Methodist Church In McGill
By Keith Gibson
The first houses in McGill were built for the big bosses in an area that became known as the “circle”. The rest of the work force was to be located in the East Ely area near the Nevada Northern large depot. The workers would be able to own their homes and be near several stores for their shopping needs.
They would be able to ride shift trains to work. Several books written about those early days, state that the corporate management felt that the workers should not be housed close to the smoke of the copper plant. That is a strange notion, to me, as their own houses were built next door to the smelter. The area close to the East Ely depot was quickly surveyed into housing lots that were offered for sale. At the same time another plot of ground, just south of McGill, called Smelterville, was being developed into a housing and commercial enterprise. Also, north of McGill two other places sprouted.
These were Ragtwon and Steptoe City. Saloons and red light districts flourished. The work force at that time was mostly single men and soon they were tardy and missing shifts. The management decided it would be better to build housing for the workers.
Forming a community on company property would allow the management to control the situation. Soon Smelterville and Ragtown dried up. The company had plenty of single men’s dorms and started building family homes in “townsite” on A and B Rows. They also recognized the spiritual needs that were necessary for a growing town. One of the first churches that I could find a photo of, was the United Methodist Church on 1st street. I think it was located just one house south of the top of G avenue on the east side of 1st street.