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Big Smoky Valley

Big Smoky Valley

Big Smoky Valley Overview

This valley and its bordering Toiyabe and Toquima ranges are Shoshone territories.

European American explorers came into the area starting with Jedediah Smith in 1827. Other figures include John C. Frémont and Kit Carson.

Between 1859-1869, the valley was crossed by Chorpenning’s Jackass Mail, the Pony Express, the Overland Telegraph, and the Concord Coaches of the Overland Mail and Stage Company.

Silver strikes at Austin (1862 – 1863) initiated the valley’s first mining boom.

Numerous bustling mining camps sprang up.

In 1900, the Tonopah silver strike reinvigorated mining in the valley.

Category

  • Mining
  • Native American
  • Person
  • Pony Express
  • Telegraph
  • Trail/Road

Marker Type

Blue marker

Nevada Historical Marker Number

Big Smoky Valley is Nevada Historical Marker #42.

Click here to view the complete list of Nevada State Historical Markers.

County

Nye County, Nevada

GPS Coordinates

38.783165, -117.175405

Nevada Historical Marker Transcription

Named for its hazy distances, this valley has witnessed a parade of famous men and stirring events. The valley and its bordering Toiyabe and Toquima ranges are Shoshone territory.

Jedediah Smith, intrepid trapper and trail-blazer, was the first European American in the area, crossing the valley’s southern end from the west in 1827.  In 1845, John C. Frémont passed through the valley, accompanied by such figures of the American West as Kit Carson and Basil LaJeunesse.

In 1859, Captain James Simpson located the “central route” across the valley’s northern end.  Thus began the historic decade 1859-1869, which saw Chorpenning’s Jackass Mail, the Pony Express, the Overland Telegraph, and the Concord Coaches of the Overland Mail and Stage Co. crossing the valley.

Silver strikes at Austin (1862-1863) initiated the valley’s first mining boom. Numerous bustling mining camps sprang up, including Bunker Hill, Kingston, Geneva, Santa Fe, Ophir Canyon, and Jefferson.

Following the 1900 Tonopah silver strike, mining surged again.  Two new towns, Manhattan and Round Mountain, started with a brief revival of many earlier camps.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 42

STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE

References Used

Big Smoky Valley