboats continued to traffic high up the Colorado River until 1887 when silver mining activity declined during high water months. The town was service from 1879 to 1882 the the sloop Sou’Wester during low water, carried locally mined salt to process silver ore in El Dorado Canyon. From 1869 to 1887, the landing at Rioville was the High Water of Navigation for steamboat traffic on the Colorado River, which was 440 miles from Fort Yuma.

The town was abandoned in the 1890s but the post office lingered to 1906 and the ferry until 1934. The rising waters of Lake Mead, caused by the construction of Hoover Damn drowned the location in water.

Town Summary

NameRioville, Nevada
LocationUnderwater Lake Mead, Clark County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude36.1502603, -114.3994176
Post Office 1881-1906
StatusVery Wet
Also known asJunction City, Junctionville

Town Map