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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
January 23, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 23, 1997

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20 Thursday, January 23, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette H ii!i!i:i!i on the street... Pahrump I Ill Ill II I I Tonopah Family Crisis Center 174 Mineral SL 482-!5598 2 4 Hour Hot Line Pahrump 1061 E. 2nd 751-2900 Nevada then a:00d now New History of Railroad Valley by Phillip L Earl Nevada Historical Society Among the most interesting new publications to our desk in come, across recent weeks is "History of Railroad Valley, Nevada,' the new volume in the Nye County Town History Project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Yucca Moun- tain nuclear waste impact project. Written by Robert D. McCracken and Janne Sharp Howerton and published by the Central Nevada Historical Society, this volume in the series follows previous books on Tonopah, Beatty, Amargosa Valley and Pahrump Valley, all still available from the Central Nevada Museum, P.O. Box 326, Tonopah, Nevada 89049, tele- phone (702) 482-9676. Written from the perspective of scholars who have studied the various phases of life in the val- ley, and local residents who have submitted themselves to oral his- tories, the chronicle takes the reader from the very earliest hu- man occupation to the impact of nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site in recent de- cades. Environmental adaptation on the part of Native Americans prior to Euro-American contact in the 1840s is closely detailed, as are life-style changes which came later as a consequence of the establishment of mining camps, ranches and farming operations in the 1860s. Focusing upon mining, the book follows the rise and fall of such obscure camps as Reveille, Troy, Grant City, Nyala, Currant, Willow Creek, Silverton and Arrowhead, Ancillary development of farming and ranching in the valley is chronicled in terms of land surveys, irrigation developments, transportation and markets for crops and beef. II I I I I I I II I I I An oil drilling operation in Railroad Valley, mid-1920s. An interesting aside is the human element: Women's life as it was, childhood, recreational activities, schools, ethnocentrism and the remarkable persistence of successive generations of the original settlers who still make their homes there. This later phase of the history of the val- ley is drawn from the extensive oral histories conducted in conjunction with the Yucca Mountain project. Theae documents are available for further study at the Nevada Histori- cal Society in Reno, the Getchell Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Central Nevada Historical Museum in Tonopah. Among the twentieth-century top- ics taken up by McCracken and Howerton is the evolution of high- ways-freight roads to toll roads to modern stretches of pavement. Of particular interest is the Midland Trail, today's U.S. 6, which comes down the valley to Tonopah and con- tinues on west to central California. Tungsten and petroleum develop- ments in the last half-century are also documented, as is the history of the Duckwater Indian Reservation and the continuing impact of nuclear Nevada Historical Society Photograph weapons testing on the citizens of the valley. Also chronicled is the recent hi story of the efforts of Clark County officials to take over the water sources of rural areas to the north of Las Vegas, the "Las Vegas Water Grab," as it is characterized by the authors. The methodology and use of sources in documenting the history of this hereto- fore obscure geographical entity is instructive and would be of interest to those readers seeking to do the s&'ne for the many obscure areas of Nevada still awaiting writers, Make this volume a part of your library!