I am providing a short history of the ranch (below) even though none of the archaeological sites that we visited are on the ranch property. We did, however, park at the ranch and use it as the base of our hike because of its central location.
Spring Mountain Ranch – A short history
One of those hidden gems of the greater Las Vegas area is about 15 miles west of Las Vegas and a short distance west of the Red Rock Conservation Area. Spring Mountain Ranch is a 520-acre oasis located at the base of the Wilson Cliffs and until the time the ranch was sold to the state of Nevada in 1974, it had many decades of being a combination working ranch and a get-a-way place for many of its noted owners. Today as a state park, it has hiking trails, a large pond, picnic areas, the ranch house, and during the summer time there is the “Super Summer Theatre”.
An abridged time line: Originally Native Americans camped in the area around the spring that runs through the current ranch. Then in the mid-1830’s travelers using the Cottonwood Valley branch of the Spanish Trail camped at the spring.
Some of the known owners of the ranch were:
In the 1840’s Mountaineer Bill Williams used the area, and for many years the area was known as the Bill Williams Ranch.
In 1876 a Sergeant once based at Fort Mojave named James Wilson and his partner George Anderson owned the ranch and named it the Sand Stone Ranch.
In 1944 the ranch was leased to radio star Chester (Lum) Lauck of the “Lump and Abner” radio show. Later Chester picked up the option to buy the house and began the construction of the main ranch house. He named it the “Bar Nothing Ranch”.
In 1955 Lauck sold the ranch to Vera Krupp and she expanded the house and added the swimming pool. She renamed it the Spring Mountain Ranch and it remained her residence until 1967 when she sold it to the Hughes Tool Company, now known as the Summa Corporation.
In 1972 two southern California businessmen, William Murphy and Fletcher Jones, purchased the ranch planning on using the property for townhouses. The public outcry was “no-way” and the property ended up being sold to the state in 1974.
The websites listed below have more in-depth information on Nevada’s Spring Mountain State Park.
Official website: http://parks.nv.gov/parks/spring-mountain-ranch-state-park/
Good history of the ranch on this page: http://supersummertheatre.org/spring-mountain-ranch/