Constructed as a Union Pacific railroad depot in 1923, this mission revival structure was designed by well-known Los Angeles architects, John and Donald Parkinson. The depot represents an imposing example of mission revival design. Much of its interior was made of solid oak, and the total cost was more than $80,000. The depot replaced a former structure which burned on September 9, 1921. This newer facility included a restaurant and fifty-room hotel for some years. The structure has served Caliente as a civic center and is the location of city government offices.
A large Neo-Mission type depot built in 1923, serving not only as Division Offices of the Union Pacific Railroad, but also as a hotel as well as a civic Center. Today it remains the most imposing structure in Caliente. The City of Caliente has taken it over in order to prevent its destruction In order to justify its cost, a City Hall complex and civic center is being constructed within the building. The exterior of the building is being left in its original form. Wherever possible the original wood, etc. is being left in the interior.
Caliente was founded by a railroad whose operations were based on steam motive power. It became U.P.’s best equipped steam facility between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. For many years Caliente was a division point between Las Vegas and Milford, Utah. Engine and trail crews changed here. in the days of steam locomotives, Caliente also was the center of a helper district – the terminal for locomotives and crews that assisted trails upgrade between Carp and Caliente, Caliente and Crestline, and Modena and Crestline. During World War II, 17 helper crews were assigned here and about 150 were employed in the locomotive, car, and agents departments.
The interior has extensive oak paneling, ornate doors, vaulted ceilings, and tile floors. The City is retaining all original paneling and tile and interior changes are being kept to a minimum.
Located at 100 Depot Avenue in Caliente, Nevada and added to the National Register of Historic Places (#74001146) March 5, 1974.
The building is 54 feet by 341 feet (18,414 sq. ft.), white, with a red tile roof. Railroad tracks immediately adjacent to the depot have been removed and the City plans to landscape a portion of the 2.2 acres now under lease. A few years ago the rows of Lombardy poplars in the lawn on the south end of the building were cut.
The architectural style, generally known as the Mission Revival or the neo-Mission was used on the Union Pacific stations between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. The Caliente depot is the only station of its type left in Nevada It was designed by the Los Angeles firm of John and Donald Parkinson, Architects. They also designed the Los Angeles depot. A styling note is the full arched openings on the lower floor, with a rectangular pattern around all openings on the second floor. Wrought iron guard rails protect upstairs door openings (fire escapes).
The second floor was originally used as a hotel for the overnight accommodation of train travelers and railroad officers. A separate adjacent dormitory (now removed) served layover train crews in the last years of the Age of Steam. The second floor facilities have been removed and there are no current plans for the use of the area although access has been maintained.
“Following the war Caliente’s importance as a railroad center began to decline. The diesel locomotives, which replaced the steam engines in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, could be run in multiples with one crew eliminating the need for helpers, nor did they require fuel, water, and servicing as frequently. Forces and facilities were gradually reduced as diesel power gained prominence.
Shop facilities were moved to Las Vegas in 1948. The roundhouse, water tank, and excess yard tracks were removed and the depot turned over to the City of Caliente on a long-term lease (10 years for $1) in 1970.” – Allen Krieg, Union Pacific Railroad
Caliente was first settled as a ranch, furnishing hay for the mining camps of Pioche and Delmar. In 1901, the famous Harriman-Clark right-of-way battle was ended when rancher Charles Culverwell, with the aid of a broad-gauge shotgun, allowed one railroad grade to be built through his lush meadows. Harriman and Clark had been battling eleven years, building side-by-side grades ignoring court orders and federal marshals.
The population boom began with an influx of railroad workers, most of them immigrants from Austria, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. A tent city was settled in August 1903.
With the completion of the Los Angeles, San Pedro, and Salt Lake Railroad in 1905, Caliente became a division point. Beginning in 1906, the Caliente and Pioche Railroad (now the Union Pacific) was built between Pioche and the main line at Caliente. The large Mission Revival-style depot was built in 1923, serving as a civic center, as well as a hotel.
This is Nevada State Historical Marker #55, located in Caliente, Nevada. See others on this page:
Bullionville began early in 1870 when John H. Ely and W. H. Raymond, removed their five-stamp at Hiko and placed it at this point. The enterprise prospered and during the next two years most of nearby Pioche’s mills were located here because of the proximity to water. The town grew rapidly and by 1875 it had five mills, a population of 500, and the first iron foundry in eastern Nevada. During the same year a water works was constructed at Pioche, which eventually led to the relocation of the mills. Although a plant was erected here in 1880 to work the tailings deposited by the former mills, this failed to prevent the decline of Bullionville.
