Drought Reveals a Town Submerged for Nearly 80 Years

Hannah Keyser

When the Hoover Dam was completed in 1938, it corralled the raging waters of the Colorado River into Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the country. In doing so, it drowned what was once St. Thomas, Nevada. Founded in 1865, the small Mormon settlement was purchased by the Federal government for half a million dollars and evacuated before the reservoir drowned the abandoned buildings.

But for the first time in nearly 80 years, as the drought out West drags on, St. Thomas is once again on dry land. The receding water levels have revealed the town's ruins, long submerged under some 60 feet of water.

Getty Images recently unveiled a photo series focused on what is left of St. Thomas:

These bits of rusted metal were part of a crumbling wall that what was once part of Hanning Ice Cream Parlor.

Tree stumps once served as boundary markers for the town.

This image showcases a 1911 carving from a St. Thomas cistern.

If you're looking to get up close and personal with the abandoned town, the National Park Service has opened up a pathway from a parking area down to the ruins.

All photos courtesy Getty.