Exhibitions & Events



Lost Prairie Valley

Planetary Bayou

Field Guide to Environmental Crime: Houston and the Oil Coast

Dead Zones

Extinction Simulation Landscapes

Lunar Mosaics

MacDowell Trilogy

Humans Lived Here Once

Whole Life Academy

Comfort in Hydrology

Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys

Water Castle

Radio Aporee Sound Map

Midstream at Twilight



Forest Threnody

Big Hill Petro-glyphs

Current State

Points of Presence

Brandenburg Series

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Sonic Boom Archive

Johnston Island Saturday Night

Suspension of Disbelief

Quantum Danube


Culpeper Media Bunker

A Doubting World

“... the floors of silent seas”

Background Listening Post

Regional Spatialities

Dark Places

Ultimate High Ground

American Oil Vol. I

Kleine Stücke von Berlin


Playas Townsite

Shepard Inversion Ghost


Shock + Awe

Gloom & Doom / Tactile Air

Routes of Least


Weather Radio

Site: Nonsite: Quartzsite

The Mountain Radio Project

Ballarat: Beneath Sentinel

CLUI Projects

Networked Nation


Urban Crude

CLUI Touchscreen

Texas Oil

Wendover, U.S.A.

CLUI Exhibit Posters

Pavement Paradise

Vacation: Dauphin

Dissipation & Disintegration

Terminal Island

Immersed Remains

Diversions & Dislocations

Emergency State

Loop Feedback Loop

A View into the Pipe

Ground Up

Nellis Range - Revisited

West Coast Points

The Best Dead Mall


Antarctic 1

One Wilshire

Alternate Routes

Proximity Issue

Back to the Bay

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© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell

Immersed Remains: Towns Submerged in America

In collaboration with the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

Over the past century, hundreds of towns have been drowned in the nation, primarily for reservoir construction. Collectively, these lost places offer an alternate version of the history of America. An exhibit at CLUI Los Angeles from January 21 through March 27, 2005 explored the phenomenon of these intentionally submerged communities. 

St. Thomas, Nevada (picured above and below) Draught and Drought
Like most of the early settlements in the desert southwest, St. Thomas was established in an area of available water, in this case the comparatively lush Moapa Valley, fifty miles northeast of where Las Vegas is now. The town started as a Mormon outpost in 1865, and was later part of a chain of agricultural communities in the valley following the Muddy River, including Moapa, Logandale, and Overton, that were otherwise surrounded by arid desert. St. Thomas had a peak population of around 500 people, and for a while was known for producing cantaloupes and asparagus. A railway spur served the valley, and US 91, the main highway to Los Angeles before Interstate 15, went through town, making it a stop for motorists. In 1938, however, as Lake Mead crept northward, filling in behind the Boulder Dam, St. Thomas, located at a lower elevation at the southern end of the valley, was flooded. At the moment, due to regional drought conditions, portions of forty buildings are visible at the exposed remains of St. Thomas, including the old school and the Hannig Ice Cream parlor. Also visible is the foundation of the Gentry Hotel, where former president Herbert Hoover stayed in 1932, while inspecting the nearby construction project he had helped to create. The Boulder Dam, which flooded the town, was later renamed in his honor. (from the Spring 2005 CLUI LOTL newsletter article)