Old Spanish Trail (Garces Expedition)

Old Spanish Trail (Garces Expedition) is a Nevada State Historic Marker Number 140 located in Clark County, Nevada. This marker is one of several which tell the history of the Old Spanish Trail in Nevada.

The Old Spanish Trail is a 700 mile long historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe, New Mexico with those of Los Angeles, California. The trail’s rugged terrain discouraged the use of wagons. It was always a pack route, mainly used by men and mules.

The routes and trails link California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. The Old Spanish Trail consists of a series and different trails and routes some of which are in service today.

Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés O.F.M. (April 12, 1738 – July 18, 1781)
Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés O.F.M. (April 12, 1738 – July 18, 1781)

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost or damaged

Nevada State Historic Marker 140 Text

Seeking to open a land route between the missions of Sonora and California, Fray Francisco Hermenegildo Garcés, OFM, a Franciscan missionary priest and explorer, was the first European to enter the present boundaries of Nevada.  He departed mission San Xavier Del Bac near Tucson in October of 1775, and by late February of 1776, the Spanish Franciscan friar had reached the Mohave villages located just south of this location on the banks of the Colorado river.  Garcés was now traveling in areas never before seen by a non-native American.

Relying on Native American guides, he walked from village to village.  The Mohave agreed to lead him to the pacific coast along a route used for trade purposes.  It was from this general location, on March 4, 1776, accompanied by four natives, that Garcés left the banks of the Colorado and set out across the Mojave Desert; he reached Mission San Gabriel Arcángel 20 days later.  Upon his return, he again visited the Mohave villages in this vicinity in May of 1776.  His route followed a much older prehistoric trail used to bring shells and other trade goods to the tribes of the desert and mountain west.  On July 19, 1781, in a Quechan revolt against Spanish forces, Father Garcés was killed at La Purisima Concepción Mission near the Yuma crossing.  Padre Garcés’ body was later interred in the Franciscan church of the Colegio De La Santa Cruz, Querétaro, Mexico.

“Greater love hath no man than this – that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

                                                         Excerpts from Father Garcés’ diary

“I proceeded three leagues on the course northwest with some turns to the west-northwest.  I observed this locality to be in 35° 01′, and I named it San Pedro De Los Jamajabs.  In this situation and that below there are good mesas for the foundation of missions, and though they are near the river, they are free from inundation”.

      Father Garcés’ Entrance into Nevada (March 3, 1776)

“March 4, on which was made the observation noted on the 3rd day.  I departed, accompanied by three Jamajab Indians and by Sevastian, on a course southwest, and at two leagues and a half arrived at some wells [which I named Pozos De San Casimiro].  There is some grass”.

      Father Garcés’ Departure from Nevada (March 4, 1776)

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER NO.  140
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
SAINT THOMAS MORE SOCIETY OF NEVADA

Nevada State Historic Marker 140 Trail Map

Nevada State Historic Marker 140 Summary

NameOld Spanish Trail (Garces Expedition)
LocationClark County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude35.0975, -114.6495
Nevada Stage Historic Marker140

References

Old Spanish Trail (Journey of the Dead Man)

Old Spanish Trail (Journey of the Dead Man) is a Nevada State Historic Marker Number 139 located in Clark County, Nevada. This marker is one of several which tell the history of the Old Spanish Trail in Nevada.

The Old Spanish Trail is a 700 mile long historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements near Santa Fe, New Mexico with those of Los Angeles, California. The trail’s rugged terrain discouraged the use of wagons. It was always a pack route, mainly used by men and mules.

The routes and trails link California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. The Old Spanish Trail consists of a series and different trails and routes some of which are in service today.

Captain John C. Frémont, explorer first mapped Diamond Valley Nevada
Captain John C. Frémont, explorer first mapped Diamond Valley Nevada

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost or damaged.

Nevada State Historic Marker 139 Text

Early Spanish traders named the fifty-five dry miles separating Las Vegas and the Muddy River the Journada Del Muerto (Journey of The Dead Man).  This longest stretch without water along the Old Spanish Trail was littered with the skeletons of animals and parts of wagons abandoned along the sandy desert.  Most experienced travelers made the trip at night.

John C. Frémont crossed the Journada in 1844 and commented: “We ate the barrel cactus and moistened our mouths with the acid of the sour dock. Hourly expecting to find water, we continued to press on to midnight, when after a hard and uninterrupted march of 16 hours, our wild mules began running ahead; and in a mile or two we came to a bold running stream (the Muddy River).” 

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 139
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE

Nevada State Historic Marker 139 Map

Nevada State Historic Marker Number 139 is located off Interstate 15 north of Las Vegas. The marker is located about 1/4 mile south of the I-15 in Nevada State Route 169.

