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Nevada State Museum Acquires Commemorative Lamp

A special commemorative lamp given to Wright L. Felt, then Director of the Public Works Administration for Nevada by the Lincoln County Power District No. 1 for his assistant in getting the first state power line from Hoover (Boulder) Dam to Pioche, Nevada in 1937 is being donated by his family to the museum. His and son and daughter will be at the Nevada State Museum on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 1:15 to make the donation to the Nevada State Museum of the commemorative lamp given to their father by the Lincoln County Power District No. 1 on September 25, 1937.

Felt directed the government’s assistance to Nevada for the construction of the first line delivering electrical power from the newly completed dam. That line, to Pioche, Nevada served as a kind of model for the succeeding ones, and it cost $ 900,000 to complete. The PWA under Felt’s direction provided about a third of that money as an outright gift and another third as a long-term loan. The line to Pioche, Nevada, some 155 miles north of the dam, was built in 1937.

He also made a radio address over station KOH in Reno, on January 14, 1937, describing the role of the PWA in supporting the first of the several electrical power lines to be constructed from Hoover Dam. The furnishing of electrical power was one of the main purposed of the dam, and this first power line served as a template followed by subsequent lines. The lamp was given to Mr. Felts by Lincoln County Power District No. 1 officials at a special celebration commemorating the completion of the power line held in Pioche on September 25, 1937.

The Lincoln County Power District No. 1 (LCPD) is still serving customers in the area by providing reliable electric service to their customers at the lowest possible cost for over 70 years.

His son, James Wright Felt, who is a Jesuit priest and professor emeritus of philosophy at Santa Clara University in California, and his daughter, John Marie Ashley, who lives in the southwest. Joan has a nine year motion picture career under the name Joan Carroll, culminating in the movie The Bells of St. Mary’s with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. At the age of nine she also had the marquee child lead in the 1940 – 1941 Broadway musical, Panama Hattie with Ethel Merman.

Bob Nylen, curator of history at the museum, will give a short program on the history of the Boulder Dam- Pioche Power Line after the donation is made to the state.

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