|Another candidate for “The Best Margarita in Nevada”: the Tularosa Cantina at the Ramada Express in Laughlin.|
|E-Mail of the Month:|
I am trying to learn how the city of Searchlight got its name. I have driven through Searchlight at night and noticed the strobes on radio antennas on a mountain. I do not know if this has any connection but I have been led to believe that it was due to having a radio station used by vessels in the Pacific for the purpose of navigation.
I was in Searchlight recently myself, and stopped in at the little Museum just east of town on the Cottonwood Cove road. Check out the display the next time you drive through, it says the Mining District (and therefore the town that grew up there) was named for a brand of matches. The display includes a piece of the wooden box they came in. It’s big enough to serve as a small ‘writing-desk’ (the original laptop!) and I can picture a group of elated miners searching their excited minds for a name to give their discovery, and nobody accepting another’s favorite (“Let’s call it the Bonnie Sue!”) until finally an eye falls on the box.
P.S. One more note of interest about the name: Scott Joplin wrote “The Searchlight Rag” for friends who’d invested in mines here.
Two years ago I wrote that Ash Springs was “a tragic shadow of its former
self.” The little resort that had welcomed travelers since pioneer times, with its warm water swimming hole was closed, fenced off and locked away. “The happy shouts of splashing children no longer ring out in the hot dry air,” I sniffled. So when I pulled into R-Place for gas I was startled to hear . . . the happy shouts of splashing children from across the highway. The chain link fence is still up, and even sports big new “No Trespassing” signs. But someone has chopped a hole through the fence, more than a dozen cars were parked beside this entrance, and all’s right with the world once again. Apart from gasoline, soda pop, sun glasses and fried chicken, R-Place offers an unusual attraction: the bird’s nest in the “O” on the Texaco sign.
From 1955 Overton I went to 1933 Boulder City. That’s when The Boulder Dam Hotel opened to accommodate visiting government and business guests involved with the building of Hoover Dam. It is not fancy, but it is solid and very comfortable, everything original, immaculate, and freshly remodeled. My room, one of only 22, was decorated with the prints and paintings by the celebrated local artist Cliff Segerblom (there’s an Art Gallery on the first floor). I was able to get online and retrieve two days’ e-mails without a lick of trouble. A Chamber of Commerce Information Desk in the lobby is staffed by volunteers, and the Boulder Dam Cafe serves “three dam good meals, seven dam days a week,” including a full breakfast for hotel guests.
The atmosphere is utterly different from the hotels in Las
Vegas 35 miles away: after carrying my luggage upstairs I came down to the lobby to find the Assistant Manager kissing the Desk Clerk. It was quite charming, and I think more hotels ought to do this (It turns out that Assistant Manager Serwind is married to Desk Clerk Sheryll). The hotel was named to the National Register of Historic Places on August 19, 1982
, and a 20-year labor of love by the entire community has restored its original luster.
And lustrous it is, in the almost-art-deco fashion of the mid-1930s. My breakfast was served on the front veranda beneath the high pillared portico where I exchanged greetings of the day with local folks walking past. The sky was blue, the temperature in the low 70s, the eggs perfectly poached and the world a bright and cheerful place indeed. That’s Boulder City in a nutshell.