Junk 2011 final draft

The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus

Junk 2011 final draft

Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampout


Smoke Creek Nevada

clamper year 6016

Brought to you by

Julia C. Bulette Chapter 1864, E Clampus Vitus

Researched and interpreted by

Jeffrey D. Johnson XNGH, Clamphistorian

Envisioned by

Vice Noble Humbug Jess Davis

Requisitioned by

Noble Grand Humbug Russ Bream

Bonafide by

General Geno Oliver XNGH, and current Proctor

Cover photo

Brigadier General Frederick West Lander

Dedicated to

Cyrus Creele

2011 c.e.

Geophysical Definition

(a) The Smoke Creek Desert is a large basin about 100 km (60 mi),north of Reno near the California-Nevada border, situated along thenorthernmost parts of the Walker Lane Belt, a physio graphic region definedby diverse topographic expression consisting of northwest strikingtopographic features and strike-slip faulting. Because geologic andgeophysical framework studies play an important role in understanding thehydro geology of the Smoke Creek Desert, a geophysical effort was undertaken to help determine basin geometry, infer structural features, and estimate depth to basement. In the northernmost parts of the Smoke Creek Desert basin, along

Squaw Creek Valley, geophysical data indicate that the basin is shallow and that granitic rocks are buried at shallow depths throughout the valley. These granitic rocks are faulted and fractured, and presumably permeable, and thus may influence ground-water resources in this area. The Smoke Creek Desert basin itself is composed of three large oval sub-basins, all of which reach depths to basement of up to about 2 km (1.2mi.) In the central and southern parts of the Smoke Creek Desert basin, magnetic anomalies form three separate and narrow EW-striking features. These features consist of high-amplitude short-wavelength magnetic anomalies and probably reflect Tertiary basalt buried at shallow depth. In the central part of the Smoke Creek Desert basin a prominent EW-striking gravity and magnetic prominence extends from the western margin of the basin to the central part of the basin. Along this ridge, probably composed of Tertiary basalt, overlying unconsolidated basin-fill deposits are relatively thin (< 400 m).The central part of the Smoke Creek Desert basin is also characterized by the Mid-Valley fault, a continuous geologic and geophysical feature, striking NS and at least 18-km long, possibly connecting with faults mapped in the Terraced Hills and continuing southward to Pyramid Lake. The Mid-Valley fault may represent a lateral (east-west) barrier to ground-water flow.In addition, the Mid-Valley fault may also be a conduit for along-strike(north-south) ground-water flow, channeling flow to the southernmost parts of the basin and the discharge areas north of Sand Pass. In other words, the springs that flow from the West and Northern Mountains around the

Smoke Creek Desert are caused by faulting along a belt that starts somewhere near Hawthorne, Nevada. Smoke Creek was a part of ancient Lake Lahontan. Lake Lahontan was a glacier fed pluvial lake that covered most of Northern Nevada from Oregon to Rhodes Salt Marsh, and Susanville to Battle Mountain to the elevation of 4,390′. Its watershed was drained by the Humboldt, Susan, Truckee, Carson and Walker Rivers. As the evaporation rate exceeds the river flow rate the lakes dropped below the levels of the next valley over and as they lost their in flow they receded even faster. Sills of beach sand were left high up on the valley walls. At Flanigan, we will be near where Pyramid Lake, Honey Lake and the Mud Lakes at Smoke Creek last flowed together at Sand Pass and Ascot Pass.

(b)Lt. Beckwith reports;

The soil of these plains is very light, and our animals sink quite as deep in many of the parts, dry upon the surface, as in the wet and miry portions. The maze of the lake is liable to mislead you in regard to the character of these muds.

Humans were present at the time of the Sehoo Highstand, 12,000 years ago, about 6,000 years before Adam stole the staff of relief from the Garden of Eden. Evidence is prolific of habitation all down the beach lines as the lake rose and fell with the whims of precipitation and evaporation. When the Smoke Creek Valley was evaporated the aforementioned springs were a vital resource for the natives. Northern Paiutes, (most notably old Chief Winnemucca), lived in the Smoke Creek Desert while they and the Washoe, the Pit River Indians and the Maidu all hunted the Honey Lake Valley.

