on U.S. Highway 93, thirty miles south of Alamo, Nevada
The 37th degree north latitude is marked at this point as the dividing line between the territories of Utah and New Mexico under the provisions of the Compromise of 1850 which originally organized the land ceded by Mexico in 1848.
When the territory of Nevada was carved from western Utah in 1861, this line became the southern boundary of the new territory and continued to serve as such when the territory and state were enlarged by extensions to the east in 1862 and 1866 respectively.
In 1867, the Nevada legislature approved the action of Congress to add that portion of the territory of Arizona which lay to the south of this line, west of the 114 west longitude and the Colorado River, and to the east of the boundary of California. This action, taken on January 18, 1867, gave the state of Nevada the permanent boundaries as they are today.
on U.S. Highway 93 in Caliente, Nevada
Caliente was first settled as a ranch, furnishing hay for the mining camps of Pioche and Delmar. In 1901, the famous Harriman-Clark right-of-way battle was ended when rancher Charles Culverwell, with the aid of a broad-gauge shotgun, allowed one railroad grade to be built through his lush meadows. Harriman and Clark had been battling eleven years building side-by-side grades, ignoring court orders and federal marshals.
The population boom began with an influx of railroad workers, most of them immigrants from Austria, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. A tent city was settled in August 1903.
With the completion of the Los Angeles, San Pedro, and Salt Lake Railroad in 1905, Caliente became a division point. In 1906-07, the Caliente and Pioche Railroad (now the Union Pacific) was built between Pioche and the main line at Caliente. The large Mission revived style depot was built in 1923, serving as a civic center, as well as a hotel.
on U.S. Highway 93, twenty miles south of Ely
The ghost town of Ward, in the foothills of the Egan Range, lies some eight miles west of here. Booming from 1876 until 1882, with a peak population of 1,500, Ward was somewhat of a lawless mining camp. Early killings did occur, but justice was meted out by the vigilante committee and the hanging rope.
A million dollars worth of silver was taken from a single chamber of the Ward mine, yet an abandoned house was used for the first school and no movement was ever started to build a church.
The town was abandoned by the late 1880s, but new discoveries and better mining methods prompted a resurgence of activity in 1906 and again in the 1960s.
at the junction of U.S. Highway 93 and State Route 2, thirty-nine miles north of Ely
Schellbourne, in the foothills of the Schell Creek Range, was a Shoshone village site long before it began its more recent career in 1859. Captain James Simpson passed through the area, looking for a short route across the Great Basin. That same year an overland stage and mail station was built at Shellbourne. In 1860, the Pony Express company used the same facilities, and when the telegraph arrived in 1863, it passed over this same route.
During the rush to the Virginia City mines in 1859 and 1860, it became necessary for the army to send troops to this point to protect participants in the resulting western pilgrimage.
Silver ore was discovered in the mountains immediately to the east of Schellbourne in the early 1870s, and it became part of the Aurum Mining District in 1871. An active mining camp developed with a population of over 500 people. By 1885, the ore had been mostly depleted and the camp abandoned. The district and adjacent valley were then acquired by “Uncle Billy” Burke as a ranch. Schellbourne was subsequently operated as the headquarters for various ranches since that time.
on State Route 319 at Panaca Firehouse
Southern Nevada’s first permanent settlement was settled as a Mormon colony by Francis C. Lee and others in 1864. Poor in resources, but rich in people, Panaca has changed little through the years. Although mining at nearby Bullionville and Pioche has had its effect, Panaca remains an agricultural community.
The post office was established in 1867, moved to Bullionville in 1874, and returned in 1879. During the 1870s coke ovens produced charcoal here for the smelters at Bullionville.
Originally located in Washington County, Utah, Panaca became part of Nevada by an act of Congress, dated May 5, 1866. As the boundary was not then surveyed, a dispute arose over taxes levied by Lincoln County, Nevada. The matter settled in favor of the Panaca citizenry on December 4, 1871, after a long period of bitter litigation.
on U.S. Highway 93 at Alamo Junction
“The rolling stones of Pahranagat,” a hoax article on magnetic currents written in 1862 by Dan De Quille of the Territorial Enterprise made this valley world famous. Three local springs fill its lakes and irrigate its fields.
The Crystal Spring area, used as a watering spot and campsite, was a principal stopover on the Mormon trail alternate route. In the late 1850s, this area was a haven for outlaws who pastured hundreds of head of stolen cattle in its meadows. Although named as the provisional county seat in 1866, no significant town was built here.
Ore was discovered in 1865 on Mount Irish, and Logan City sprang briefly into existence. A stamp mill was established at Hiko in 1866 to crush the ore, and it became the center of activity for the valley when it became the county seat in 1867. It was the largest community in Lincoln County until local mining declined and Pioche claimed the county seat in 1871.
Alamo, established in 1900 is the valley’s largest present-day settlement. The area now includes several ranches and the Pahranagat Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
on U.S. Highway 50 west of Ely
The famed open-pit copper mines of eastern Nevada, including the Liberty Pit, largest in the state, are located two miles south of this point. Through the first half of the twentieth century, this area produced nearly a billion dollars in copper, gold, and silver. The huge mounds visible from here are waste rock, which was removed to uncover the ore.
Two miles east of here, near Lane City, was the Elijah, the first mine discovered in the Robinson Mining District. Lane City, originally called Mineral City, was settled in 1869 and had a population of 400. At Mineral City was the Ragsdale Station, one hotel, and a stage station.
on U.S. Highway 95 near Nelson, Nevada
HEAD OF STEAMBOAT NAVIGATION IN NEVADA
Eldorado Canyon, the site of a mining boom, runs east from here to the Colorado River. Prospectors began digging for gold and silver here about 1859, forming the Colorado Mining District. The three largest mines, the Techatticup, Wall Street, and El Dorado Rand Group, yielded over $6,000,000.
This portion of the Colorado River was navigable before the construction of Hoover Dam, allowing steamboats and barges to freight goods 350 miles from the Gulf of California to the mouth of Eldorado Canyon and upriver. The steamboat era peaked in the 1860s but continued to the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1867, the US. Army established an outpost at Eldorado Canyon to secure the riverboat freight and to protect miners in the canyon from Native Americans. The military abandoned the camp in 1869. In the 1870s the mines flourished again, producing ore until World War II.
on U.S. Highway 93 Alternate in Pioche, Nevada
Silver ore was discovered in this range of mountains in 1864, but no important development took place until 1869 when mines were opened and the town of Pioche was founded. Pioche soon became the scene of a wild rush of prospectors and fortune seekers. It gained a reputation in the 1870s for tough gunmen and bitter lawsuits. Miners had retrieved over five million dollars in ore by 1872, but by 1900, Pioche was nearly a ghost town.
Designated as the seat of Lincoln County in 1871, Pioche survived hard times as a supply and government center for a vast area. Beginning in 1937, Pioche enjoyed two decades of profitable lead-zinc mining.