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February 28, 2005


Ed Von Tobel, Jr. tells the story of his father's lumber business - and an account of the 1905 Land auction. He also talks about beating the heat in those early years and struggling with the boom and bust cycles of the early 1900s.

You can download and read transcripts of the entire interviews.

Web Links...

The First 100 Years - Part I: The Early Years

Historical Las Vegas - Builders of Las Vegas

The Von Tobels at their LV Lumber store 1954 Ed Von Tobel Snr, son Jake, son Ed Jnr. Courtesy of UNLV Library: Jacob von Tobel Collection

See discussion rules.


Aug 29, 2005 | MGM Fire part 2
In November 1980, Laura Fielden Spina was a 16-year-old student at Clark High School. Youthful curiosity drew her to the MGM fire where she quickly began work as a volunteer helping to rescue fire victims.

Aug 22, 2005 | MGM Fire part 1
Lark Williams begins the story of the tragic 1980 fire at the MGM Grand which killed 86 people. Lark was running keno on the floor of the MGM early that morning when the smell of smoke began to drift through the casino.

Aug 15, 2005 | Si Redd
The founder of International Game Technology explains how he came to Nevada and revolutionized the slot machine industry.

Aug 1, 2005 | Desert Inn
Wilbur Clark's dream to build a new casino results in a partnership with the mob. From the start, George Foley was a bellman at the DI and tells stories of 'the good old days.'

Jul 25, 2005 | Las Vegas Extravaganzas
Producer Don Arden introduces glamorous showgirls to the Las Vegas Strip. Rick Mitchell tells about how a gay dancer could not only survive but succeed in a homophobic town.

Jul 18, 2005 | Depression Era Stories
Lee Tillman tells the story of 'salting' mines with gold to inflate the property value. And the truth behind how a local restaurant could afford to sell 'all-you-can-eat' meals, including t-bone steak, for just 25-cents.

Jul 11, 2005 | The Gragson Years
Former Las Vegas Mayor Oran Gragson tells about his unlikely election. Senator Richard Bryan talks about the campaign tactics of Gragson's rival. Bob Bailey, tells of how Gragson kept his promises to the black population on the West side of town.

Jul 4, 2005 | The Mob, DI and other stories
New Jersey immigrant, Harry Merenda, talks about his family's Sicilian mob roots, the 'Boys' in Las Vegas and working at the Desert Inn in the early 60s.

Jun 27, 2005 | Showgirls part 2
Two former show girls, Tracy Heberling and Kathy Saxe tell colorful insider stories of what it was like to be a Las Vegas showgirl.

Jun 20, 2005 | Showgirls part 1
Two former show girls, Tracy Heberling and Kathy Saxe tell colorful insider stories of what it was like to be a Las Vegas showgirl.

Jun 13, 2005 | Moulin Rouge
Prominent Las Vegas businessman, Bob Bailey, tells of the short but swingin' life of the Moulin Rouge, billed as the first inter-racial resort in the country.

Jun 6, 2005 | Civil Rights part 2
Dr. James McMillan continues the story of the struggle for Civil Rights in the Mississippi of the West.

May 30, 2005 | Civil Rights part 1
Dr. James McMillan relates the story of the struggle for Civil Rights in the Mississippi of the West.

May 23, 2005 | Howard Hughes part 2
Robert Maheu continues the story of Hughes and his last plane crash that left him hard of hearing, drug addicted and withdrawn, and about Hughes' death at the hands his of incompetent and conniving inner circle.

May 16, 2005 | Howard Hughes part 1
Florence Murphy (North Las Vegas Airport) Peg Crockett (Alamo Airways) and Robert Maheu tell compelling stories about their personal associations with Howard Hughes.

May 9, 2005 | Entertainers
Entertainment director Herb McDonald tells stories about Robert Mitchum's 1948 marijuana bust, dealing with the strong-willed Marlene Dietrich, plus the Rat Pack and the Beatles. Also, Don English of the Las Vegas News Bureau on photographing the Beatles.

May 2, 2005 | Nuclear Tests
The Cold War prompted a desire to 'beat the commies' at any price. Hal Curtis remembers the awesome sight of watching an above-ground nuclear test. Former test site worker Troy Wade reminds us why the nuclear weapons testing program was necessary.

Apr 25, 2005 | Remembering Sin City and Bugsy
Herb McDonald is a well-known entertainment director who tells us how he came to 'sin city' in 1946, and helped promote Vegas as a place to have fun and win. Herb and Peg Crockett talk about their encounters with the infamous ''Bugsy'' Siegel. Former coun

Apr 18, 2005 | World War II
George Von Tobel and Nanyu Tomiyasu talk about the effects of World War II on Las Vegas. Laura Belle Kelch says that after the war community leaders decided to focus on tourism, and Photographer Don English tells us how they did it.

Apr 11, 2005 | Women Make Their Mark
Women who helped to build Las Vegas in the early days - Florence Murphy, who was in on the building of the first airport, Laura Belle Kelch who helped create the first radio station in the valley, and Ruthe Deskin, a pioneer journalist.

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