William Nobles

William Nobles was born in 1816 in New York and was a pioneer of Minnesota. At age 35, he came to the California gold fields and ended up in Honey Lake Valley while seeking Gold Lake. In 1853 he returned to the States, married, and set up housekeeping in Minnesota. There he was a member of the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. He was assigned by Congress and the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Jacob Thompson, as the Superintendent of a wagon road between Fort Ridgley Minnesota Territory and South Pass. Due to Aboriginal disputes his endeavor ended in failure. He served the country in many positions during the war and retired to St. Paul where he died, in 1876. His widder and orphans lived out their days in Sunny California.

Noble’s Trail; A Brief History

by General Geno Oliver

In April 1852, the citizens of Shasta, California, agreed to pay William Nobles $2,000 in return for showing them a new, easy emigrant route through the Sierra Nevada. Nobles had discovered the new route while trying to find the fabled “Gold Lake” near Black Rock Desert. He found no gold in the desert, but he had an opportunity to turn the new route into gold by interested businessmen. After the route was explored, the Shasta Courier reported that “Mr. Nobles has fulfilled his promise to the letter…” So, now there was a new route from the Humboldt River to California. The citizens of Shasta paid for it because it would “materially enhance the value of property in the Upper Sacramento Valley.” The Nobles Trail was a direct, easy route to California. From Lassen Meadows, on the Humboldt, it borrowed the first 30 miles from the Applegate-Lassen Tail, then headed almost due west until it reached the northern Sacramento Valley.

After Rabbit Hole Springs, water was found at Trego Hot Springs, and then at the great boiling springs north of modern of Gerlach, Nevada. In the first description of those springs John Fremont, in 1844, wrote: “The basin of the largest one has a circumference of several hundred feet; but there is at one extremity circular space of about fifteen feet in diameter entirely occupied by the boiling water… a pole of about 16 feet long was easily immersed in the center, but we had no means of forming a good idea of the depth… near the shore the temperature of the water was 206 (degrees Fahrenheit).”

In later years the Nobles trail was used mostly as a freight road and was incorporated in the Fort Kearny, South Pass and Honey Lake Wagon Road. There can be no question that this route of Nobles was to prove the easiest of all the routes into California after it opened. It was also very much in the spirit of the times, being one those “commercial routes,” open expressly for the purpose of funneling emigrants into a particular region of the Great Valley.

All during the 1850s and 1860s, Nobles’ route remained a favorite for both emigrants and cattle drives and even for a time threatened to be competitive with the central Sierra crossings. But, in the end despite the fact that one of the main rail lines was to be built within sight of long stretches of it it proved to be just too remote for main population centers.

The Pacific Railroad Act

el clamphistorio

After the Mexican War Americans in the new Territories were in desperate need of safe transportation between the States. California reached out to Congress and on March 3, 1853, the 32nd Congress, 2nd Session, approved “The Military Appropriations Act of 1853” (Chapter 98) of which Sections 10 and 11 authorized the expenditure of $150,000 by the War Department to conduct “explorations and surveys … to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” The survey parties were drawn from the Army under the direction of the Corps of Topographical Engineers answering directly to Jefferson Davis Secretary of War. In 1854 a Lt. E. G. Beckwith, taking over command from Capt. Gunnison, recently murdered by a Mormon-Indian band in Utah, surveyed the 41st parallel from South Pass to the Sacramento River.

In his report he states,

(b) From Humboldt river, there are three lines which may be followed to the foot of the Sierra Nevada. That by the Noble’s Pass road, leaving the river a few miles to the east of where we returned to it, is the most direct, and is believed to be the best, …. Noble’s pass of the Sierra Nevada (which I explored) branches from Madelin Pass, and the general line followed, on the western shore of Mud lake, which it follows to its southwestern termination, where it approaches nearest to Pyramid lake. It then turns more to the west, and follows, for nine miles, an open passage of a mile in width, leading from Mud Lake valley to that of Honey lake. This valley extends 40 miles to the west, and is 20 miles wide in its broadest part, north and south. On the south it is enclosed by a high unbroken mountain range, and on the north by the outlying ranges, more or less broken, of the Sierra Nevada. The lake is about 15 miles in length and 8 or 10 in width. Its water is bitter. The head of the valley to the west Honey Lake)is very fertile, and a settlement has been commenced in it, and will doubtless be continued. It is situated upon Susan river, which descends through the broad mountain depression followed by Noble’s road to the summit of the Sierra Nevada.

