The tiny Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum tells the story behind the development of Boulder City amid the hostile desert and the monumental undertaking of the construction of the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression. Located on the second floor of the historic white brick Boulder Dam Hotel itself created to house visiting VIPs—the museum is a popular stop for visitors from Las Vegas en route to the dam.
An experiential museum with a focus on people – the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum is filled with dioramas, diary pages, documents and oral histories that tell the tales of the intrepid workers who traveled from all over the United States with their families to build what was then the world’s largest dam. Soundscapes of construction and era video immerse visitors in the experience of dam construction. Around 21,000 people helped to build the dam and the amount of concrete poured during its construction could pave a transcontinental highway from New York to LA.
Visitors to the museum will also appreciate that the dam wasn’t the worker’s only feat. First they transformed Ragtown—a slew of tent dwellings inhabited by wishful workers along the Colorado River—into the town of Boulder City, Nevada. The community, planned with federal oversight, was designed to be a temporary model town, but it continues to thrive today.
The museum and hotel are located at 1305 Arizona Street in Boulder City, NV, 26 miles southeast of Las Vegas on I-515 and eight miles from the Hoover Dam.
Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children and students. The museum is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years days, from 10am-5pm. The museum is sometimes included in land-based tours of the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from Las Vegas.