Las Vegas Was Once “Los Vegas”
Posted by Las Vegas
at May 16th
As we were browsing through one of our favorite local magazines recently, Las Vegas Weekly, we caught a great Q&A with Brian “Paco” Alvarez. He’s the curator of the Las Vegas News Bureau Photo and Film Archives, as well as being a fanatic about Las Vegas history.
In the article, he mentions that at one time, for about 10 years, Las Vegas was called “Los Vegas.” Who knew?
This blog is not an expert in Spanish, but that doesn’t sound right.
Alvarez writes, “At the time that the railroad had arrived in Southern Nevada, Las Vegas was known as ‘LOS’ Vegas at the local post office. Apparently in the late 19th century the Postmaster General of the United States changed the name of the Las Vegas Rancho to Los Vegas, spelled with an “o,” because of concerns regarding confusion with Las Vegas New Mexico. On December 31, 1903 the name ‘Los’ Vegas was officially changed back to ‘Las’ Vegas, in a deliberate move to fix a glaring mistake.”
We found more great information in Alvarez’s Las Vegas Arts & Culture blog. Yes, Las Vegas has arts and culture, and we resent your question. Which you didn’t actually ask. Probably.
Get more scoop about Las Vegas history at the UNLV Special Collections site, whence the above image originally came.