Slanted Suitcase: Clark County Museum

Slanted Suitcase: Clark County Museum

I decided that it was high time to get out of my creative rut and take myself on an Artist’s Date. If you’re not familiar with them, I highly recommend getting to know Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way (paid link). I will suggest that book till kingdom comes; I don’t even care.

I chose the Clark County Museum in Henderson, which is about 30 minutes away from Vegas. It’s on Boulder Highway, around the corner from my alma mater, NSC. I haven’t been down that way in years, but I still remembered where to go. Funny how that works.

What’s great about this museum is that it covers all of the histories of Clark County, from when the First Nations were dominant, to the rise of gambling and mining, the atomic age, right up to the present day with 1 October. And everything in between. Lots of characters make up the background, and I’m proud of my adopted hometown.

It was fun to see how much Clark County has grown over the years. I was familiar with most of it because, as a history geek, I couldn’t call myself that if I didn’t have some idea, even if I wasn’t a local.

There are lots of interactive displays, lots of signage to encourage you. I enjoy museums that do that, rather than those who want you to look at something in a display case with a big fat “no touchy!” sign. It seems so impersonal. Everyone should have history, even if we have to distill it through a museum.

Here are some pictures I took while I was there:

The big pull of the museum is that it preserves buildings that you can walk through! It’s so rare to go to a museum that legitimately preserves buildings and wants you to be a part of it. That – to me – is an excellent presentation of history because you’re walking through someone’s home. This situation is especially actual for Vegas.

Vegas is notorious for building things to blow them up when they’re no longer helpful if you didn’t know. Out with the old, in with the new. It isn’t enjoyable. Historical properties have their place. But we should preserve them when we can. Having these buildings housed here for eternity is a pleasure that we should take advantage of here.

My concern is that there wasn’t much of an Asian presence. If there was, I missed it? On the other hand, I was comfortable with the representation of women, which is rare in some museums.

The black community got a display in the townsite home, so that was awesome. I mean, white people did write a lot of the history of Vegas, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us aren’t necessary. Representation is important.

Admission is insanely low: $2 for adults, $1 for kids and seniors. Seriously. You can come and go as you please. There are indoor and outdoor displays to enjoy. I plopped almost $100 bones on books because that’s how I do. I will come here again to take people and support the museum. There’s so much to see and do that you almost need to come back a few times to enjoy it all.

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