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309 S. Valley View Blvd., LV, 89107
inside Springs Preserve

Join the Friends for a Taste of Red and White

wine pouring

A Taste of Red and White takes place at the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas on Saturday, May 4, from 2-4 pm. It includes a pop-up exhibit of an eclectic selection of red and white artifacts curated by the museum team. Samples of red and white wine will be offered. Must be 21 or older to attend. Raffle prizes include movie tickets, Costco and restaurant gift cards, crystal stemware, and a beauty basket. All of the funds raised will be donated to the education programs at the museum.

Sale of 100 tickets lets us match a $1000 contribution from a donor. We will create a Science Traveling Trunk for the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas. Traveling Trunks are mini-museums that travel to local classrooms. Each trunk contains hands-on objects, artifacts, and lesson plans. The trunks provide an exciting exploration into science and history throughout Southern Nevada. Intended as a supplemental educational resource and an outreach program for schools unable to visit the museum, the Traveling Trunks are a unique opportunity for teachers and students.

The Science Trunk will contain tablets with software, games, and equipment for science experiments targeted at fourth graders. The Trunks are designed to align with National Science Education Standards.

Travelling Trunk

One of our Travelling Trunks

So join us, support local education programs and the museum. See a one-of-a-kind exhibit, and enjoy A Taste of Red and White! Tickets are $20/each, $35/pair, $120/table of 8. $25/each on event day. Purchase online.

Dino Discovery Family Night

By Joan Whitely

Reaching a higher level of “dinosaurean” achievement, the Friends added new activities to our second Dino Discovery Family Night, and also increased the number of adult and teen volunteers.


A JAG volunteer, at left, explains while boys touch fur, shell, and bone from modern animals.

Limbo competition -- a new attraction at the dino event -- was a hit with attendees, both the young guests and the 40-some teen volunteers from Western High School’s Jobs for America’s Graduates program.


Limbo gets more fun when you lower the bar! Here's a participant showing us how it's done.

Another new touch, well received by guests, was the roving mascot dressed as a dino with wings. The JAG teens vigorously vied to take turns wearing the full-body costume to mingle in the crowd.


You all are not scared of that dino with wings behind us? No, really, it's right there.

This event was oriented for families in the Community Access Membership program. This program is designed to encourage more museum visits by residents in the ZIP codes nearest the museum, by giving free one-year family membership to 150 families with at least one child in a Title 1 public elementary school near the museum.


Gerry and Debbi Halfhill wear dino hats while managing door prizes and dino bank for coin donations.


Dinosaur masks for every mood.

For more photos, go to our Facebook page.

Woodlawn Cemetery in Las Vegas

By Joan Whitely

cemetery map

A map of the Woodlawn Cemetery

Welcome to the Woodlawn Cemetery of Las Vegas. Yes, "Woodlawn" is a common enough name for a U.S. burial ground, as New York, Los Angeles and Detroit each have a Woodlawn Cemetery. But, the Woodlawn in Las Vegas is distinct in several ways.

Paradoxically, it boasts lawn but no woods, though cottonwoods and thickets of mesquite did dot its landscape before the modern day.

It’s located on land that once belonged to Helen and Archibald Stewart. She’s the town matriarch and widow who sold land to the railroad that launched the Las Vegas townsite in 1905, which today comprises downtown Las Vegas.

Woodlawn was designed in large part by J.T. McWilliams, a civil engineer who did survey work for the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. McWilliams built a Las Vegas townsite before the railroad built its own. But he lost out when he failed to establish water rights for his buyers - causing many to put their buildings on skids and haul them from the “Westside” over the tracks to the railroad’s water-rich Clark townsite (named after William Clark, one of the railroad’s owners).

McWilliams is also interred at Woodlawn, according to Rosalie Lidard. Representing the Nevada Preservation Foundation, Lidard and Mitch Cohen, a foundation volunteer, told the story of Woodlawn Cemetery at the Friends March meeting.

Rosalie Lidard

Rosalie Lidard

Located downtown at 1500 Las Vegas Blvd. N. - near Cashman Field, across the street from Catholic Charities - the cemetery began accepting burials in 1915. It has some old, upright gravestones. But most of its markers are flat, hugging the ground, which gives the place a less forbidding, more park-like atmosphere, Lidard pointed out.

Owned today by the city of Las Vegas but managed by Bunker Family Funerals & Cremation, Woodlawn partially shares a footprint with two smaller burial sites used before Las Vegas was formed. The predecessors were called Boothill and the Ranch Cemetery. Woodlawn is expected to run out of plots in the 2020s, Lidard added.

The cemetery’s diversity matches the community’s expansion. It began with 10 acres donated by the railroad to the city, but now occupies 40 acres. Notables from every era of the city - as well as the obscure - are buried at Woodlawn.

One historical feature consists in the side-by-side graves of two Civil War veterans, one who was Union, the other Confederate. The two - William Keith of Iowa and Joseph Graham of Virginia - met in Las Vegas after the war and became fast friends. Both were dead by 1920.


The tombstone of Joseph Moore Graham, Civil War veteran

A colorful personality from the flashy 1950s-‘60s who rests at Woodlawn is “Nick the Greek” Dandolos, a professional gambler who won and lost millions. In 1949 casino owner Benny Binion hired Dandolos for a poker exhibition that laid the groundwork for the annual World Series of Poker. In 1979, “The Greek,” who had died in 1966, was one of the first people named to the Poker Hall of Fame.

Several Las Vegas mayors, including J.F. Hesse (served 1925-1930) and William Briare (served 1975-1987), are buried at Woodlawn, too.

April history tours planned by Nevada Preservation Foundation

By Joan Whitely

NPF logo

Rosalie Lidard, a seasonal employee at the Nevada Preservation Foundation, describes her organization as a non-physical “museum” that aims to help Southern Nevadans learn about the history conveyed by the buildings and sites that surround us. Only when people love their history, will they protect and preserve its landmarks, she notes.

To celebrate our heritage, the foundation will again offer its Homes + History program in April. It is a series of tours (on foot, by bike, and by bus) and events that will showcase key architects and various exemplary period styles for buildings and homes in both Las Vegas and Boulder City.

Some tours are free, such as the April 13 walking tour of the historic Westside School. Admission is charged for other events, such as $100 per head for the “Martini Tour: Backstage at Binion’s” on April 27, which includes dinner at the casino as well a peek at non-public spots inside. An excerpt from the website for the Martini Tour reads: “Visit the 1930s in The Apache, the 1950s with Patsy Cline at The Mint, not to mention the chute that was used for the skim!”

NPF poster

A poster of an upcoming NPF event

Reservations are required for every tour or event, regardless of cost. For more information, go to the Events page on the Nevada Preservation Foundation's site.

Exhibit Spotlight: The Traveling Trunks of NSMLV

NPF logo

The Mining Trunk

What's a Traveling Trunk?

It isn’t always easy for teachers to arrange a field trip to the museum. For that reason, NSMLV created Traveling Trunks. Traveling Trunks are mini-museums, bringing a little bit of the museum to classrooms. Each trunk contains a variety of artifacts, photographs, books, activity sheets for hands-on activities, plus a teacher handbook. Trunk materials are aligned with Nevada learning standards. They focus on a specific aspect of Nevada’s history or natural history. Trunk themes include History of Communication, Children at School/Play, Lost City (archaeology), Mining in Nevada, and Nevada Pioneers.

More Trunks are Traveling!

This year, the Friends of NSMLV began paying for trunk deliveries to schools. Demand for the trunks skyrocketed because teachers no longer had to pick-up and return the trunks on their own time. The museum asked the Friends to sponsor four more trunks to meet the teachers’ requests. So far, we funded two mining trunks and one pioneer trunk. Generous donations from our members made this happen.

Match a Grant - Fund a Science Trunk

We have an opportunity to create a new trunk focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The total cost of a STEM trunk is $2200 to buy computer tablets, hand-held microscopes, minerals, plant and animal specimens, etc.

Williams Learning Solutions founder, Dr. Michelle Williams, has offered the Friends a grant to create the STEM trunk. Her company will donate free STEM learning software and $1000 to buy computer tablets for the Science Trunk if the Friends cover the remaining cost of $1200.

Please donate to the Trunk program at a Friends meeting by cash, credit card, or check. You can also donate online.

Intern Spotlight: Sahara A. Orellana, Graphic Arts Intern at NSMLV

The Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas is very fortunate to have four graphic arts interns working with our curators and staff thanks to the Museum’s “Friends Group”. Under the direction of Assistant Professor Michael Fong, Art chair at the University of Nevada, our UNLV students are working with the Museum on projects that not only benefit our patrons and staff, but allow them to add to their portfolios. In the next newsletters, be on the lookout for “intern highlights”!

Sahara A. Orellana, 25 years old, was born and raised in Las Vegas. She graduated from Arbor View High School. She is completing her double major (Graphic Design & Media, and Drawing/ Painting/Printmaking for Fine Arts) at UNLV. She is an “outdoors” enthusiast, enjoying hiking and drawing whenever she can find the time. Her interests also include comics and concept art. Sahara hopes to “be a full fledged artist” having a comic strip of her own. She would like to work with a large-scale gaming company, and work on 3-D model designs.


Sahara A. Orellana, Graphic Arts Intern

Sahara states that “the team” has worked together on all aspects of the Museum-assigned projects, and it has been an excellent collaboration model. She has particularly enjoyed working on the booklets to be given out to teachers and students for the summer program, as well as being excited to have a chance to work with highly creative individuals who each have their own unique style.

Additionally, she has found working on the labels for “Trailblazers in Las Vegas” to be really fun, informative, and educational even though it is not her focus area. Sahara was asked to comment about her thoughts on the Museum from this intern experience. She enthusiastically said, “To be completely honest, this Museum could be a hot spot for tourists and local visitors. It doesn’t have the attention it deserves. The interior and exterior of the building embodies what Nevada is. Mainstream media really needs to know that it’s right across from the Meadows Mall...stop by and check it out. It is a fantastic cultural experience.”

All events held at the museum and are free with paid admission or membership. No registration required unless otherwise noted. Friends general meetings are the 3rd Thurs. of month. The museum is at 309 S. Valley View Blvd., inside Springs Preserve, LV 89107
Sat Apr 6 2-4 pm Nevada Paleontology Month Event Life of the Sagebrush Seafloor: Exploring the Paleozoic Fossil Faunas of the Great Basin Museum event
Thu Apr 18 6-7 pm General Meeting Kish LaPierre, USAF archaeologist will discuss Nevada rock art Friends event
Sun Apr 28 10am - 3pm Science is Everywhere Tours Sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum's natural history collection Museum Event
Sat May 4 2-4 pm A Taste of Red and White Includes a pop-up exhibit of red and white artifacts curated by museum team. Samples of red and white wine will be offered. Cost $20 each, $35/pair, $25/each on event day. Buy tickets online Museum Event

To see the complete schedule for the year, please go to our Events page.

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