This is Nevada State Historical Marker #203, located just outside Panaca, Nevada.
Residents of desert areas know that flooding is always a possibility. In 1910, one of the worst rainstorms in southern Nevada history hit Lincoln County and Clark Counties, causing damage from Meadow Valley Wash to the Vegas Valley. In 1905, the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad was built through the Meadow Valley Wash to the Caliente, where it turned basically northeast to follow Clover Creek. While the route was the best in the areas, planning for floods turned out to be insufficient. In 1906, 1907 and 1909, flooding washed out the tracks, causing the railroad to be stopped until repairs were made. In each case, the route was repaired, but nature was not finished with it. In the first week of January 1910, massive flooding again washed out nearly 100 miles of tracks, taking an entire engine and cars with it. Two weeks later, more flooding took out the temporary repairs which had been made. The flooding extended into the Vegas valley, cutting off all travel out of the valley for a few days. More flooding in 1911 caused the railroad to rethink its location. The rails were moved significantly higher along the Meadow Valley Wash and through the Clover Creek area. This changed allowed the railroad to survive later massive floods, most notably in 1938, and remains the route use by the railroad today.
This historic marker was dedicated October 16, 2016 in Caliente, Nevada by the Queho Posse Chapter 1919 of E Clampus Vitus in conjunction with the City of Caliente.
Osceola, most famous of the White Pine County gold producers, was one of the longest-lived placer camps in Nevada.
The gold-bearing quartz belt found in 1872 was 12 miles long by 7 miles wide. Placer gold was found in 1877 in a deep ravine indenting the area. Miners first used the simple process of the common 49” rocker. Hydraulic monitors later were used to mine the gold from the 10’ to 200’ thick gravel beds. One gold nugget found was valued at $6,000.
Osceola was a good business town because of its location near the cattle and grain ranches and gardens in the Spring and Snake Valleys.
Famous district mines were the Cumberland, Osceola, Crescent and Eagle, Verde, Stem-Winder, Guilded Age, Grandfather Snide, Red Monster, and the Saturday Night.
The camp produced nearly $5 million, primarily in gold, with some silver, lead, and tungsten.
Crystal Spring was used as a watering place and campsite on an alternate route of the Mormon Trail in the mid-nineteenth century. The town site was designated as the provisional County Seat for Lincoln County in 1866. With the intention of organizing the new county, Governor Henry G. Blasdel left Carson City in April 1866, accompanied by over 20 people. After a perilous journey through Death Valley, California, they ran out of supplies and food. One man died; the others survived on lizards and other desert animals. The Governor and another man raced to Logan City to obtain supplies and returned lathe party so they reached Crystal Spring. The Governor found that the region lacked the number of voters necessary to meet the requirements to become a county. A year later the county government was organized at Hiko.
Pahranagat Valley is named after a local Shoshone Native American Tribe. Three local springs fill the valley’s lakes, which farmers have used for irrigation since the mid-nineteenth century.
In the late 1860s, outlaws pastured hundreds of head of stolen cattle in the valley meadows.
In 1865, ore was discovered in the area. The following year, a stamp mill was established at Hiko, twenty miles to the north to crush the ore. Hiko became the center of activity for the valley and the county seat between 1866 and 1871, when local mining declined and Pioche claimed the county seat.
The valley received international notoriety in 1867 when Dan De Quille of the Territorial Enterprise published an article titled “The Rolling Stones of Pahranagat,” about magnetic traveling stones. De Quille was notorious for publishing comedy and satire, sometimes mistaken by his readership for truth. In this case, De Quille described these round stones as having a magical quality that, when scattered on the floor, would immediately began travelling toward a common center. De Quille published similar articles on the stones in 1876, 1879, and 1892.
The town of Alamo before you, established in 1900, is the valley’s largest present-day settlement. Watered by Pahranagat Creek, the area includes several ranches and the Pahranagat Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
The 37th degree north latitude marked at this point the dividing line between the territories of Utah and New Mexico under the provisions of the Compromise of 1850, which originally organized the land ceded by Mexico in 1848.
When the territory of Nevada was carved from western Utah in 1861, this line became the southern boundary of the new territory and continued to serve as such when the territory and state were enlarged by extensions to the east in 1862 and 1866, respectively.
In 1867, the Nevada legislature approved the action of Congress to add the portion of the territory of Arizona which lay to the south of this line, west of the 114 degree west longitude and the Colorado River, and to the east of the boundary of California. This action, taken on January 18, 1867, gave the state of Nevada the permanent boundaries as they are today.
This is Nevada State Historical Marker #58, see others on this page: