Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States in maximum water capacity. It is on the Colorado River about from the Las Vegas Strip southeast of the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the states of Nevada and Arizona. Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is long when the lake is full, has of shoreline, is at greatest depth, with a surface elevation of above sea level, and has of surface, and when filled to capacity, of water. However, the lake has not reached full capacity since 1983 due to a combination of drought and increased water demand.HistoryThe lake was named after Elwood Mead (January 16, 1858 – January 26, 1936), who was the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1924 to 1936 during the planning and construction of the Boulder Canyon Project that created the dam and lake. Lake Mead was established as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area in 1936, administrated by the National Park Service. The name was changed to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1964, and Lake Mohave and the Shivwits Plateau were added to its jurisdiction. Both lakes and the surrounding area offer year-round recreation options.The accumulated water from Hoover Dam forced the evacuation of several communities, most notably St. Thomas, Nevada, whose last resident left the town in 1938. The ruins of St. Thomas are sometimes visible when the water level in Lake Mead drops below normal. Lake Mead also covered the sites of the Colorado River landings of Callville and Rioville and the river crossing of Bonelli's Ferry.