Ida Browder moved to Boulder City in 1931 when it was brand new and very much still developing. She moved to this Dam town with her two children. Ida was an ambitious woman and soon after she moved to Boulder City she received permission from the federal government to build the first permanent commercial building becoming the City's first businesswoman. A few days after Christmas 1931 Browder's Café officially opened its doors serving mostly Dam workers who loved having an alternative to the mess hall down the street.
The café eventually extended all the way down the corner of Ash Street. The entire building is now home to Dam Roast House & Browder Bookstore.
Ida was so much more than the owner of a café. She was truly a mother figure to so many of the young men building the Hoover Dam. She would even hold on to their paychecks for safe keeping so they wouldn't be tempted to blow it all in Vegas! Sadly in 1932 her own son, Marbus died of meningitis.
After her son's death, Ida donated his massive book collection to Boulder City's Schools, founding a memorial library in his name. In time Ida became very involved in local politics. Dr. Elwood Mead, Lake Mead's namesake, was the Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner and during one of his visits to Boulder, City Ida convinced him to have the Library of Congress donate 3,000 books. These books founded Boulder City's first library!
Ida continued to serve on Boulder City's local school board, she helped create Boulder City High School and was a charter member of the P.T.A. She was also a part of many other service organizations that often meet at her building; including the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, the first Girl Scout troop, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Veterans of Foreign Wars auxiliary, the March of Dimes...just to name a few!
Ida Browder was an incredible woman, to say the least, and it's only fitting our bookstore to be named in her honor!
Check out our Instagram Highlight "A Brief History" to learn more about our building's unique history! @DamRoastHouse