Bid by Nov. 1 in online auction to preserve Nevada archaeological treasures

OVERTON, Nevada — Less than two weeks remain for an online auction raising money to build an onsite museum object storage building at Lost City Museum in Overton, Nevada. Visit to bid in the Hot & Dusty Fine Art Invitational Auction before Nov. 1, 2021, at 8 p.m.

A new museum object storage facility is crucial to keep Nevada’s regional archaeological treasures safe from damage due to changes in temperature, lighting and humidity. Lost City Museum needs the additional storage to preserve the valuable, historical objects in its growing collection. As of Oct. 21, the museum has raised $1,052 toward its $3,000 goal. This initial fund-raising effort would support a project to construct a $2.183 million object storage facility.

“We are running out of room,” Lost City Museum Director Mary Beth Timm said, “and in a good way.”

The museum has received many donated artifacts, but they need to be properly stored. Among Lost City’s collection:

  • Artifacts from the ghost town of St. Thomas, Nevada. This city was flooded in 1938 when Lake Mead’s waters rose northward on the Colorado River to the Muddy and Virgin River basins. Some descendants of St. Thomas residents now live in Overton, Nevada.
  • Native American basketry from the turn of the 20th These baskets are attributed to the Nuwu (Southern Paiute bands and tribes). Other baskets in storage are from the Ute, Navajo, and Hopi tribes. Basketry is sensitive to temperature, humidity, and light fluctuations.
  • Artifacts from archaeological recoveries in the Moapa Valley. Archaeologists use recovered artifacts to make educated guesses about when different areas were inhabited. They have paired stone tools, rock writings (petroglyphs), animal bones, and plant materials to create a narrative of occupation. These science-based stories are on exhibit at the museum.

People interested in supporting the effort to preserve Nevada’s past can bid on more than 50 auction items. Those include:

  • Exclusive experiences at the Lost City Museum. Three workshops with museum staff for up to six people are being auctioned.
  • Admission vouchers for Las Vegas museums (Mob Museum, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Barrick Museum of Art, and Atomic Testing Museum)
  • Four entry tickets to Lost Games’ Asylum escape room.
  • Artwork donated by participants in the museum’s Hot & Dusty Invitational show in August. That includes work by Janet Trobough, Tammy Nielsen-Symons, Ken Kaylor, Lynn Rigoni, Gig Depio, and Q’Shaundra James.
  • Airplane ephemera from the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum
  • Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument swag
  • Native American jewelry and pottery
  • A signed bighorn sheep print

The Lost City Museum, 721 S. Moapa Blvd. in Overton, is about 60 miles from Las Vegas. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5, free for children ages 17 and younger and museum members.

EDITORS: For images of the artwork and the Lost City Museum, click here.


The Lost City Museum actively engages people in understanding and celebrating Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. It is one of seven state museums managed by the Nevada Division of Museums and History, and agency of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.