Mesquite and the Virgin Valley
The lower Virgin River basin is located about 10 miles south of the border junction between what is now Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Early explorers told of blistering heat, disease-carrying insects, and scarce, evil-tasting water. But in 1877, the valley offered a haven to a small group of Mormon families who sought to live and practice their religious convictions, settling in Bunkerville on the south side of the Virgin River. On the north side, the struggle to establish Mesquite started in 1880. The third attempt in 1894 was successful after years of merciless floods. Residents have survived a hostile environment, geographic isolation, political gerrymandering, and in the middle of the last century, dangerous radiation fallout from atomic testing. Deep sand roads have given way to a bustling interstate highway, and the area has become a golf and gaming destination. After incorporation in 1984, Mesquite experienced a boom and has been named the fastest growing city of its size in the United States.
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The author does a wonderful job explaining the history of the Virgin Valley in just a few pages. She shares lots of little stories about the lives of early pioneers and has pictures to accompany. The pictures are beautiful and the writing is actually quite entertaining. She shares many little nuggets of the local history that leave you wanting more. I look forward to more books like this in the future and hope to read more by this same author.
Struggle to Survive