At the end of the Pierce administration, in 1857, Congress passed an “Act for the construction of a wagon road from Ft. Kearney, Nebraska Terr. via South Pass of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern portion of California, near Honey Lake.” Authority was moved to the Department of the Interior under President Buchanan. Secretary Thompson ordered the California Trail divided into three sections: Fort Ridgely to South Pass, South Pass to the City of Rocks and City of Rocks to Honey Lake. A Capt. Kirk was in charge of the West division. He did next to nothing on his stretch because he had business interests in Placerville and championed a different trail. Registering at the Roop House that year, August 2,1857, to October 4, 1857, were ninety-nine trains, or parties, with 306 wagons and carriages, 665 horses and mules, 16,937 head of cattle. There were 835 men, 254 women, and 390 children who passed through Smoke Creek and Honey Lake Valley going west. A. Hines and A. Tutt went out to Rabbit Hole Springs, thirty miles west of the Humboldt River, with two ox teams, four yoke of cattle to the team. They each got a full load of iron from the wagons that the emigrants had burned there because their stock had given out. They hauled it to the valley and sold it to Issac Roop for $1,500.

During the summer and fall of 1859 a record kept of the emigrants passing the Honey Lake gateway into the Sacramento Valley showed 450 wagons containing 277 families. There were with them 135 young women of marriageable age, 376 children, and a total of 1,951 people. They had 1,200 extra horses, 4,200 cattle, and 7,000 sheep. After much drama, incompetency of his superiors and time, in 1859, Mr. Fred Lander, new superintendent of the FK,SP and HL Wagon Road, finally arrived in the future Nevada to study, evaluate and improve the road through the Smoke Creek Desert. His efforts on the intermediate trail portions had made him a hero on both coasts. All of Northeastern Nevada was organized as a county named for him during the initial Territory Conventions. Lander County comprised what later became Lander, Eureka, Elko and White Pine counties. Lander returned to Washington D. C. for more money and on his return in 1860 he had new issues warranting a large arsenal from the U. S. Army. The Pyramid Indian War was in full swing and the Regular Army had just flushed the warriors out of the Carson and Truckee areas into the wilds of the North.

He spoke to his crew of Engineers, Laborers, a few soldiers and the Honey Lake Rangers,

(c)Gentlemen, We are under orders from the Dept. to proceed to a certain place and execute a certain work. The Indians have been driven North by the troops at Pyramid Lake and are now before us in our path. I might feel justified in turning my back as Mr. Nobles did, (On the Fort Ridgley, South Pass route that was never completed) two years ago in Minnesota. Also Capt. Mullen, a superintendent of a wagon road in Washington Terr. As for me, I will obey orders and go forward. I rely on you who have been with me before. I have every confidence that you will stay with me to the last. If we are not strong enough to win, we will at least sustain each other and die on the ground.”

Lander and the boys cleared the Paiutes out of Honey Lake Valley, and he exposed himself to extreme danger to arrange an audience with Numaga Winnemucca the wise war chief. His work achieved a truce that lasted off and on (till the renegades had all been killed). His crews did important work from Mud Springs to Antelope Springs near Imlay. They built permanent works, paved the spring bottoms and built a bridge at Smoke Creek. His goal was to provide safe passage for emigrants, flocks and herds. By 1862 Lander was dead of pneumonia, while commanding a division of the Army of the Potomac in Paw Paw (West) Virginia

Early in the spring of 1865, The Chico and Humboldt Wagon Road Company sent parties East to improve the road from Susanville to Ruby City, Idaho Territory going by way of Shaeffer’s, Mud Springs, Smoke Creek, Sheephead Station, Buffalo Spring, Wall Spring, Deep Hole, Granite Creek, Soldier Meadows, Summit Lake, Mint Springs, Gridley Springs, Pueblo, Trout Creek, Willow Creek, White Horse Creek, Crooked River, Castle Creek, Owyhee River, Jordan Creek Valley, and Wagontown to Ruby City, a distance, as measured by a rodometer, of 332 miles.

