University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Walter R. Bracken letter to E. E. Calvin regarding club for railroad employees

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Las Vegas, Nevada, February 2, 1923.Mr. E. E. Calvin, Vice-President,Union Pacific System, Omaha, Nebraska.Dear Sir:Referring to our conversation when you were passing through Las Vegas a few day ago, in reference to the erection of a club house, or welfare building, here; I thought it might not be out of the wayfor me to send you the plans, which were tentative pencil sketches made in 1913 for a similar structure and were at that time estimated to cost about $30,000.00.In considering plans for the new club building, it occurs to me that if the project follows along the lines of routine that may have grown out of the establishment of similar buildings in other places on the Union Pacific Lines, that the structure thus resulting may not be exactly what we want here in Las Vegas on account of the climatic conditions, as the climate in the summertime is intensely hot. Many people resident here who follow their own pursuits, do not make any pretence of working very much during the middle of the day while the summer season is on, but it is necessary that the railroad employee work continuously at their respective occupations irrespective of weather conditions and, for this reason, it seems to me that a swimming pool should be incorporated into the plans of any building that is to be built here and, aside from the extremely hot weather and the attraction that such a pool would be for bringing men to the building where other work of social nature is in progress, it would be very beneficial.As I have always understood it, the primary object of such a building is to provide facilities for encouraging social relationship between the employes to such an extent as to make the ordinary night life and gambling, with its more or less demoralizing influences, less attractive.First: gambling is a legalized profession in Nevada and the gambliag halls operating here spare no expense in their efforts to en-tice men to their games and it is necessary that any program offered to the men as a substitute must be a very complete and interesting one if it is to be successful. The gambling craze, or curse, is far more dangerous to us than either the social evil or rum shops. Men directly from their rum or labors are enticed into games and can be found there when called, with little or no rest and in no condition to go out.-------------page 2------------if drunk, they are not called, should they carry a bottle and becomeincapacitated, their work could be cared for by fellow trainmen, but if logey from the loss of sleep resulting from their rest period being spent st the gaming table there is no way of offsetting this dangerous condition and the road suffers the consequences.Second: the red light district existing here is of such size and so conveniently located, immediately adjacent to the business district, that it presents a greater menace than that usually found in a town of this size. The considerations that I have given to meas-ures for offsetting the lure of the red light district lead me to the conclusion that it can only be brought about by providing such facil-ities as would provide entertainment for both sexes. Chief among these would be an assembly hall in the building of liberal dimensions where dances and other entertainments could be held. In my opinion, this room should be large enough so that the attendance at these functions would not be limited to employes and their ladies, but would be adequate to any reasonable demand that might be made upon it when considered from a community standpoint; thus enabling the employes to extend in-vitations to the towns people and bring about a broader and more whole-some relationship.In 1913, when the question of the welfare building was being considered, the tentative pencil sketches herewith enclosed were pre-pared and these ideas were incorporated in them and you will note that ihese plans were on a modest scale aad 1 send them only with the ideathat they will by graphic illustration assist in making plain to you my ideas at this time.After serving your purpose, will you kindly return pencil sketches for my files.Yours very truly,B/HCC--R. H. Beauchamp W. H. ComstockN. A. WilliamsJ. P. Carey A. MaguireWALTER R. BRACKENVICE-PRES. & AGANET



Walter R. Bracken letter to E. E. Calvin regarding club for railroad employees
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97 19--File R29
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Transportation; City & town life;
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Is Part Of,4
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heidi calvin2010-11-09 @ 12:36 PM
My husband is the great-great grandson of EE Calvin and is named for him. This is wonderful. Thank you very much. I'm hoping i can print it out, frame it and give it to him for Christmas. He's now 71 yrs old. thank you again -- heidi calvin
Library Staff2010-11-22 @ 08:22 AM
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