Forty Mile Desert
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member brwhiz
N 39° 56.443 W 118° 45.009
11S E 350474 N 4422643
Nevada State Historical Marker No. 26 is located in the rest stop just south of Interstate Highway 80 on US Highway 95.
Waymark Code: WMF8QX
Location: Nevada, United States
Date Posted: 09/11/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Charter Member Uncle Alaska
Views: 23

This Historical Marker recounts the trials of crossing forty miles of desert on the California Trail.
Marker Title (required): Forty Mile Desert

Marker Number (If official State Marker from NV SHPO website above, otherwise leave blank): 26

Marker Text (required):
The Forty Mile Desert, beginning here, is a barren stretch of waterless alkali wasteland. It was the most dreaded section of the California Emigrant Trail. If possible, travelers crossed it by night because of the great heat. In 1843, the Walker-Chiles Party became the first wagon train to use the route. Regardless of the desert’s horrors, this became the accepted trail, as it divided five miles southwest of here into the two main routes to California - the Carson River and Truckee River trails. Starvation and thirst preyed upon people and animals every mile. A survey made in 1850 illustrated appalling statistics---1,061 dead mules, almost 5,000 horses, 3,750 cattle, and 953 graves. The value of personal property loss was set at the time at $1,000,000. The heaviest traffic occurred between 1849 and 1869. The trail was still used after completion of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869, although it saw declining traffic after that.

County (required): Churchill

Marker Type (required): Full Size (with blue painted mesh)

Other Marker Type (optional): None

Is Marker Damaged? (required): No

Other Damage Type (optional): None

URL - Website (optional): [Web Link]

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