Rag Town Goddess
Frank Crowe Park, Boulder City, Nevada, USA
In the 1920s, there was no Boulder City. There was Rag Town. Row after row of weather-beaten tents pitched in the arid and dusty Nevada desert. And in those tents lived the families, the wives and children of labourers come to the desert to build the Boulder Dam. The work was hard, not least because of the desert’s extreme and unforgiving heat. But this was the time of the Great Depression. There was no choice. You took the work you were lucky enough to find. But if life was hard for the labourers building the 726 feet-high dam, it was hard for their families, too. Not least because of the desert’s extreme and unforgiving heat. Keeping cool in the desert was a struggle. So was keeping clean. There were no support services, no comforts, no shelter but for the raggedly tents they lived in and no one the families could turn to except themselves and each other. It was often so hot, young and old alike would soak their blankets in the nearby Colorado River before bedtime just so they could sleep under them. But despite all of that, the workers and their families were determined to make Rag Town as livable and comfortable as possible. This statue by Las Vegas-based artist Sandra Messina is a tribute to those families, and in particular, those women, who faced their challenges with dignity, and who slowly but surely turned Rag Town into Boulder City. And who turned Rag Town into a home.