Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampout #37 – COMSTOCK
Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampout #37 – COMSTOCK
Clamper Year 6021
B St. looking South towards the Courthouse from the front of the ECV Hall.
That is the International Hotel at the corner of Union and B, across from Piper’s
Researched and interpreted by
Envisioned by Noble Grand Humbug Kevin Breckinridge
Long Valley section by Jeffrey D. Johnson XNGH, Clamphistorian at Chapter 1864
Dedicated to Halverson, Small and Hessken
Karl Small leads the parade
Long Valley creek drains the North slope of the Flowery Range and the East Slope of the Virginia Range. The topography consists of dissecting tertiary volcanic deposits with elevations ranging from 4,400 to 7,000 feet. An open pinion/juniper woodland (pinus monophylla, juniperous osteosperma) abides with artemisia tridentata, purshia tridentata, chrysothamnous and prunus andersonii shrubs in between. Populous fremontii and salix species. clutter the creek bottom near springs and seeps.
Ethnographically the area is near the Washoe and Paiute border. They hunted deer and bighorn sheep in the area and gathered pine nuts. It has been suggested that marl clay was mined for pipes from the associated deposits to Chalk Mountain and local tobacco gathered.
The first buildings at the springs along with a garden and corral were recorded in 1866. This was the location of Chalk House or Chalk Hills Ranch. BBQs, gazebos and a dam do not survive from 1973 when the area was a camping and picnicking spot. Stratified cultural deposits remain.
The largest petroglyph site in Nevada is located at the lower end of Long Valley Creek. Named for the owner of the ranch nearby, the petroglyphs are along the rimrock and most boulders within a square 1/4 mile. Some 10,000 years of curvilinear scribblings are featured. No one knows what they mean. Some perchance are graphic equations taught by some prehistoric professor.
The most famous of the settlements in Northern Storey County was the small community on both sides of the road named Lousetown. Lousetown was active in the 1860s as a freight stop on the Virginia Truckee Toll road and boasted saloons, freight yards, blacksmith shops, and overnight accommodations for teamsters. An Ice Lake was built to harvest ice for Virginia City. Nevada’s first horse race track was here, where many famous races were held during the boom days of Virginia City and the track also boasted a bar, clubhouse, boarding house, outbuildings and corrals.
This track also helped Theodore Winters, to become a famous horse breeder. Due to the elevation of the track, about 6,400 feet, the horses raised in Washoe Valley raced much better than those animals who had been brought to Nevada from their low-elevation training grounds in California. The City of Winters Ca. was named for Theodore and the home he built on land he bought from the Mormons in 1857 still stands South of Washoe City. He ran for Nevada Governor in 1890 as a Democrat.
The town was founded on Feb. 29, 1864, as Red Mountain City on the old toll road. The name Washington Hill rhyolite is here given to the extrusive dome of devitrified rhyolitic glass and perlite in and immediately southwest of Washington Hill. The rock is light gray and highly flow-banded. Sparse phenocrysts of sodic plagioclase and biotite are set in a groundmass of rhyolitic glass that is entirely devitrified in the main mass at Washington Hill, possibly as a result of slow cooling in so large a body after its initial solidification. The devitrified groundmass contains radiating feathery aggregates of crystals that transgress the flowbanding, which indicates that they formed after the rock had ceased to move. This is the rock I have in my driveway. The smaller mass to the southwest of Washington Hill is also largely devitrified but contains small areas of fresh perlite along the southeast side and near the center.
The Virginia Truckee Toll Road
The easiest, shortest, route from civilization to the Comstock was through Long Valley to Sturtevant’s Station on the Overland trail near Lockwood. Messrs. Baldwin and Tritle proposed the first toll road through the area in 1866. In 1867 a railroad was surveyed but economic forces in Washoe and Eagle Valleys stifled that project. A narrow gauge railroad was proposed again in 1877 but was never begun. This toll road is still passable today from Lockwood to Gieger grade. The roads that crisscross the area that seem to have no purpose are old woodcutter roads. While the lumber from the great Sierra forests were used for homes, mines and infrastructure, virtually every stick of wood and some of the stumps were picked clean from every hill and vale within 80 miles for the fuel starved mining industry, homes and tents.
Woodcutters at Lake Bigler
George Lockwood bought the Lagomarsino Ranch on the Truckee in 1916. In the 1960s Joe Conforte ran a brothel named Happy Valley. Bill Raggio probably ran him out of there in 1968 and the name was changed to Lockwood. Lockwood is now the home of our local trash.
Nevada looks funny in 1861
Thompson & West’s History of Nevada 1881.
Geology of the Virginia City Quadrangle, Nevada by George A. Thompson
An archeological inventory of Cottonwood Spring and vicinity, Storey County Nevada, Reno and Clay, 1990
Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California David Myrick
Petroglyphs of Nevada and Eastern California, Hiezer and Baumhoff
Railroad Gazette 11/ 1877
Nevada History, Chapter LVIII Washoe County, Major G. W. Ingalls
The Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps Illustrated Atlas, Volume 1: Northern Nevada: Reno, Austin, Ely and Points North, Stanley W. Paher (1999)
Nevada Conifers, D. A Charlet
De Quille, Dan, 1947, The Big Bonanza
RGJ March 16, 1973
Sparks Tribune 7/28/16
Nevada State Journal 2/16/1968
Blasts in the Past
1980 GENO OLIVER, STAR CITY-UNIONVILLE
1981 SKIP PENNINGTON+, MANHATTEN
1982 BILL KENNEDY, KENNEDY
1983 JIM CRONN+, PINEGROVE
1984 GEORGE COURSON, LEADVILLE
1985 DOUG WALLING, BERLIN
1986 DAVID WOOD, ROCHESTER
1987 JOE LEPORI, AURORA
1988 BILL SAWYER+, SULPHUR
1989 MIKE MILLER, MILLER’S STATION
1990 RED BEACH+, SHAMROCK
1991 BOB RODGERS, COMO
1992 RON WALSH, SEVEN TROUGHS
1993 DANNY COSTELLO, THE REAL NATIONAL
1994 JIM GROWS+, DESERT WELLS
1995 DANIEL BOWERS, HIGH ROCK CANYON 1996 PETER VAN ALSTYNE+, FAIRVIEW
1997 EDDY GONZALES, GRANTSVILLE 1998 JOHN DORNSTAUDER, HUMBOLDT CITY
1999 KEN MOSER, BELMONT
2000 VAL COLLIER+, PEPPER SPRINGS
2001 CHUCK MURRAY, NIGHTENGALE
2002 MARC BEBOUT, NEW PASS MINE
2003 AL NICHOLSON, lONE
2004 RON THORNTON, FLETCHER STATION
2005 J D PATERSON, APPLEGATE-LASSEN TRAIL
2006 WALT SIMMEROTH, NEVADA CENTRAL R. W.
2007 JEFF JOHNSON, ADELAIDE
2008 OWEN RICHIE+, TYBO
2009 KARL SMALL,+ DUN GLEN 2010 DAN WESTON, KINGSTON
2011 RUSS BREAM, SMOKE CREEK 2012 JESS DAVIS, FREMONT’S CASTLE 2013 CLIFF McCAIN, KNOTT CREEK 2014 BOB STRANSKY, JARBIDGE 2015 TIM PIERCE, WHISKEY FLAT 2016 KEVIN BRECKINRIDGE, COMSTOCK
+“Gone to Silver Hills”