Displayed here is a small sample of the pictures and information that the CCSD Archive Committee has found and identified through donations and research. Titled the Shoebox Collection, we thought you might enjoy seeing these visual artifacts. Many of these photographs are from sources that include family collections, interviews and old school files that have survived. While visitors can jump straight to the photo gallery, those wanting historical context will want to read the brief history of education in Clark County.
The history of schools in what is now Clark County dates back to September 21, 1856, when Mormon missionaries,
who had established a mission at the Old Fort
in what is now Las Vegas started a school in
the Fort. The first teacher was Alexander
Lemon, who instructed missionaries children
and the Indians. The mission ended in 1857
when the missionaries were called back to
Salt Lake City and the school closed.
The first school of any permanency in what is now is now Clark County was located at St. Thomas when 75
families from Utah settled there in 1881.
Covered by Lake Mead in the 1930s some
building foundations are now exposed with the
continuing drought. Schools were also in
operation at about the same time at
Logandale, and at Overton.
A school district was officially established and a school started at Bunkerville in 1878. The school was held in the community dining hall for a term of three or four months of the year when the children were not needed to help plant and harvest the crops.
The first high school at Bunkerville was organized in 1913 as a branch of the Clark County High School established in Las Vegas in 1911. This was a two-year high school with the students finishing the last two years at Las Vegas.
A school at Mesquite was recorded prior to 1900. A school was established about 1898 at Searchlight and at Goodsprings and Nelson shortly after the beginning of the 20th Century.
In the 1920s, Clark County maintained normal schools (teacher training) at Overton and Bunkerville under control of the State Board of Education. Students took a one or two-year course after high school graduation and could be certified to teach in the schools of the state. In June 1921, an enrollment of 1,019 was reported for the public schools of Clark County.
The City of Las Vegas was born on May 15, 1905. On August 19, 1905, the Board of School Trustees awarded a contract for a temporary
frame, one-story building, with three rooms, to be built at the corner of Second and Lewis Streets. Their plans changed and on September 9, 1905, the Trustees purchased the old Salt Lake Hotel building
and moved it to the corner of Second
and Lewis Streets, and converted
it into a two-room school, the first
school established in Las Vegas.
The school opened on October 2, 1905.
By mid-October there were 81 children
enrolled in grades 1 through 8. On March 30, 1906 the school closed because of lack of funds. The second year of school opened October 1, 1906.
In 1910, bids were let for a new school building to cost $30,000, to be built on South Fourth Street near Bridger, for both elementary and high-school grades. This was to be a two-story, 14-classroom, mission-style building. The new building opened on September 11, 1911.
This was the first permanent school
building in Las Vegas. In 1955, it was
converted to administrative offices
for the Clark County School District.
It was torn down in 1965 to make way for
the Foley Federal office building.
In June, 1917, a contract was awarded for construction of a high school building to cost $42,000, to be located
on South Fourth Street and Clark. It opened
in September, 1918 and contained 17
classrooms, a gymnasium and an auditorium.
In 1921, a 4-room kindergarten building was built at South Fourth and Bridger on the north side of the two-story school house and a manual arts building on the south side, the existing Clark County High School built in 1917 was the corner.
At the same time in 1921 the first branch
of the Las Vegas School was built
at Washington and “D” Streets on the
Westside. This building was last used by the
School district in 1967. Plans are
underway to restore the Westside School
by the Westside Alumni Association and the City of Las Vegas Historic Preservation Commission.
By 1921 school enrollment was 534, by 1931 had increased to 1518.
In 1930, Las Vegas High School was built at
Seventh and Bridger and opened in September.
The original school was built for 500 students
and consisted of an academic building, a
gymnasium, and a shop. Frazier Hall was added
in 1949. The auditorium at Ninth and Clark
was built in 1954.
The first school building in North Las Vegas was built in 1932 and is a part of the Washington School, formerly known as North Las Vegas No. 1, which has been dormant for many years. It has two classrooms.
The former Las Vegas High School building on South Fourth Street, being used by the sixth, seventh and eighth grades, was destroyed by fire on May 14, 1934. In September 1934, tent classrooms were used for sixth, seventh and eighth grades as a new building had not been planned. The enrollment in Las Vegas in 1934-35 was 2,183, with 150 high-school students coming from Boulder City.
In 1936 the present Fifth Street School (Las Vegas Grammar School) was built at a cost of $150,000, with more than half of that
paid by the U.S. Government Public Works
Administration (WPA) 1933-39. At that time the
schools in existence were Las Vegas High School, Westside School, North Las Vegas #1 (Washington), and Fifth Street Grammar School. The Fifth Street
School has been restored by the City of Las Vegas as a cultural center.
All other schools have been built since 1942.
In 1917, a contract was let for a high-school
building in Bunkerville to be named Virgin Valley
High School. The four-year high-school at
Overton was established in 1918, although
high-school classes had been conducted in the
elementary school building.
On September 13, 1933, the first elementary
school opened in Boulder City. High-school
students were bused to Las Vegas High School.
In 1935, a high school was started in Boulder City.
The Henderson schools opened in October, 1942, with all grades 1-12. Basic High School was part of Educational District No. 2
or a branch of Las Vegas High School. The
Henderson Elementary District was a separate
district. The Henderson District was originally
the Railroad Pass School District which opened a
school in 1931. It became the Henderson School District in 1947.
In 1956, by legislative action, the 14 school districts in existence at this time in the county were organized into one school district. They were:
Most of this information was compiled by Harvey Dondero as a 1968 school board information item.
- Blue Diamond 1928-1956)
- Boulder City (1946-1956)
- Duck Creek (Whitney) 1927 (1941-1956)
- Educational District No. 1 (1919-1956)
- Bunkerville 1878
- Mesquite 1880
- Overton 1880
- Logandale 1880
- Eldorado (Nelson) (1900-1956)
- Garnet (Railroad box car 1940s to 1956)
- Goodsprings (1913-1956)
- Henderson/Railroad Pass (1931-1956)
- Indian Springs (1924-1956)
- Las Vegas Union School District (1925-1956)
- Educational District No. 2 (high school)
- Las Vegas Elementary No. 12
- Paradise (1923 -1956)
- Searchlight (1904-1956)
- Sloan (1917-1956)