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Nevada Drought Uncovers Lost Ghost Town

In 1938 the last resident of St Thomas rowed away as the rising Lake Meade flooded the town. Because of the drought the lake has been rapidly receding revealing the crumbled structures for us to see.

St. Thomas, Nevada was founded by Mormon settlers in 1865 near the banks of the Muddy River. Originally believing they had settled in Utah, the Mormon pioneers were attracted to the large salt deposits in the surrounding area. Most of the Mormons abandoned the town after they discovered they were actually in Nevada and owed three years of state taxes. A new wave of settlers brought in farmers, and St. Thomas’s population peaked at roughly 500.

That all changed in 1936 with the completion of the Hoover Dam. The dam caused water levels of the Colorado River to rise, creating Lake Mead, one of the world’s largest reservoirs, in its wake. St. Thomas had to be abandoned and its townspeople relocated. Over the past decade, however, widespread drought, and growing regional water usage has caused water levels of Lake Mead to drop, and with it, the formerly submerged town has resurfaced.

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