Ode to Indolence, the Never Sweats

From a contemporary;

(d)”The Humboldt Register” of April 30, 1864, says “That is the trite sobriquet given here to the people of Honey Lake valley. It is so easy to get a living there, that people acquire indolent habits, we suppose.” Well, that will do to introduce our anecdote, anyhow. A man advertised for three able-bodied men. People who advertise get everything they want and in a few days three men — stout fellows — came in company and applied for the place. ‘Ready to commence tomorrow?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ said the spokesman of the trio. ‘O, I forgot! Where have you come from?’ ‘From Honey Lake,’ they replied. ‘Honey Lake be d d’ said he as he walked off, ‘What do you suppose I want? I want men to work. Honey Lake, ‘ and he would not hear another word.

The Never Sweats had a reputation. They could buy a boat load of stuff, drag it out onto the playa and sell it for bank to desperate emigrants. They would purchase half dead livestock, resuscitate them in the fields around the lake and sell them for a tidy profit in a matter of weeks. People were, of course, jealous.

The Honey Lake area prospered as the beginning and end of the roads to the mines from California. When the Central Pacific was completed it changed the West’s transportation system forever. The Never Sweats were ever ready to drop what they weren’t doing and hit the trail to chase down some murdering heathens or rowdy soldiers. Until 1870 they still needed to head east up the Mud Lake Desert regularly to save the day, avenge a trader or hang a teamster from a wagon tongue who got out of line. Ingenious hangings, grizzly mutilations, ambushes, desperate acts, lost mines, stolen treasure, infanticide, fires pitched on a dying man’s chest; their story is gruesome. Every spring on the old road to the Humboldt contains hidden graves and macabre tales. The Paiutes of the North were desperate and vicious adversaries. You might say, and the Honey Lake Rangers would tell you, they needed to be exterminated for their own good…. and the good of the Nation.

Nobles Trail to Shaeffer Station, Honey Lake Valley

All the Live Long Day

1883 was the year a railroad to Honey Lake finally got started. The 3’ gauge Nevada, California and Oregon Railroad, aka the ‘Narrow, Crooked and Ornery’ began stretching it’s tentacle north, from behind Louie’s on 4th Street in Reno, around UNR, looped through the North Valleys and down the proverbial Long Valley Creek. For ten years the track ended at the Hot Springs at Amedee, on the East shore of Honey Lake. Much to Susanville’s chagrin that was as close to Rooptown as the NCO ever got. Eventually the NCO climbed out of Honey Lake Valley and headed north to Lakeview over the Madeline plains Beckwith had surveyed East to West.

In 1909 the Western Pacific RR finished the last transcontinental railroad, crossing the NCO near Doyle. Their route passed through Sand Pass to the Smoke Creek Desert and East to Winnemucca, a pass Beckwith surveyed in 1854. Susanville finally got its Railroad in 1913 when the Southern Pacific built the Fernley and Lassen branch from the mainline in Ferndale to Westwood, California. It cruised the beach above Pyramid Lake and crossed into Honey Lake through Ascot pass just like water flow 10,000 years ago. The SP crossed the WP at grade at Flanigan, which once had a store and a hotel. Now the Union Pacific mulches Railroad ties there and incinerates them up the road. The F & L line crossed the NCO at Wendel, to the west.

In 1917 the Western Pacific purchased, modified and standardized the portion of the NCO from Hackstaff, today’s Herlong, to downtown Reno, including the Sierra Valley branch. The headquarters and roundhouse moved to Alturas. In 1926 the NCO was absorbed by the Southern Pacific and became the beginning of their Modoc line to Klamath Falls. Old Timers report Susanville was free of noxious weeds till the railroad came through.

Amedee Hot Springs Hotel on the NCO (e).

