Sober in Vegas: Clark County Museum Part 1, Outdoor Campus

One of my best and worst qualities is when I decide to do something, everything in me goes into it, even at the expense of other things in my life.

Right now, I’ve got some (good) craziness going on in my personal life, and it’s been consuming me.

I will be going down to mostly one post a week for the foreseeable future, but I’m still so excited to be writing about sobriety and Vegas here, as well as continue reading your posts. 🙂

My brain has been racing dealing with offline things, so rather than sacrifice quality for quantity, I’d rather focus on trying to do one post a week.


I’ve been thinking about change recently–how I used to intake and respond vs. how I cope with change post therapy, post sobriety, post 20’s.

Some of my best life changes have been the most stressful, and in my experience it doesn’t matter if change is good, it’s still stressful.

I used to try and hide from change.

I used to want to shut change out and pretend it wasn’t happening.

Drinking made change easier because I could gloss over the actual hard parts of change and just come out the other end.

I also used to blame ‘bad’ changes on the world at large. I saw myself as a martyr and viewed things as ‘happening to me’ rather than me being a willing participant in my life.

Of course I know there are things that happen to use that we can’t control–but I used to think that every single difficult or mildly uncomfortable thing that happened was the universe conspiring against me to make life terrible.

I remember when I talked about this idea with a therapist a few years ago, she made me break it down.  She made me talk through each thing that made me upset and why I thought it was happening.

Hearing myself say out loud the changes and experiences that I thought were out to get me–everything from other people getting promotions to a red light happening right when I was pulling up–made me realize how much I personalized things that really weren’t personal.

It’s taken a few years but I’ve come to realize I can either accept change gracefully or not.

It’s my choice.

Each day I can choose to embrace the flow of change (and the fact that change in this life is inevitable) with openness, humility, and grace.

I still have so much to learn, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and grow.


Anyway, onto today’s alcohol-free post!

This will be a two-parter since the Clark County Museum has so much to offer.

This post will focus on the outdoor campus and next week’s will give you an overview of their indoor collection.

They’re open almost every day of the year!

Located in Henderson off of Boulder Highway (almost all the way out to Boulder City!) this is probably one of the BEST bargains for your buck the Vegas area has to offer.

Admission is $2, and you could easily spend an afternoon here, especially if the weather is nice.

Main entrance to the museum 

Parking is free and ample, and before you venture to view their Heritage Street collection of houses and historic buildings, be sure to pay your admission inside at the gift shop.

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Candlelight’s Exterior

The Heritage Street area preserves a diverse array of buildings, and we started out at the Candlelight Wedding Chapel.

Oh yeah, I should warn you all…each of the buildings has mannequins inside….!

Don’t worry, everyone’s in attendance for the big day….

Vegas’ tourism has revolved around weddings since the early 20th century, so it seems only fitting that they’d relocate one of our chapels here…especially one that was the location of many celebrity weddings such as Barry White, Michael Caine, and Bette Middler!

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An example of housing in Boulder City from the Hoover Dam era

The Babcock and Wilcox house was next, a sweet little place from the 1930’s.  These houses were funded by the government during the construction of Hoover Dam for the folks working on the project and their families, and today in Boulder City many of these quaint houses still exist!

The Babcock/Wilcox house has a great display historical artifacts from the Dam era inside

Next up was the Giles/Barcus house from the 1920’s.  It was relocated to the museum from Goldfield, Nevada and at the time it was constructed, it was one of the few buildings in town to have an indoor restroom.

Lest we forget #modernconveniences….

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The interior of the Giles/Barcus house is designed to look like an antique store!

The Print Shop was up next, and although it’s a replica rather than actual historic building, inside are antique printing machines dating all the way back to the 1890’s.

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One of the few businesses on Heritage Street

This building has a really great interior tin roof! And they have some great displays on the history of print in Southern Nevada as well.

The 1950’s are featured in the next house, The Goumond House.  The thing I found interesting about this house was how little it looks like anything in the Vegas area. Of course there are a few one offs that look similar, but for the most part, this house is relatively unique in its style.

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This house delves into some of the realities of the 1950’s in Vegas…segregation/race relations and nuclear fears….and of course, features a 1950’s mannequin family.

Oh hello….

The Goumonds were also at one time the owners of Tule Springs, which was one of the famous Nevada “Divorce Ranches” of the 1940’s….oh wait, did you all not know about these?

Basically Nevada decided to capitalize on the flip side of marriage tourism in the mid 20th century by opening dude ranches catering to folks around the US looking to get a quick divorce–you only needed 6 weeks residency in our fine state and only one signature…

Nevada history. Who knew.

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Love this lil’ bungalow!

The Beckley House was next, which was built in the 1910’s and is in the California Bungalow style and at the time it cost the family $2,500 to build.

The interior of the Beckley House

The Beckley house had one of my favorite interiors–it just felt peaceful inside this little place.

Each of the houses also has a musical soundtrack to accompany your visit, and I loved the old timey big band that plays here upon entering.

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A view looking down Heritage Street

There are a few houses I wasn’t able to feature here, but for a complete list you can view their site.

In addition to Heritage Street, the campus also features a ghost town area with mining buildings and trails, as well as a train depot and various train cars to explore.

I highly recommend bringing an umbrella, water, a hat, and sunscreen. It’s a good deal of outdoor walking, but afterward you can make your way indoors to cool and enjoy the museum’s air conditioned exhibition hall.

Until next week….


Thanks for reading and happy sobering friends!

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12 thoughts on “Sober in Vegas: Clark County Museum Part 1, Outdoor Campus

  1. I can’t believe how much this place has changed. I visited here about 15 years ago and never really wanted to go back. The homes that were there were pretty depressing, from what I remember. But now? Well, thanks to you, I’m going to head out that way again in the spring. Thanks. And keep posting!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello my friend, thanks as always for your terrific trip advice. Totally respect your decision to move to weekly writing, you sound busy and have many priorities on the go. Just so long as you don’t stop okay 🙂
    Take care, stay strong and have a wonderful weekend

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Drinking made change easier because I could gloss over the actual hard parts of change and just come out the other end.” Oh how I get that! Peace and joy to you in your changing and blessed sober journey!

    Liked by 1 person

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