What is this Project?

You can’t make history more interesting than the Walking Box Ranch. Built in 1931 by silent film legend, Clara Bow and her husband, cowboy-film star Rex Bell, the remarkably preserved ranch has the glamour of a Hollywood retreat and the grit of a working ranch. Railroad-tie corals, the original ice house, and a field of rusted farming equipment document the property’s past as place of labor. Lots of labor. Since 2004, the UNLV public history program has worked to preserve and interpret the ranch and its collections. Our many projects have taken a range of forms. Early on, we listed the property on the National Register of Historic Places. In Fall 2010, we wrote condition reports for the collection’s antique Navajo rugs and learned all about “best practices” for rug storage. In the spring of 1919, we began our biggest project yet: the researching and cataloging of more than a thousand objects including personal effects of Clara Bow, Mission furniture that was custom built for the ranch, and oh-so-many ranch tools. This database is a result of our H. 749 and H. 750 classes’ efforts to document the history of the ranch through its material culture. Better yet, this database is all about sharing these objects with the world.