The Elton and Madelaine Garrett Photograph and Architectural Drawing Collection contains photographic prints and architectural drawings of Boulder (Hoover) Dam; Las Vegas, Nevada; Boulder City, Nevada; and other locations in the American Southwest from approximately 1927 to 1990. The photographs primarily depict Hoover Dam's construction and areas around Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, and Boulder City during the 1930s and 1940s. The bulk of the architectural drawings and maps are projects and diagrams related to the planning and development of Boulder City, Nevada between 1943 and 1985.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Elton and Madelaine Garrett Photograph and Architectural Drawing Collection contains photographic prints of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam; Las Vegas, Nevada; Boulder City, Nevada; and other locations in the American Southwest from approximately 1927 to 1990. The photographs primarily depict the Hoover Dam's construction, Las Vegas, and Boulder City during the 1930s and 1940s.
Subjects the photographs cover include the Colorado River, Black Canyon, Boulder Canyon, Lake Mead, theaters, schools, hotels and casinos, sporting events, the Las Vegas Mormon Fort, and aerial photographs primarily of Boulder City. The bulk of the architectural drawings and maps are projects and diagrams related to the planning and development of Boulder City between 1943 and 1985. There are also drawings from Las Vegas, locations throughout Southern Nevada including Lake Mead, and California. Drawing types include master site plans and zoning maps for Boulder City and its subdivisions, architectural drawings for residential homes, railroad track maps, and topographic maps.
The collection is open for research.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
Materials are arranged into five series:
Series I. Hoover Dam photographs, approximately 1928-1961;
Series II. Las Vegas, Nevada photographs, approximately 1927-1982;
Series III. Boulder City, Nevada photographs, approximately 1930-1990;
Series IV. Various locations in the American Southwest photographs, 1939-1980;
Series V. Architectural drawings and maps, 1943-1985.
Biographical / Historical Note
Newspaper editor, educator, and historian Elton M. Garrett was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1902. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington in 1927. In 1929, he left his job at the Seattle Post Intelligencer and moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to work as the editor of the Las Vegas Age. He started work at the Boulder City Journal in Boulder City, Nevada in 1931. In 1933, he also took on the job of vice-principal for the Boulder City Public Schools. From 1938 to 1942 he served as principal for the Boulder City Public Schools. He would later work at Boulder City News as news editor. He married Madelaine E. Garrett in 1944.
In 1944, Elton Garrett lobbied for the establishment of a University of Nevada branch in Clark County, and from 1955 to 1959, he helped spearhead legislation establishing Nevada Southern University (later known as the University of Nevada, Las Vegas). In 1975, he helped establish the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada as a research campus of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
As an avid local historian, Elton Garrett collected memorabilia and photographs of Southern Nevada and the Hoover (Boulder) Dam construction project. He donated part of his collection to the Boulder City Museum and Historical Association. Elton Garrett also served in several organizations in the Boulder City community, including the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Clark County Service Federation, Clark County Democratic Convention, Nevada Convention Committee, and the Clark County Legislative Council. He also served as the United States Commissioner for the Lake Mead Recreational Area near Boulder City. In 1976, he was nominated for the Distinguished Nevadan of the Year Award.
Elton Garrett died on April 19, 1992.
Madelaine Elwell Garrett was born August 6, 1909 in South Dakota. She moved to Boulder City in 1942 to work as a high school English teacher. She left teaching after marrying Elton Garrett, but later returned to the classroom, eventually teaching for twenty-seven years. She became the director of her school's marching band, dance band, orchestra, their Boys and Girls Glee Clubs, and the madrigal singers, while also working part-time giving piano lessons in her home. In the early 1940s, she helped start the Boulder City Little Theater where she wrote songs and performed in plays. Madelaine E. Garrett also established a scholarship for music students to attend annual summer camps. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, the woman's branch of the Masons.
Madelaine E. Garrett died on November 20, 2001.
The Elton and Madelaine Garrett Junior High School in Boulder City was named in honor of Elton and Madelaine Garrett.
"Elton Garrett." Hall of Fame. Nevada Press Association. 2019. Accessed August 12, 2019. https://nevadapress.com/about-us/hall-of-fame/elton-garrett.
Libby, Jeffery. "Pioneer music teacher Garrett dies."
Elton and Madelaine Garrett Photograph and Architectural Drawing Collection, approximately 1927-1990. PH-00265. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in 1991 and 1993 by Madelaine and Elton Garrett; accession numbers 1991-9, 1991-10, 1993-7, 1993-40, and 1993-43.
Materials were processed by Special Collections staff. In 2016, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Lindsay Oden wrote the collection description in compliance with current professional standards. In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Jimmy Chang housed and arranged architectural drawings and maps, and revised the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards.