National Geographic : 1946 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Senator and Mrs. "Pat" McCarran Visit the Huge Basic Magnesium Plant at Henderson With Mr. F . O . Case, general manager, the veteran Nevada Senator and his wife inspect some of the silver planks, valued at $23,300,000, used as electrical bus bars in the ten big electrolytic buildings of this war-born plant. It used power from Boulder Dam and had a capacity of 112,000,000 pounds of magnesium a year (page 33). As stock piles grew the metal plant closed down. Only chlorine units operate now. Along with St. Thomas vanished the ruins of an ancient Indian settlement and some of the irrigated farmland southeast of Moapa. In years to come Lake Mead will become a novel recreation area, for it affords opportuni ties for swimming, fishing, sailing, and ex ploration by motorboat through .miles of spectacular steep-walled canyons. Hard by lies the Valley of Fire, where flam ing walls and fantastically eroded rocks of red sandstone tower above the valley floor, on which also are scattered petrified trees (Plates VIII and XI). On the face of many of the rocks primitive red men carved strange sym- bols and pictures. Near by, too, is Gypsum Cave, where prehistoric man and giant sloth once had retreat. Drive north toward the lead- and zinc-min ing town of Pioche and you come to Cathedral Gorge. Here is wasteland where man would erect no tall cathedrals or skyscrapers, but erosive forces have fashioned both (Plate VI). In massive cliffs of grayish-tan clays, rain and wind have found a comparatively soft, pli able medium with which to do their sculptur ing. The walls hemming a narrow valley have been hewn into castles, domed shrines, pinna cles, and columned recesses beyond count.