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Ft. Churchill, 1860

In 1860 conflict between Native Americans and Euro-American newcomers to Nevada resulted in fighting, bloodshed, and the establishment of a permanent military presence in the territory.  The Pyramid Lake War frightened settlers and prompted demands for military protection.  In July, 1860 a fort was established in Lyon County.  The land was not surveyed at the time the fort was built, so no one was sure in which county the fort was located.  Churchill County, in fact, was named for the fort.  Fort Churchill, which was situated about halfway between Pyramid Lake and the Walker River Paiutes, was a collection of adobe buildings enclosing the parade ground.  Many of the soldiers lived in tents.

During the Civil War volunteers from California and Nevada were stationed at the fort, but after war's end regular troops returned to Fort Churchill.  The fort was abandoned in 1869.  In 1935 the site became a state park.

Photo Credit:
Nevada Department of Transportation