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The Spring Mountain Ranch is a 520 acre oasis located at the base of Wilson Cliffs near the center of Spring Mountain Ranch - Red Rock Canyon Red Rock Canyon.  Due to its proximity to the Spanish Trail, this area was used by travelers since the early 1800's as a watering place and camp site . It was visited by pack and wagon trains until the railroads came into Las Vegas in 1905. This was also a place visited by outlaws, horse thieves and highwaymen who preyed on the pack trains and caravans of emigrants and immigrants who traveled the nearby Spanish Trail.

Some History
In 1840, a mountain man named Bill Williams, watered and rested his horses here after he participated in the infamous raid on the Mexican Ranchos in California. He really must have liked the place. He came back so often that the place became known as the 'Bill Williams Ranch' for several years. Some years later, in 1861, the area was farmed by the lead miners at Potosi Mountain.

In 1876, James Wilson and his partner, George Anderson filed a land claim on the property and named it the Sand Stone Ranch. In the early 1880's George Anderson left the ranch and abandoned his two sons there. James Wilson, however, stayed on until he died in 1906. Wilson raised Andersons sons as his own. They eventually inherited the ranch and operated it for decades. In 1919, they mortgaged the ranch. Then, as luck would have it, they were unable to pay off the debt! Finally, in 1929, they were bailed out by a family friend, Willard George, a well known Hollywood furrier. George gave them a life estate at the ranch and the two men stayed there for the rest of their lives. Not only did they live there and die there, they are also buried there. This is a place that someone can definitely get attached to!

When Willard George owned the place, he once attempted to raise Chinchillas at the ranch. Apparently not with great success however. In 1944 he leased the ranch to a radio personality, Chester Lauck. Lauck got so attached to the place that he bought the ranch and started to invest some serious money in it. He built the main ranch house, a large reservoir for irrigation and installed a water powered electrical generating system they called 'Boulder Dam, Jr.' He also opened a boys camp on the property.

In 1955, the ranch again changed hands when Lauck sold it to Vera Krupp, wife of the German industrialist Alfred Krupp. She added the swimming pool and the west wing of the ranch house. She also renamed it the Spring Mountain Ranch. The ranch was Vera Krupp's principal residence until 1967 when she sold it to Howard Hughes who, at that time, was buying up everything he could in the Las Vegas area.

Entrance fee is $6.00 per car. There are historic tours, horseback trail rides and group events. The group events can be a day long affair with horseback riding, a cowboy barbecue, country western music and dancing, a ranch tour and several other activities. In the summer months, there is 'Super Summer Theater'. These events are run by a local, non-profit production company which has been putting on theatrical productions at the 'Theater in the Meadows' for several years.
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