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Located a few miles off I-15, Bunkerville has escaped the traffic and tourists that its neighbor, Mesquite, has attracted as a border town. Bunkerville, with a population of about 1,000, retains the atmosphere of its early agricultural days when it was settled in 1877 by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from St. George, Utah. Typical of Mormon settlers, the founders of Bunkerville, under the leadership of Edward Bunker, Sr., carefully planned their community. The location on Mesquite Flats along the Virgin River ensured a ready water supply.

Initially land was held in common under the “United Order.” This Mormon system obligated settlers to work together to cultivate the land and construct irrigation ditches from the Virgin River to the fields. The church sent people with a variety of skills to facilitate the settlement process, including farmers, builders, blacksmiths, and teachers. The town was laid out on a grid, with large blocks and large lots and farmland surrounding the town. After three years, the United Order was dissolved, but it had ensured the early success of the community. Some early buildings remain, but trailers and mobile homes appear to be the most popular housing in Bunkerville today.

Writing Credits

Julie Nicoletta

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