Nevada State Historic Marker 139 Summary

NameOld Spanish Trail (Journey of the Dead Man)
LocationClark County, Nevada
Nevada State Historic Marker138
Latitude, Longitude36.5010, -114.7605

References


  

Devil’s Gate – Nevada State Historic Marker 223

Devil’s Gate, located in Lyon County, Nevada, is a striking natural landmark renowned for its rugged and otherworldly beauty. The geologic landmark is recognized as Nevada State Historic Marker number 223. Devil’s Gate is an impressive rock formation located along Nevada State Route 342 outside of Silver City, Nevada. The gate to Gold Canyon was carved by the forces of nature over thousands of years.

Devil's Gate near Silver City. This was a toll road on the way to Virginia City.
Devil’s Gate near Silver City. This was a toll road on the way to Virginia City.

Nevada State Historic Marker 223

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost or damaged.

It gives … “a forcible impression of the unhallowed character of the place.” J. Ross Browne . 1860

This rugged reef of metamorphic rock was once one of the famous landmarks of the Nevada Territory.  In June of 1850, John Orr and Nicholas Kelly unearthed a gold nugget nearby, the first ever found in Gold Canyon.  For the next ten years, the can was the scene of placer mining and one of the first stamp mills in the Territory was erected just to the south of Devil’s Gate during the summer of 1860.

During the brief Paiute War of May, 1860, the people of Silver City built a stone battlement atop the eastern summit and constructed a wooden cannon for protection.

Devil’s Gate marks the boundary line between Storey and Lyon Counties.  Through this narrow gorge paraded thousands of the most adventurous souls of the mining West as they made their way to the gold and silver mines of the Comstock Lode.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 223

DIVISION OFHISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ARCHAEOLOGY

SPONSORED BY:

RENO CHAPTER OF THE NATIONAL SOCIETY

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN COLONISTS

Devil’s Gate Historic Marker Map

Nevada State Historic Marker number two hundred twenty three is location on the western side of Nevada State Route near the geologic feature. The marker is just north of Silver City, Nevada.

Devil's Gate as seen from the townsite of Silver City. State Route 342 goes through the "gate" on its way to Virginia City. Original view is circa 1866
Devil’s Gate as seen from the townsite of Silver City. State Route 342 goes through the “gate” on its way to Virginia City. Original view is circa 1866

Nevada State Historic Marker Summary

NameDevil’s Gate
LocationLyon County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.2667, -119.6419
GNIS222304
Nevada State Historic Marker 223

References

Eureka Nevada

Eureka, Nevada, a picturesque town nestled within the vast and rugged landscape of the American West, has a rich and colorful history that dates back to the mid-19th century. Located in Eureka County, this once-thriving mining town was born from the silver boom of the late 19th century, and its history is intertwined with the rise and fall of the mining industry that defined the region.

Eureka Nevada
Eureka Nevada

Eureka’s history can be traced back to 1864 when silver ore was discovered in the nearby Ruby Mountains. This discovery ignited a rush of prospectors and miners to the area, hoping to strike it rich. The town itself was officially founded in 1869, and it was named after the Greek word “eureka,” which means “I have found it,” reflecting the optimism and excitement of the time.

The silver boom in Eureka was propelled by the rich deposits of silver and other precious metals found in the area. The Eureka Mining District became one of the most productive silver mining regions in the United States, attracting thousands of fortune seekers from all over the country. The district’s mines, including the Ruby Hill Mine and the Eureka and Palisade Mine, produced millions of dollars worth of silver, lead, and gold.

As silver mining operations expanded, Eureka flourished. The town quickly developed into a thriving community with a population that swelled to over 9,000 residents at its peak. Eureka boasted a robust economy, with numerous businesses, saloons, and even an opera house. It also became known for its well-maintained streets, impressive buildings, and a sense of cultural refinement uncommon in many frontier towns.

Eureka was not just a mining town; it was also a hub of innovation. The Eureka and Palisade Railroad, completed in 1875, connected the town to the Central Pacific Railroad hub in nearby Palisade, Nevada. The rail connection facilitated the transport of ore and supplies. The town also had its own newspaper, the Eureka Sentinel, which documented the local events and served as a source of news for the region.

Historic American Buildings Survey, Nevada Professional and Service Projects June 1940 - Eureka Sentinel Building, Monroe Street, Eureka, Eureka County
Historic American Buildings Survey, Nevada Professional and Service Projects June 1940 – Eureka Sentinel Building, Monroe Street, Eureka, Eureka County

The late 19th century brought both prosperity and challenges to Eureka. The Silver Panic of 1893, combined with falling silver prices, led to a significant economic downturn in the region. Many mines closed, and the population dwindled as miners left in search of new opportunities. However, some mining operations persisted, and Eureka continued to be a center of commerce and trade.

Nevada State Historic Marker 11 Text

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost or damaged.

“Eureka!” a miner is said to have exclaimed in September, 1864, when the discovery of rich ore was made here–and thus the town was named. Eureka soon developed the first important lead-silver deposits in the nation and during the furious boom of the 80’s had 16 smelters, over 100 saloons, a population of 10,000 and a railroad, the colorful Eureka and Palisade that connected with the main line 90 miles to the north.

