Today I traveled to the northeast part of Vegas – sort of between the real world Fremont /Freeside and Nellis Air Force Base. The airplanes at Nellis were especially active today, and by active I mean loud. It looked like there was some sort of event going on there, which may have resulted in the extra repetitive startling sounds that I still have not gotten used to. I then spent the rest of the day obsessing about Helen J. Wiser Stewart, the First Lady of Las Vegas, as evidenced below.
# 31 / 394-396 – Crimson Caravan Company / guard barracks / barracks / office
# 24 – H&H Tools Factory
# 33 – Mole rat ranch
# 31 – Crimson Caravan camp / Company – In our world, a location does not share the same name as the Crimson Caravan. However geographically, there exists a location called Broadacres Marketplace, which is a sprawling flea market with a vast array of tented vendors, crafts, food, animals, and live music. The marketplace covers over 44 acres of land and features an overarching theme of celebrating Mexican and Mexican-American culture. It is a very fun place – open on the weekends with an admission of around $1.
Locations included within are # 394 – caravaneer barracks, # 395 – main office, and # 396 – guard barracks.
# 24 – H&H Tool(s) Factory – This location is based on the real world Hughes Tool Company, namesake being the founder Howard R. Hughes Sr., the father of Howard Robard Hughes Jr., of whom the character Robert House is based. Although in the real world, most Hughes Tool Company locations were based in Texas. Most interestingly, the logo created for the in-game H&H Tools Factory shows a striking resemblance to the real world Hughes Tool Company logo.
# 33 – Mole rat ranch – As there are no mole rats in the real world, I subsequently did not find a Mole Rat Ranch. However, after an exhaustive search, I did find two locations of interest. The first is similar in namesake and approximate location, the Kiel Ranch. The Kiel Ranch is located in about the same location and has a large fence surrounding it, similar to the location in-game. This was exciting for me to find today because yesterday I was on a plaque-reading-spree and learned all about the First Lady of Las Vegas, Helen J. Wiser Stewart, when I was at the Old Mormon Fort. Today without knowing the two locations were related, I was able to take more pictures of plaques and read them later in the air conditioning to learn more about the story. (tldr: Helen’s spirit lives on in Fallout New Vegas as a murderous brahmin with a taste for blood)
The Kiel (or Kyle) Ranch is located about 1.75 miles from the Stewart Ranch, and the current day Old Mormon Fort. The Kiel Ranch was the Stewarts’ closest neighbors – residents including father Conrad Kiel and two adult sons, Edwin and William Kiel. In 1884, Helen’s husband, Archibald Stewart, walked to the Kiel Ranch to confront a hired hand, Schuyler Henry, who owed him a sum of money. Unfortunately, Henry shot and killed Archibald, leaving his wife to run the farm with five children (she was pregnant at the time of Archibald’s death). The elder Kiel informed Helen of her husbands death by writing a rude note and sending it with a farm hand that read, “Mrs. Stewart send a team and take Mr. Stewart away he is dead. C. Kiel.” But Helen carried on, going herself to retrieve her husband’s body, building Archibald’s coffin with wood from their back door, raising her five children alone, and becoming an incredible badass.
The violent plot thickened at the turn of the century. Helen was always justifiably pissed that her husband was murdered. Her relationship with the Kiels was strained because she blamed Conrad Kiel and outlaw Hank Parrish for luring Archibald to the Kiel Ranch intentionally to have him killed. It was presumably a moot point, because the senior Kiel died in 1894 under questionable circumstances and Parrish died under very clear circumstances in 1890, being hung for someone else’s murder in Ely, Nevada.
But wait – six years later, both Kiel sons were found shot to death on the Kiel Ranch. Strangely enough, the two men who found the bodies were Stewart’s son, William, and her hired hand Frank. And then she ended up marrying Frank.
The coroner ruled the Kiels’ deaths a murder-suicide, sparking a controversy that would take three-quarters of this century to resolve. Helen passed away in 1926, being so beloved that the city of Las Vegas literally shut down on the day of her funeral.
AND THEN, about 50 years later, UNLV forensic anthropologists exhumed the bones of Edwin and William Kiel. After careful examination, the findings were that their deaths were a double murder, not a murder-suicide.
DID HELEN KILL ALL THOSE PEOPLE? Is the spirit of Helen symbolized by this hard-working and majestic brahmin, killing the mole rats who respawn over and over and over again at this ranch?! I guess we will never know for sure. Also all my friends are really tired of me talking about Helen J. Wiser Stewart, but it does not dissuade me.
Addendum: I was so wrapped up in this nonsense that I forgot to include the information about the second location, Rancho High School. This is only similar in name and location, and I would not have brought it up except for the fact that it is one of the locations that had a real life fallout shelter, as evidenced by the list. It was Saturday and summer when I went here, so no one was around, but I really want to ask someone about it next time.