Learn about Mesquite's History
They say that the third time is a charm. That’s just the way it was for the proud families who fought to create a life for themselves in a place called Mesquite Flats. Between 1878 and 1882 fifteen families and a total of seventy-one people had moved to Mesquite and were successfully farming the area. The lifeblood of this high desert community was the Virgin River. However, a heavy rainstorm at any time of the year can turn the Virgin River into a raging torrent. Those first settlers found this out in June of 1882 when six miles of irrigation canals were broken in fifty different places by torrents of the afternoon thunderstorms. For a community dependent on this canal, it was a devastating loss. Work began immediately to repair the damage but it was not long until the river had forced everyone out.
In 1887, Dudley Leavitt with his wives and children tried to settle Mesquite Flats again. After a four-year struggle against the elements they, too, were forced to leave. Finally, in 1894, hearty pioneers attempted a third time to tame Mesquite Flats. Six young families from Bunkerville rebuilt the canal and established themselves permanently along the bank of the Virgin River. In 1898, the town changed its name from Mesquite Flats to Mesquite.
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