Fremont and 4th
Without the photographic evidence before us, we might not believe that the corner of Fremont and 4th was once a peaceful, tree-lined residential area. A rare January snowstorm in 1937 makes the scene even more magical, and the corner street lamps capture the aura of small-town life that has long since left downtown Las Vegas.
Before this section of Fremont Street became a haven for casinos and souvenir shops, it was home to a number of early Las Vegas families whose names are now immortalized on street signs and elementary schools. The house shown on this corner was originally built for the John S. Park family and was later sold to the family of W.E. Ferron in 1918. Other pioneer Las Vegans who lived in this area included Walter Bracken and Charles P. “Pop” Squires. By 1941, commercial development on Fremont meant that the houses in this quaint neighborhood were consigned to the history bin.
Although downtown Las Vegas might not have the same residential character today, it doesn’t mean that people aren’t attracted to living in what has become an increasingly vibrant area, even if it is just a little beyond Fremont and 4th. For those who have chosen to take the plunge into downtown living, it’s clear that they are following in the footsteps of some of our city’s most illustrious residents.
Su Kim Chung has been immersed in the history of Las Vegas since she began work in the UNLV Libraries Special Collections Division in 1999. She is the author of multiple editions of the book Las Vegas Then and Now.