Callville (Bay)
* Actual townsite beneath Lake Mead (1,099') *

Callville was situated on the west bank of the Colorado River in what was at the time Pah-Ute County, Arizona Territory. The main road to the settlement began along the Virgin River close to St. Thomas before heading over hills connecting Callville with the main highway at Las Vegas. The construction of the Hoover Dam brought an end to Callville by completely submerging the town beneath the waters of Lake Mead, but Callville Bay retains its name and memory.

Enter: Nevada's Only Port City
Callville was the southernmost outpost of St. Thomas and established by Anson Call on December 2, 1864 by Anson Call. The settlement was originally made for ...

"... The agent Trustee in Trust (the President) of the Church in December, 1864, according to a plan conceived to bring the Church immigration from Europe to Utah via Panama, the Gulf of California and up the river to this landing."

On November 1, 1864 Call was directed to put together a suitable company, find a road to the Colorado River, explore it, locate a suitable locale for a warehouse, build it, and create a settlement by the landing. In order to accomplish this he employed three men in St. George where they would leave the mouth of the Muddy River and travel down the Virgin River to Echo Wash for twelve miles before heading southwestward another twenty miles to the Colorado River. to approximately "one mile below the mouth of the narrows of Boulder Canyon and above the mouth of Black Canyon." Here, above the high water mark they located a black rocky point which was considered a suitable spot for the warehouse, located just below the confluence of Callville Wash with the Colorado River.

"Take a suitable company, locate a road to the Colorado, explore the river, find a suitable place for a warehouse, build it, and form a settlement at or near the landing." (Brigham Young instructing Anson Call, 1864

During the Civil War in the 1860s, Callville was an Army garrison and landing point for Colorado River steamboats from the Gulf of Mexico in 1865. Immediately after, Congress realigned the states of Arizona and Nevada, which incorporated Callville into the state of Nevada. From 1867-69, Octavius Decatur Gass was Callville's postmaster before it was deemed "too far up the Colorado for steamboat navigation." The Deseret News noted that the port of Callville was abandoned in June of that year. The news story was in connection with the escape of horse thieves who used four large doors from the abandoned settlement's warehouse as a raft. The storehouse was still noted as standing in 1892.

Today the site of Callville lies submerged under 400 feet of water after the Colorado River was dammed to form Lake Mead. In the 1970s, the hefty resort community and recreation area of Callville Bay was created near the present site of Callville and hosts tons of visitors every year to Mead's cool blue waters. In low water years, the town of Callville does appear above receding water lines and visitors can still visit the old town by hiking an easy half-mile mile trail from the resort. In fact, the National Park Service does a fantastic job in remembering Nevada's only port city in the form of interpretive signs from the resort and Northshore Road and the resort. Keep in mind that Callville is located within Lake Mead NRA and a day-use entrance fee is required to visit any and all sites within the park. Have a great trip!


Status: Unincorporated Town
Population: 1,163 (2012)
Founded: December 2, 1864
Zip Code: 89124

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How to Get Here:
- Callville Bay is a former ghost town site, now a resort community on the Callville Arm of Lake Mead just east of Henderson.