Have you ever driven through rural Nevada on either US 95, Highway 50 (The Loneliest Road) or any other US or state highway and stumble upon a town that you were unsure of what was its purpose or extent of its existence? Many of these small Nevada towns were constructed at the turn of the century due to mining booms for rare elements and minerals. Although Nevada is definitely not the greenest state in the Union, it is without a doubt one of the most diverse in the sense of climate, weather and elevations.
The sagebrush state is broken up by more than 150 mountain ranges extending north to south throughout the state. Most of the state’s rivers flow only during the wet season (typically December through June) and most of those rivers flow into lakes with no outlets or shallow alkali sinks. When the water evaporates in the summer heat and the sinks become mud flats or dry lakes. Nevada is one of the driest states in the United States. Much of the Nevada landscape consists of arid expanses of land covered with sagebrush and creosote bush.
Nevada landscape is represented by sandy desert, rugged snow covered mountains, grassy valley, and forested mountainous slopes. Nevada can be divided into three main land regions consisting of the Sierra Nevada, Columbia Plateau, and Basin and Range Region. The Sierra Nevada is the rugged mountain range carved out by glaciers that cuts through the western part of state near Carson City and Reno. The Columbia Plateau is located in the northeastern corner of Nevada supported by lava bedrock. Streams and rivers have transform the landscape over time to create deep canyons with steep ridges to transition into open prairie fields. The Basin and Range Region is west of the Sierra Nevada region, scattered between all of the ranges are buttes and mesas surround by lakes and alkali flats. The elevation of the basin region varies from 479 feet above sea level to over 13,000 feet on the border of California-Nevada where Boundary Peak (Nevada’s highest peak) is located.
I intend to share some of the fascinating stories that I learned over the years about the history of Nevada’s most notable towns. Some of these stories will reveal information about the mysterious Woman in Red that haunts the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, the World’s Largest Army Depot in Hawthorne, the Lobster farm in Mina (Yes, Mina) and vintage buildings of Goldfield (once the largest city in the state with 30,000 residents). I will also mention some stores about some of the men and women such Tex Rickard, Jack Dempsey, Jim Butler, Sarah Winnemucca, and others that help shape Nevada from the Wild West into the Silver State. There are 271 Historical Markers in the State of Nevada as shown in the embedded map.