Las Vegas Sun

December 20, 2014

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A park with quite a story arc

A "divorce ranch" that later became a park and was named after a Nevada state senator convicted of bribery is now on the city's historic register.

The City Council has unanimously approved adding Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, at 9200 Tule Springs Road in the Centennial Hills area.

Lamb, a state senator for 27 years, was convicted in 1983 of accepting a $20,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent. In return, Lamb agreed to set up a state loan for the purchase of a Reno casino. He went to prison for eight months and died in June 2003 at age 87.

Tule Springs is older than incorporated Las Vegas. Named for the growth of tules, or cattails, it was a stagecoach stop between Las Vegas and what was known as the Bullfrog Mining District, about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas on U.S. Highway 95. It was named after a 1904 gold claim in Ryolite, just outside of Beatty, which the prospectors called "Bullfrog."

This is not to be mistaken with Bullfrog County, a county designated by the Nevada State Legislature in 1987 to surround the site of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The county, which has no population, was granted the right to level the maximum property tax rate allowed by the state. This was a way the state tried to eke more money out of the federal government for hosting a nuclear waste dump.

Tule Springs, then owned by Prosper Jacob Goumond, became known as a divorce ranch in the late 1940s. Such ranches became popular after the 1930s, when Nevada made it possible to get a divorce after meeting a residency requirement of six weeks. So divorce ranches became places would-be divorcees would live for six weeks in order to file for a quickie divorce.

The state purchased Tule Springs Park from the city in 1977 and renamed it Floyd Lamb State Park. In 2007, the city bought it back and renamed it Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs.

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