NCO #1 at Reno enginehouse, still standing on 4th St. Gasaway and Gould, Roadmaster and Chief Engineer of the NCO where the narrow crosses the standard gauge Fernley and Lassen RR at Wendel.


Oscar Doyle Had a Sawmill nearby.


Herlong is the home of the Sierra Army Depot where they incinerate nasty stuff. Once it was Hackenstaff, where they transloaded material from the narrow guage to the standard guage equipment. Other goods from Honey Lake Valley were conveniently loaded …and unloaded here.


Named for the scion of the venerable banking magnate and railroad mogul Charles Moran, Lt. Beckwith’s crew camped at the hot springs in 1854. This is nearby the site of the horrific murders of a Mr. and Mrs. Pearson, their 18-year- old daughter Hattie and a local farm hand, Mr. Cooper, that occurred in 1868. For 10 years this was the end of the line. The hotel was torn down and redistributed in 1949. Flanigan

Must be seen to be believed.


Crossing and Interchange point between the NCO narrow gauge and the Southern Pacific Fernley and Lassen Branch.

Sand Pass

Besides being the mainline of the California Zephyr’s passage to the Smoke Creek Desert, Sand Pass has a siding, a quarry (sand) and a wye for turning the power on helper units. A pair of company homes still cling to the hill. This is the Pauite Indian Reservation. Nice view.

Bonham Ranch

Aka Round Hole Spring, the artesian well is 45′ wide and 60 ‘ deep. According to a Reno newspaper of 1880, a soldier drowned here. John Bonham married a relative of the Pyramid Lake Sutcliffes, Mary, in Dayton in 1870. In the 1872, Mr. Bonham worked for the Reno to Fort Bidwell Stage line. His first position was at 20-mile house, 20 miles out of Reno, then Pyramid station on the lake. Next he ran the Sheephead Station and a hotel at that junction. In 1884 he is listed as the judge in the district and the proprieter of the Buffalo Toll Road. The Stage line ceased operations in 1887 and he bought the Round Hole Ranch. A young telegragher from New York named Florence was assigned to the work at Sand Pass of all places. After his return from WWI she married the Bonham boy.

Sheephead Station.

The Stones of the foundation are all that remain of the old Stage station situated on both the Ft. Kearney, South Pass and Honey Lake Wagon road and the Reno to Fort Bidwell Stage line, the Surprise Valley Road. The Surprise Valley Road began on Fourth St. in Reno next to the NCO engine house. Today it is known as Valley Road. Nobles Trail from Wall Springs and Buffalo Springs.

Smoke Creek Station

Tucked into a pretty, wet little Valley above the sweltering playa below, it has a tree to this day. Origanally called Hieroglyphics Creek by J. Goldsborough Bruff for some Petroglyphs he found to the north, Smoke Creek Station was the junction for the Ft. Kearney, South Pass and Honey Lake Wagon Road and Beckwith’s Madeline Pass Trail to the Pit River.

From here Lt. Beckwith wrote;

(b)The northern route explored across the Sierra Nevada, to which I have given the name of Madelin Pass, ascends the eastern slope of the mountains from Mud lake through the valley of Smoky creek. In leaving the lake valley, the pass leads for three miles through a narrow gorge in an outlying range of the Sierra Nevada…..The elevation of this point is 500 feet above that of the preceding plain, and 5,360 feet above the sea, and is the highest point in the pass, from which the descent is directly upon the waters of the Sacramento river. mile wide, smooth and gradually ascending for a mile.

Drawing of petroglyghs by J. G. Bruff

The wagon road was also popularized by the discovery of the Humboldt mines, Unionville and Star City. After Nevada recieved Territory status Governor Nye requested General G. Wright of the Dept. of the Pacific for a company of troops for the Honey Lake Humboldt Road. In the fall of 1861, I. J. Harvey was employed to buy the property for a United States Army Post. In December, Lt H. W. Williams, Co. 2, California Volunteers built Camp Smoke Creek. Desertion was rampant at the camp so replacements were brought in every two to three weeks.

