The History of Las Vegas make interesting reading. It can be seen as a rags to riches transformation from an oasis to mega gambling destination.
The Early History of Las Vegas
This photo of Las Vegas was taken in 1906, the year after the rail road came to Las Vegas in 1905. Prior to that there had been some early Mormon settlements and even earlier it was used as a staging post for merchants trading between California an Mexico. Whilst it is in the Mojave desert it is an oasis otherwise there would never have been any settlement of any kind. Las Vegas translates from Spanish as “the meadows”.