graphicIn 1541 Francisco Vasques de Coronado traveled through what is present day Las Vegas looking for the seven cities of gold. Since then travel has played a major part in the settlement of Las Vegas. In 1821, William Becknell’s trip on what was to become the Santa Fe Trail included a stop in the village of Las Vegas.

As more traders came from the United States to trade with Mexico, the settlers of Las Vegas founded the city as a plaza for the region in 1821, a stipulation for receiving a Mexican land grant. In 1866, 5,000 freight wagons traveled the Santa Fe Trail establishing Las Vegas as a major center for trade in New Mexico. On July 4, 1879 the Atchison-Topeka Railroad tracks stretched to Las Vegas continuing its growth as a center for commerce in New Mexico. In the early 1900s, Las Vegas’ growth came to an end when drought and the depression ravaged the country. Today Las Vegas is building on its past, which includes over 900 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, toward a bright new future.


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