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Butterfield Marsh Nevada

Butterfield Marsh, also known as Railroad Valley Marsh, holds a unique place in Nevada’s history, straddling the worlds of mining, ranching, and natural resources. Located in Nye County, this area, encompassing Butterfield Marsh and the surrounding ranch, tells a story of human endeavor, from salt mining to agriculture, set against the backdrop of Nevada’s diverse landscape.

Butterfield Marsh Nevada

Butterfield Marsh Nevada Overview

While Butterfield Marsh is often associated with the broader Currant mining district in Nye County, Nevada due to its proximity, it stands out for its distinct characteristics. The Marsh, covering an area of 40 square miles, is known for its salt crusts and pans, contributing to salt production in the region. The nearby Butterfield Ranch, with a history dating back to the arrival of Henry Butterfield in 1867, illustrates the region’s shift from mining to ranching, showcasing a different facet of Nevada’s economic history.

Other names known could have been Currant, Railroad Valley, and Railroad Valley Marsh.

Learn more about Ghost Town in Nevada and Ghost Towns in the Southwest.

Year Established/Founded

1867 (Henry Butterfield’s arrival at the springs)

Butterfield Marsh Nevada History

Butterfield Marsh’s history intertwines with that of the surrounding area, including the Currant district and Butterfield Ranch. The marsh itself was a site of salt mining, while the ranch, established by Henry Butterfield, leaned towards ranching due to the area’s suitability for agriculture rather than mining.

Kral (1951) included Railroad Valley (Butterfield) Marsh in a large Currant district along with Silverton to the west and Currant, along the White Pine county line.

Papke used the name Railroad Valley for the marsh.

According to Mineral Resources of Nye County:

  • Butterfield Marsh is often regarded as a separate mining district; however, it is here included with the Currant district due to its proximity.
  • Butterfield Marsh is in the lowest portion of the valley and has an area of 40 square miles.
  • Butterfield Marsh is commonly covered with a thin crust of salt and toward its north end are irregular salt pans where the salt incrustation is thicker, and from which the production has come. 

I found this lead in an old newspaper that we are trying to find more information about Butterfield Ranch’s history and its proximity to the mining district. I have found references that it was in Elko County but found other references that there is a Butterfield Ranch in Nye County. The two counties are too far apart for it to be the same ranch that was part of a county line change. We are still digging and will update you as we find new information. 

Returns from this precinct were received in this place on Wednesday last. The returns are dated at Butterfield’s Ranch, Salt Marah Precinct, while the polls were opened and held at Howell’s mill, a distance of twenty miles from the point designated by the County Commissioners for holding the polls. [Gold Hill Daily News – Gold Hill, Nevada – 19 Nov 1868, Thu • Page 2]

Timeline

  • 1867: Henry Butterfield arrives at the springs, leading to the establishment of Butterfield Ranch.
  • 1868: Mention of Butterfield’s Ranch in the Gold Hill Daily News, indicating its presence in the region.
  • 1951: Kral includes Railroad Valley (Butterfield) Marsh in the Currant district.
  • Mid-20th Century: The area is recognized for its salt pans and ranching rather than mining.

Mines

Butterfield Marsh was known for its salt production, with the marsh area covered in salt crusts and pans.

Railroads

The name Railroad Valley Marsh suggests a connection to railroads, but specific details are not mentioned.

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Post Office

None

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Newspaper

None

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The Population of Butterfield Marsh Nevada

Unknown at this time.

Elevation

Unknown at this time.

Location

Butterfield Marsh lies between the Grant and Pancake ranges [Mineral Resources of Nye County]

The image below shows the location of the Currant Mining District, which is nearby or part of the same district.

GPS Coordinates

38°28’47.8″N 115°40’25.1″W

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Photos and Videos

None at this time

Butterfield Marsh and the adjoining Butterfield Ranch offer a glimpse into a lesser-known aspect of Nevada’s history, where the focus shifted from the pursuit of precious minerals to the exploitation of natural resources and ranching. This area, with its enduring natural spring and historical significance, remains a testament to the diverse economic activities that have shaped the state’s history.

References Used

Click here to view our list of History of the Southwest – Books and Online Resources to learn more about our amazing area!

  • Tingley, Joseph V., Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Report 47 – Mining Districts of Nevada, page 45
  • Kral, Victor E., (Jan 1951), Mineral Resources of Nye County, pages 48 – 50

Butterfield Marsh Nevada