%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads
(1850-1900)

Life in Central Nevada

Railroad Valley is a large valley, about 120 miles long and 9 to 12 miles wide, located in east central Nevada.  Surrounded by high mountain ranges, it is a great distance from the larger population centers of Nevada.  In the 19th century, it was a very isolated place to settle and make a home.  A number of people, however, took up the challenge.  Like other people and communities in Nevada, they used natural resources to make a living and to build their homes and businesses.  The valley has a water source and good grazing for livestock.  In the 1870s the Bacon brothers settled in the valley at three locations: Bacon Field, Crows Nest, and Big Creek.  Other people moved in later and also established ranches.

Building materials were scarce in Railroad Valley.  Near the mountains, log cabins were constructed from nearby timber.  In the center of the valley, however, the settlers used another local resource: springstone.  Springstone is a soft rock, a form of limestone, that can be easily worked.  Settlers shaped the stone into blocks and built stone cabins.
 

Photo Credit:
Nevada Department of Transportation