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Pat Shingleton: "Lake Meade and St. Thomas"

8 months 4 weeks 2 days ago March 04, 2016 Mar 4, 2016 Friday, March 04 2016 March 04, 2016 4:14 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

Lake Mead is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona. In 1865, Mormon settlers founded the town of St. Thomas.  By 1867 the growing community had 500 residents and in the 1910s it was a growing frontier town. Hoover Dam was constructed in the 1920s to not only control the Colorado River but to provide water for drinking, crop irrigation and electric power. In the 1930s, St. Thomas wasn't thriving so there wasn't much of a dispute by residents when told their town would be 64 feet underwater because of the Hoover Dam. Since 1999 Lake Meade was receding at a rate of 100 feet per year.  At lower levels, a high-water mark or white bathtub ring has been chronicled in photos. This ring is caused by the mineral deposits on submerged surfaces. Steady rain amounts and expected snow melt will assist in bringing the water levels higher.  Since the drop in the water level, surprisingly, the town of St. Thomas was uncovered. Archaeologists and historians have discovered a treasure trove of relics including Native American artifacts from the Anasazi settlement. Part of the lake that boaters enjoyed remains a hiker's adventure.

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