Saturday, June 23, 2007

I managed to get kicked out of the Kathy Augustine Auction

Well, at least my camera did! But I had to leave with it. There was lots of press, but "no private photography allowed". I guess I'll have to make myself some VVV blogPress Credentials.

But while I was on Maria Elena Ct. I grabbed some photos of some of the best Vintage Homes in all of VVV. It's truly a gem of a street. (from Oakey, north on 15th, east on Bracken to the first street which is Maria Elena.

Of course the big mystery to me...."Who was Maria Elena?" Anyone know? We're asking around.

In fact, I'd like to know who all the various streets were named after.

I know Wengert was the last name of one of the founders of Nevada Power a hundred years ago, (I sold his daughter Shirley's downtown house for her and helped her buy in Spanish Oaks) and Lewis and Clark and Fremont are famous names.

But what about Oakey or Charleston, or Maryland or St. Louis or Bracken or Jessica or Griffith, or Franklin. Or on the west side, Mason, Bannie, Alta, or Colanthe, or Cashman and a hundred more. They seem to be named after people. Who knows? Someone must remember.


lzcutter said...


Cyril Wengert's family was one of the pioneer families in Las Vegas. His former home on Charleston is now the home of the Nevada Bar. It's one of the few remaining houses adjacent to the John Parks District in a neighborhood that used to be filled with them. The majority of those houses were torn down in the early 1970s because, as always, we needed another parking lot.

Alta is likely named for Artemis Ham's wife, Alta. Ham's family was another pioneering family in town. There are pictures of her at Helldorado dressed in western garb and by most accounts she was one of the leading ladies of Las Vegas.

Bracken is likely named after Walter Bracken who was the Union Pacific's man here back in the Railroad days. There is a fascinating book called Water
by Florence Lee and John Cahlan (two pioneering reporters here back in the 1930s/1940s) that tells the story of how water and Las Vegas and Bracken's role in that.

Cashman is named for civic booster extraordinare, Big Jim Cashman. Big Jim was one of the founders of Helldorado, owned Cashman Equipment and Cashman Cadillac over the years. He was a tireless booster and helped convince Tommy Hull to build a hotel in Las Vegas. Hull did, though he built in the County and not the City. It was the original El Rancho Vegas.

Colanthe, I believe, is named for Florence Murphy who was one of the pioneering aviatrix here in the Valley. She and her husband owned Sky Haven Airport (now the North Las Vegas Airport out on the old Tonopah Highway).

Mark Hall-Patton, at the Howard Cannon Aviation Museum and the Clark County Museum, is doing a history on street names in Las Vegas so you might want to talk with him.

Hope this helps.


Anonymous said...

Here's some other info I found in an article written by Mark Hall-Patton

Ashby was named for George Ashby, the president of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1938.

Bannie Avenue was named for Mrs. George Ashby's maiden name.

Cahlen is named for newspaper reporter A.E. Cahlen

Campbell Drive is named for Tom Campbell, one of the first realtors in the valley

Buehler Drive, for mine owner and member of the Colorado River Commission Jack Buehler.

Ellis Drive named for George Ellis, a McNeil Company engineer.

According to the article, A.E. Cahlen said they were meeting on the day McNeil was showing off his new subdivision and he needed names for the streets.

From the article: "In the same area are two streets that tell a fun story. When Larry G. McNeil was laying out his subdivision, he asked Florence Murphy if he could name a street for her. Florence was the first woman to serve as the vice-president of a scheduled airline, and was a co-founder and operator of the Sky Haven Airport, today’s North Las Vegas Air Terminal. She said no, but finally relented and said he could use her real first name for a street on the condition he named a street after his own real middle name. Today we have Colanthe Avenue and Gilmary Avenue to show for this conversation. "

and..."In the Huntridge area many of the streets are named for significant local residents. These include Franklin Avenue, named for George Franklin, an early valley contractor; Wengert Avenue, named for Cyril Wengert who was the president of the First National Bank and a treasurer of the Nevada Power Company; Sweeney Avenue, named for M. M. Sweeney of the Pioneer Title Company; Bracken Avenue, named for Walter Bracken, vice-president and general manager of the Las Vegas Land and Water Company from 1905 to 1946; and Griffith Avenue, named for Robert B. Griffith, early secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. "

Here is the number Mark left at the end of this article if you have other stories about the street names: 455-7968