Culverwells Ranch

Culverwells Ranch is Nevada State Historical Marker number fifty five located in Lincoln county, Nevada.

The meadow area around the junction of Meadow Valley Wash and Clover Creek was originally settled in the early 1860’s by Ike and Dow Barton, two Negro slaves who had escaped from Arkansas. In the early 1870’s the area was known as Dutch Flat. In 1874, ranchers Charles and William Culverwell purchased the Jackman Ranch and renamed it as Culverwell Ranch. It was later referred to as “Culverwell.” Along with ranching, the family earned a living by providing hay for the mining camps in Pioche and Delamar.

Culverwells Ranch - Caliente Nevada - Early 1900's
Caliente Nevada – Early 1900’s

A dispute between two major railroad companies began when E.H. Harriman of the Oregon Short Line and Union Pacific, pushed track from Utah to the site of Culverwell. Even as Harriman’s crews worked on the line, the newly formed San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad owned by Senator William Clark, claimed the same territory. These rival groups had sought the right-of-way in a canyon only big enough only for a single set of tracks. The Union Pacific had grade stakes set all the way into Culverwell and on toward Pioche, but their rival group gobbled up enough of the narrow canyon to set a road block in the path of Union Pacific

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. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Marker Text

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 baffling 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 Las Angeles, San Pedro, and Salt Lake Railroad in 1905, Caliente became a division point.  Beginning in 1906, the Caliente and Pioche Railroad (now the Union Pacific) was built between Pioche and the main line at Caliente.  The large Mission Revival-style depot was built in 1923, serving as a civic center, as well as a hotel.



Nevada State Historic Marker55
NameCulverwell’s Ranch
LocationLincoln County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude37.6133, -114.5148

Nevada State Historic Marker #55 Map


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