Production began to fall off in 1883 and by 1891 the smelters closed, their sites marked by the huge slag dumps seen at both ends of Main Street.

Nevada State Historic Marker 11 Trail Map

Town Summary

NameEureka, Nevada
LocationEureka County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.5003, -115.9582
Nevada State Historic Marker11

References

Bliss Mansion – Nevada State Historic Marker 70

Nestled in the heart of Carson City, Nevada, the Bliss Mansion stands as a testament to the state’s rich history and the enduring legacy of its early pioneers. This elegant mansion, with its Italianate architectural style and storied past, has played a pivotal role in the development of Nevada and remains a cherished symbol of the state’s heritage. With a history spanning over a century, the Bliss Mansion’s story is a compelling narrative of wealth, culture, and community that has left an indelible mark on the Silver State.

Bliss Mansion, Carson City Nevada, Photo Curtosry

Nestled in the heart of Carson City, Nevada, the Bliss Mansion stands as a testament to the state’s rich history and the enduring legacy of its early pioneers. This elegant mansion, with its Italianate architectural style and storied past, has played a pivotal role in the development of Nevada and remains a cherished symbol of the state’s heritage. With a history spanning over a century, the Bliss Mansion’s story is a compelling narrative of wealth, culture, and community that has left an indelible mark on the Silver State.

Duane L. Bliss

Duane Leroy Bliss was born in Connecticut in 1820 and was a man of considerable ambition. After spending some time in the Midwest, he ventured westward to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, but soon shifted his focus to Nevada as the Comstock Lode began to yield unprecedented silver deposits. Recognizing the immense potential of the region, Bliss established himself as a shrewd entrepreneur in the burgeoning mining industry.

By the early 1860s, Bliss had accumulated substantial wealth from his mining ventures and saw an opportunity to further solidify his legacy by constructing an opulent residence in Carson City. He hired architect Henry M. Bennet to design the mansion, opting for an Italianate style that was popular during the Victorian era.

The Construction of Bliss Mansion

Construction of the Bliss Mansion began in 1879 and took nearly two years to complete. The mansion was designed to reflect the grandeur and affluence of its owner, with ornate features such as intricate ironwork, decorative balconies, and a distinctive tower. The building’s sandstone façade added to its elegance, and it quickly became a local marvel.

The interior of the mansion was equally impressive, boasting lavish woodwork, stunning chandeliers, and luxurious furnishings. Bliss spared no expense in creating a residence that would not only serve as his family home but also as a statement of his success and stature in the community.

Bliss Mansion as a Social Hub

Upon its completion in 1881, Bliss Mansion became a hub of social activity in Carson City. Duane Bliss and his wife, Ella, were renowned for their hospitality, hosting grand parties, receptions, and events attended by the city’s elite. The mansion’s extensive gardens and well-manicured lawns provided a picturesque backdrop for these gatherings.

The Bliss family’s influence extended beyond their social engagements, as Duane Bliss was actively involved in various civic and philanthropic endeavors. He played a pivotal role in the development of Carson City, contributing to the construction of churches, schools, and other public institutions.

Changing Ownership and Uses

After Duane L. Bliss passed away in 1913, the mansion changed hands several times. It briefly served as the Nevada Governor’s Mansion in the early 1920s before being sold to private individuals. Over the years, the property was repurposed for various uses, including a restaurant, apartments, and even a fraternity house.

Despite these changes, Bliss Mansion managed to retain much of its original charm and architectural integrity. In 1964, the mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, cementing its status as a historic landmark and emphasizing its significance to the state of Nevada.

Restoration and Preservation

In the late 20th century, a concerted effort was made to restore Bliss Mansion to its former glory. A community-driven initiative, led by the Carson City Historical Society, raised funds to undertake extensive restoration work. The project aimed to meticulously preserve the mansion’s historic features, ensuring that future generations could appreciate its architectural and cultural significance.

Today, Bliss Mansion stands as a shining example of historic preservation, a monument to the dedication of those who recognized its value and worked tirelessly to protect it. It serves as a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Bliss family and the history of Carson City.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. These roadside markers bring attention to the places, people, and events that make up Nevada’s heritage. They are as diverse as the counties they are located within and range from the typical mining boom and bust town to the largest and most accessible petroglyph sites in Northern Nevada Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost or damaged.

BUILT BY DUANE L. BLISS

LUMBER & RAILROAD MAGNATE

1879

In its time the most modern & largest home in Nevada.  Entirely constructed of clear lumber & square nails.  First home in Nevada entirely piped for gas lighting.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 70
STATE HISTORICAL PRESERVATION OFFICE
NEVADA LANDMARK SOCIETY

Bliss Mansion Map

Nevada State Historic Marker Summay

NameBliss Masion
LocationCarson City, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.1671, -119.7723
Nevada State Historic Marker Number70

References