Culture

The past is always present at Clark County Museum’s Heritage Street

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The good life: On Heritage Street, old Vegas comes to life.
Photo: Kristen Peterson

Mr. Goumand sat on the sofa, loosened his tie and sipped a martini. The commotion outside was the usual noise — a group of kids screaming idioms of the future, running in the street and visiting the neighbors, their parents trailing behind.

Heritage Street

A copy of Collier’s sat unopened on his coffee table. The cover illustration, of President Eisenhower laughing, seemed counter to his mood.

Though Goumand’s TV was the only one on the block, he didn’t turn it on. Any moment, the children would run into his English Tudor house, stare at him behind the Plexiglas and wonder what he was doing, talk about him and read the wall texts in the other room.

The visits are intermittent but daily at the Clark County Museum’s Heritage Street, where homes of the past speak to the present through their décor and where stories of early residents and businesses are told through mannequins, furnishings and old newspaper clippings. Goumand’s house, built in 1931 and once located on South Seventh Street, was decked out in ’50s style and much more swank than the Townsite home across the street. Often, the ’59 ’Lark in the driveway lured the visitors.

Details

Clark County Museum
1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, $1.50. 455-7955.

Goumand had style, according to his home. He’d opened the Boulder Club with a few partners and was a Las Vegas notable; he died in 1954. His neighbors on Heritage Street, the Beckleys, owned a clothing store in the early 1900s. Their home is as it was on Fourth Street, the front porch welcoming.

Every stop here is worth it for those traipsing the past — learning about such details of life as victory gardens, the cost of jelly way back when, the area’s auto court motels and Southern Nevada’s role during the war. All of it is presented, eerily lifelike, on Heritage Street, book-ended by the Boulder City Depot and the Candlelight Wedding Chapel.

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