Before there were flashing marquee lights and showgirls, celebrity chefs and party buses roaming the length of Las Vegas Boulevard, there was only a desert. It was dry and hot, deserted and quiet, but to the first people who tried to settle Las Vegas, it was a place of promise.
Las Vegas means “the meadows” in Spanish, a name that referred to an underground spring that was meant to provide sustenance to early settlers. The city of Las Vegas began to take root when, in the 1840s, John C. Fremont (forever memorialized by the Fremont Street Experience) happened upon this spot in the desert. The rest, as they say, is history.