Ragtown Nevada Overview
Ragtown was a trading post located west of Fallon in Churchill County, Nevada.
The name Ragtown came from the rags cast off by the tattered clothing of immigrants that were hung in bushes to dry after being washed. Later the name was changed to Leeteville.
This water stop along the Carson River was the first watering opportunity after the Forty Mile Desert, immediately to the north.
In 1862 a flood destroyed all the structures and disrupted 200 graves of the deceased immigrants and the camp was abandoned temporarily.
A farming community was established, including a hotel and a post office, known as Leeteville.
The town was abandoned in 1854 and nothing remains. There is a historical marker near the site on US-95.
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Transcription of the above newspaper clipping:
Mr. Leete went to Reno the other day to bring back his son-in-law, Frank Orr, who is thinking some of settling in the vicinity. Mr. Leete keeps a station and owns a ranch Ragtowu, but since his arrival there, it has been decided that thie hideous name of “Ragtown” be buried forever and the place has been chiristened “Leeteville.”
Nevada Historical Marker Category
California Emigrant Trail
Nevada Historical Marker Marker Type
Nevada Historical Marker Number
Ragtown is Nevada Historical Marker #19.
Click here to view the full list of Nevada State Historical Markers.
Nevada Historical Marker Transcription
Ragtown was never a town. Instead, it was the name of a most welcome oasis and gathering point. This mecca on the banks of nearby Carson River received its name from the appearance of pioneer laundry spread on every handy bush around.
The Forty Mile Desert, immediately to the north, was the most dreaded portion of the California Emigrant Trail. Ragtown was the first water stop after the desert. To the thirst- crazed emigrants and their animals, no sight was more welcome than the trees lining the Carson River.
Accounts tell of the moment when the animals first picked up the scent of water—the lifted head, the quickened pace, and finally the mad, frenzied dash to the water’s edge. Then, emigrants rested for the arduous crossing of the Sierra Nevada that lay ahead.
In 1854, Asa Kenyon located a trading post near Ragtown, offering goods and supplies to travelers during the 1850s and 1860s. Ragtown was one of the most important sites on the Carson branch of the California trail.
HISTORICAL MARKER NO. 19
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
CHURCHILL COUNTY MUSEUM COMMITTEE