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Pahrump, Nevada
September 11, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 11, 1997

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Outdoors / Operation Game Thief.. 1.#2-3ff30 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800.952-5400 ........ ..... ' .... September ..... Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, 11, 1997 27 p, / ii w II Nye County Historical Markers (Part I) by Ed Tomchin Between 1963 and 1967, the Nevada State Legislature authorized placement of 250 official historical markers throughout Nevada. Nye County hosts 14 of them. Visit a few and experience some of our county's colorful history. TONOPAH (MARKER NO. 15) Jim Butler, a Belmont rancher, was tracking a strayed burro on May 19, 1900, when he made the discovery that set off the stampede to Tonopah. This discovery started a wild mining boom in Nevada that ended a 20-year slump. Tonopah soon became the most important gold and silver producer in the country. The growing mining town replaced the aging Belmont as the Nye County seat in 1904. By that time Tonopah had railroads, several huge mills, and a swelling and active population of thousands. By the 1920s, the mines faltered again. But by that time Tonopah had achieved permanent fame due to the large number of prominent Nevada leaders it produced, and for the large and rich cluster of nearby mining districts it brought into being. Tonopah, at the junction of U.S. 6 and U.S. 95 near the Esmeralda County.Line, was the site of Nevada's second great silver bonanza was and still is the county seat, by act of the 1905 legislature. A report of the surveyor-general of Nevada in 1902 states that "the Tonopah mines were discov- ered by James L. Butler, Esq.. an old resident and ex-District Attorney of Nye County." Butler may have been told of the silver-bearing ledges by the Indians, for he spoke Shoshone and was looked upon by the Indians as a friend. Butler's 1902 account of the discovery explains his interpretation of the name and tells of the discovery. "Tonopah is an Indian name, which, I learned when I was a boy, signifies a small spring. The Indians, on the periodi- cal trips from Cowich (Kawich) and other places to Rhodes' Salt Marsh, camped at this spring ... I passed over the Manhattan Mountains, left Rye Patch and traveled all day (May 19, 1900) to the spring known by the Indians as Tonopah, near which I found quartz... My first location (on August 25, 1900) was the Desert Queen, next to the Burro, and then I told my wife to name that one, which she did, naming it the Mizpah, which at the time did not look any ltter than the others, but since has proved to be the richest on record." During the boom days of the early twentieth century, Tonopah was served by the C&C Railroad and by the T&G Railroad, which operated until after the Second World War. Tonopah post office was established March 3. 1905, the name being changed from Butler. An early, local name for a southern prolongation of the Toquima Range was the Tonopah Hills. The local Indian word tonopah has been interpreted as "hidden spring," "brush water springs," "greasewood spring," "little water," and "water brush," the last being accepted by old-timers in the area. The name appears to mean "grease- wood water (spring)" and to derive from either Shoshone (Central Numi) to-nuv, "greasewood," or Northern Paiute (Western Numic) to-nav, "greasewood," and pa, "water" in both dialects. BIG SMOKY VALLEY (MARKER NO. 42) This marker is located on S.R. 376 at Carver's Rest Area, about seven miles north of the Round Mountain Golf Course, The valley has had its share of famous men and stirring events. Prior to the coming of the white man, the valley and its bordering Toiyabe and Toquima mountain ranges were favorite Shoshone haunts. In 1827, Jedediah Smith, an intrepid trapper and trail blazer, was the first white man to traverse the valley, crossing its southern end from the west. In 1845, John C. Fremont and Kit Carson followed his trail across Big Smoky Valley. In 1859 Capt. James Simpson located a central route across the Big Smoky Valley's northern end, which began a historic decade. The period from 1859 to 1869 saw the opening of Chorpennings's Jackass Mail, the Pony Express, the Overland Telegraph and the Concord Coaches of the Overland Mail and Stage Company, which crossed the valley with routes delivering valuable mail. freight and passengers. Silver Strikes at Austin in 1862 started Big Smoky V alley's first mining boom which led to the establishment of a myriad of mining camps such as Bunker Hill, Kingston, Geneva, Santa Fe, Ophir Canyon, Jefferson and others. Following the Tonopah silver strike in 1900, mining again surged in the valley, giving start to two new towns - Manhattan and Round Mountain. Big Smoky Valley was named for the constant haze which obscures the valley most of the time. This valley extends generally southwestward from the southwest end of the Simpson Park Mountains to the northeast end of the Silver Peak Range, in Lander, Nye, and Esmeralda counties. Alternate names given the valley in different maps and descriptions include Great Smoky Valley and Smoky Val- ley. THE OLD BOUNDARY (MARKER NO. 58) This marker is located on U.S. 95, six miles north of Beatty and marks Ihe 37th degree north latitude, whichwas the dividing line between the Utah Territory and New Mexico under the provision of the Compromise of 1850, which originally organized the land which was ceded to the U.S. by Mexico in 1848. When the Territory of Nevada was carved out of western Utah in 1861, this line became the southern boundary of the new territory and continued as such when the new Territory and State were enlarged by extensions to the east in 1862 and 1866. In 1867, the Nevada Legislature approved Congress' action to add that portion of the Territory of Arizona, which gave the State of Nevada the permanent boundaries as they are today. Valley closed to Dove hunting Area law enforcement agencies are advising dove hunt- ers that city and county ordinances prohibit the discharge of firearms in the Las Vegas Valley. Las Vegas Wash and areas of North Las Vegas and Henderson that were once popular locations for dove hunting have been closed to shooting for several years. Shooting is also prohibited within Red Rock National Conservation Area, Desert National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Dove hunting is permitted at Overton Wildlife Manage- ment Area in Clark County and Key Pittman Wildlife Management Area and Palaxanagat National Wildlife Ref- uge in Lincoln County. Nevada,s dove season runs from Sept. 1-30. Fishing Report by Geoff Schneider Nevada Division of WildlO'e LAKE MEAD - Recent rain storms failed to put a damper on the fishing as anglers report having good success for largemouth and striped bass. Small stripers are being taken with top water lures throughout the Boulder Basin. Larger fish are being caught by trolling deep with downriggers. Some of the better areas for stripers are Swallow Bay, Black Island, Saddle Island, Burro Point and Boxcar Cove. Anglers fishing in the Overton Ann are finding fair suc, cess at the Meadows, Stewart's Point and Fire Bay. Largemouth bass have  active and are being caught in coves with top water lures. Channel catfish are al being caught in Coves during the eveningearly morning hours. ... i i | LAKE MOHAVE - Trout fishing remains good for boaters above Willow Beach while the action for striped bass is fair in the Cottonwood Cove area. Most boaters report having some success for stripers and an occasional channel catfish bydrifting with ancho- vies. Owl's Point is still the better location for stripers. EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR. The water is still murky because of recent flooding in the area. Trout fishing is poor. ECHO CANYON RFRVOIR. Fishing is only fair for largo.mouth bass and crappie, Some rainbow trout are being caughL but the action is below par. WAYNE E. KIRCH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA - Largemouth bass fishing is good at Adams- McGill and Daeey reservoh. Trout fishing is improving with an occasional fish being caught from the dam at Haymeadow Reservoir. Catfish are stocked in the ponds during the warm weather months. Trout are planted when water tempera, tures arecool enough to ailow the  fishto be stocked. . i, i, Hi .