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"Bonneville Street" was the first main thoroughfare in the city of Las Vegas which best mirrors the city's exponential growth over the past century. It was constructed to be the city's first east-west thoroughfare and named for western pioneer, Captain Benjamin Bonneville, leader of an important fur trapping party during the early 1830s. The street remained unpaved for the first twenty years until the Las Vegas Land and Water Company brought pavement to the street from today's Main Street to Fifth (now Las Vegas Boulevard).

Early Bonneville StreetEdit

Bonneville Street sat at the center of the early development of Las Vegas, then, a dusty railroad town that employed railroad workers on the San Pedro-Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. It was on Bonneville Street that much of the town's prime establishments were constructed, one being an ice house, several repair shops, numerous saloons, restaurants, and the town's tallest structure, a 175-foot-high smokestack, all of which supplied the every railroad station from San Bernardino to Salt Lake.

After serving its purpose in the early days of Las Vegas, Bonneville became a residential street between 1909 and 1911; over over 100 cottages were built along adjacent Second, Third, and Fourth streets to house railroad workers. Not only did these houses bring the first "suburb" setting to Nevada, but moreover provided a new source of income and an attraction for workers looking for a home. Bonneville Street gained even more importance as a residential area when Las Vegas spurted its first big boom related to Hoover Dam, World War II, and the postwar ("Golden Era") gaming industry. As casinos sprawled along Fremont Street, professional offices also spread throughout downtown following the main course on Bonneville.

Today, Bonneville Street includes fewer residences, more undated with offices. Most of the old railroad cottages have been torn down or converted into office buildings. The major crossroads beginning in the Golden Era begins about where the present-day Grant Sawyer Building (corner of Washington Street and North Las Vegas Boulevard) sits today.

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