During the winter of 1862-63 William V. Kingsbury established a trading post at Smoke Creek, and afterwards, kept a station, or hotel, in connection with it. He stayed there until late in the 60s.This advertisement appeared in “The Sage Brush” printed January 12, 1867.


The Celebrated Smoke Creek Station, situated on the Humboldt, Idaho, East Bannock, Reese River, Salt Lake, Surprise Valley, New York, London, Paris, Japan and China road, in fact from which point you can go anywhere if you want to, is still running, commanded by that well known individual, SMOKE CREEK SAM. “Owing to the immense travel to the above localities, we have made arrangements to accommodate it all, in a superior and gentlemanly like manner. We are endeavoring to induce the directors of the Pacific Railroad to locate the terminus of the road at Smoke Creek, it being we think, the most central point for it. San Francisco may ‘buck’ a little against it, but geographical position will tell. It is unfortunate for San Francisco to be located so far away from Smoke Creek but we cant help it now. — Speaking of ‘square meals, torch light processions, baled hay and ‘sich’ like, there is where we understand ourselves. We can converse upon those subjects, in connection with that commercial article called cash, with the most perfect aplomb and nonchalance. “We most respectfully invite those going anywhere to call on us. Kingsbury & Co.”

Site of Smoke Creek Station and Camp Pollock

A Capt. Almond B. Wells arrived in June of 1864 and renamed the base Camp Pollock after Pennsylvania Governor and Lincoln confidante James Pollock. Pollock coined the saying “In God we trust” for the Treasury Dept as head of the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia and as Governor signed Penn State into existance. The most important objective of Camp Pollock was to prevent Southern Sympathizers from smuggling arms and bullion to finance the Confederate Army. All travelers were required to take an oath of allegience to the Federal Government or they were incarcerated.

A Cemetary overlooks the site of Camp Pollock. Buried here are four men who gave it all; Pvt. John Smith, died from lead poisoning after an altercation with his commanding officer during an incident at Deephole Springs. Pvt. Gustav Platt died of Typhoid. Sgt. Wm McCoy, died from an unknown illness and Pvt. David O’connell from Company B was killed in action on the Black Rock.

Robbers Roost

A basaltic rock formation makes a likely place for highwaymen. Nearly on Von Schmidt’s 120th parallel at the California state line. Rush Creek drains the land to the west toward Smoke Creek.

Gunsight Mountain

Mud Springs

Now known as Bull Creek Ranch, once sported a hotel with all the appliances.

Note the view of Gunsight Mountain on the northwest ridge of Skedaddle Mountain.

The Burning of the Mud Flat Station

(d) Along in December, 1861, Samuel Marriott started for the Humboldt with four or five ox teams loaded with freight. On the evening of their arrival at Rush creek they unyoked their cattle and drove them down on the flat below to feed. When they got back to the wagons they found some Indians plundering them, but they ran away as soon as they saw the teamsters coming. The next morning it was raining and snowing by spells and this weather continued for three or four days. When the storm was over the cattle were scattered and all of them could not be found, but Marriott used what he had, and by taking part of a load at a time, managed to get his freight back to the Mud Springs Station and store it in one of the buildings there. Hobbs, Robert Ross, and two men coming in from the Humboldt stayed there that winter. About the middle of March Hobbs came out to Honey Lake valley. Early one morning a few days after he had gone Ross heard the dog bark and a shot fired. An Indian had crawled up behind a bunch of willows until he was only fifty or sixty yards from the house. The dog discovered him, and not liking Indians, made an attack on him and the Indian had to shoot him in self defense. The bullet struck the dog back of the head and went the whole length of his body just under the skin. Ross thought that the Indians might be around and he jumped out of bed, grabbed his gun, and went out without putting on his clothes, for he wanted to get there before the Indian had time to reload his gun. The dog was still fighting the Indian and Ross got a shot at him. He ran a little ways and then dropped his bow and arrows and a rabbit skin cloak. He succeeded in going a short distance further and there was met by two other Indians who helped him mount his horse. He hung to his gun and carried it away with him. The blood on the ground showed that he had been severely wounded. In some way the Honey Lakers heard about the shooting of the Indian, and thinking there might be trouble about it, they hitched up five ox teams and went out there after Marriott’s freight. When they got there they loaded it as rapidly as possible and left the place — the men who had been staying there going along with them. A night or two afterwards the buildings at the station were all burned. H. L. Spargur was coming in from the Humboldt and intended to stay there that night, but he saw the buildings burning and struck across the hills leaving the station to one side. Mud Springs site, Skedaddle Mountain Flora named for Lt. Beckwith

(b) VIOLA BECKWITHII, (n. sp.): subcaulescent; ascending stems abbreviated; cauline leaves biternately or pedately parted, decurrent on the margined petiole, the lobes or segments oblonglinear, hirsute-puberulent; stipules minute, scarious, entire; sepals linear, obtuse, ciliolate; lower petal barely saccate at the base, purple, with yellow claws, the two upper shorter and deep violet. On the slope of a mountain between Great Salt Lake and the Sierra Nevada;

ASTRAGALUS (HOMALOBUS?) BECKAWITII, (n. sp.): glabrous or nearly so, low, perennial; stems branched from the base, ascending; stipules triangular-lanceolate, nearly free; petioles slender; leaflets 6-9 pairs, small, oval-orbicular, rather scattered; peduncles about the length of the leaves, r-8-flowered; bracts subulate, small; calyx oblong-campanllate, sparsely and minutely black-haired; the aristiform-subulate teeth nearly as long as the tube; corolla ochroleucous, incurved, the oblong vexillum deeply enarginate; ovary linear, stipitate. On the Cedar Mountains, west of Lone Rock, and south of Great Salt Lake; May; in flower.

Addendum, Absurdum Nauseosum

(d). Among the various organizations in Susanville was a secret society that came into existence during the winter of 1863-64. It was called “Eclamps Avitas,” or words to that effect, what-ever they may mean. It was created by a lot of “locoed” fellows for the purpose of getting what fun they could out of it. Their high jinks were held in the barn that the Plumas county posse had used as a fort in 1863, and it is to be presumed that everything went well with them in their efforts to get some enjoyment out of life until the women interfered. Probably they thought it was not right or proper for the men to have too much fun. Anyway, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Rundel, and several other women, organized a committee of investigation which sneaked up to the barn while the lodge was in session and “peeked” through the cracks in its sides. Just at that time they were initiating a new member, and the committee heard blood-curdling roars and various other noises of a terrifying nature mingled with the clanking of chains. Perhaps the aforesaid roars, etc. were augmented by the cries of the suffering candidate, for it was afterwards learned that he was scared half to death while the initiation was going on. Of course the women lost no time in spreading abroad what they had heard, and as a consequence no more men would join the lodge and it came to an untimely end.

Or so it was recorded…


Congressional Globe, 34th Congress, 3rd Session, 1857.

(a). Geophysical Investigations of the Smoke Creek Desert and their Geologic

Implications, Northwest Nevada and Northeast California, Ponce, Glen and Tilden 2006.

Noble’s Emigrant Trail, Trash guide XXX, Peter Van Alstyne 2003.






(c) Frederick West Lander, a Biograghical Sketch, Leland, Shahrani andBaldrica, 1993





(e). Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California, Myrick 1962.

Thompson & West’s History of Nevada 1881.

The Colorful History of the California/Nevada State Boundary, John Wilusz 2002.

Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion, and the proposed invasion of

California from Texas 1861 To 1867, 1890.

Report of the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, 1853.

Report of the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, 1854.

Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians, Kimberly Johnston-

Dodds, 2002.

Shoreline processes and the age of the Lake Lahontan highstand in the Jessup

embayment, Nevada, Adams and Wesnousky 1998


TELEGRAPH. 34th Congress, 1st Session 1856

Nevada History John Evanoff 2007


Bonham Ranch and the Smoke Creek Desert, Tom Green

Frederick West Lander, Road-Builder, E. Douglas Branch 1929

Trails West, http://emigranttrailswest.org/virtual-tour/nobles-trail/

EPA, http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=16040203

California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control,


Blasts in the Past

































“Gone to Silver Hills + ”