Robert J King wrote (9/21/1999):
> As a research historian I was beside myself when I found your map of theRobert J King wrote (9/23/1999):
> "Railroad along the Old Emigrant Road From Wadsworth, Nevada". This was
> done in February of 1869 as you well know.
> ... I am a member of various emigrant trail preservation groups
> and this map is one of the most accurate I've seen in years, and its
> value in accurately marking sections of trail is of immense historical
> Should I find anything else out from Washoe County, I will of course keep
> you advised.
> Your site is a great one!!! I am working on a book about John M. Hunter,
> who had a station broadly known as Hunter's Station, or Hunter's Crossing
> on the Truckee River roughly five miles west of what is now Reno. His
> post office, hotel, bridge, etc., sat on the old Henness Pass Turnpike
> Road, and only about two hundred yards from "the end of track" in 1868.
> He did quite a business until rail hit Reno. Any info or pictures would
> be much appreciated. Hunter had been there from 1860, purchasing the
> property in 1863. This has nothing directly to do with my desire for a
> copy of the map, as each represents two different projects. I just
> thought I would mention it, as emigrant trails and iron rails are closely
> related historically in both Nevada and California.
> I will tell everyone about your site. I just found it this morning!
> Keep it up!!!
> R. Joe King
> ...As it turned out, buried in a huge drawer that nobody has opened in years,
> [the Washoe County Recording Supervisor] found roughly 100 old
> maps, etc., this one being there also. There were many relating to the
> CPRR ... None of the maps in this huge pile had ever been recorded, and
> so that explains why any one of them would be almost impossible to find.
> ... My interest in the map was not due to research on the CPRR itself, but
> its relationship to the Old Emigrant Road, as clearly shown on the map.
> The trail historically is always shown as going through the Truckee River
> Canyon itself, and yet by mid-century wagon trains were more often than
> not using a route north of the river through the Pah Rah Range. The
> northern route has been disputed by historians for years, but a friend of
> mine who is a serious "Rut Nut" found some old diaries that seemingly
> proved its existence. In May of this year, my wife and I actually found
> physical evidence of the trail from Wadsworth to Sparks. When the Gold
> Rush Wagon Train came through the area last month, it was decided to take
> it over the northern route, as opposed to driving down the freeway. I
> served as a guide and scout over the route, a two day trip from Fernely
> to Reno. Familiar with the area, I agreed to stay on through Dog Valley
> and into Truckee. To make another long story short, I was then drafted
> into service as a "Mule Skinner", and drove a team through to Coloma.
> I have only lived in the Reno area for two years, and my interest in John
> Hunter came about by accident. We live about two miles from what used to
> known as "Hunter's Bridge", "Hunter's Crossing", "Hunter's Station",
> "Hunter's", etc. I found out that a post office operated there for about
> two years. As an emigrant trail marker is near the site, and as I am a
> new member of the group that erects and maintains about 500 markers along
> numerous trails, I was obviously interested. One thing let to another,
> and each answer found to any question, only leads to more questions!
> I decided that Hunter had been ignored historically. Hunter had been
> around the Virginia City area long before there was such a place,
> returned to the Nevada City area for about 10 years, then returning to
> Nevada, where he became associated with a John Stout, who had built a
> bridge across the Truckee, five miles west of what is now downtown Reno.
> Stout drowned in the flood of 1861, and Hunter took over the operation,
> purchasing the bridge and the surrounding 521+ acres from a "Marsten" in
> 1863. In time the bridge would sit directly on the Henness Pass Turnpike
> Road. By 1869, Lake's Crossing actually was Reno. Stone and Gates
> Crossing, (Glendale), soon suffered the same fate. An old document from
> the 1870's noted that if the bridge at Lakes Crossing were to wash out,
> the only way to get south of the Truckee from Reno would be to go west to
> Hunter's Crossing, five miles away.
> Prior to rail reaching what would be Reno, I understand that the stage
> lines from Virginia City would go to Hunter's Crossing to pick up
> passengers from what was then the end of track. As some point after
> 1893, Hunter sold the property to a James Mayberry, and this area of west
> Reno is now known as Mayberry's Landing. It is of course all developed,
> and no trace of Hunter's Crossing remains. Hunter associated with John
> Stone of Stone and Gates Crossing as evidenced by some mining claims they
> held together.
> I know little of John M. Hunter the man. I did find some deeds in the
> Recorder's office, and found the name of his wife to be "Emily". I have
> no pictures of him, his wife, the bridge, the hotel, post office, store,
> etc. I understand that he raised alfalfa on the site, and of course held
> the franchise for the bridge with the Henness Pass Toll Road Co. I do
> know that in the early 1860's he was surveyor of sorts, operating under
> the name of "Hunter and Company". In an old book on the History of
> Nevada, "Hunter's" was listed as a major settlement in the Truckee
> Meadows. A history published in 1893, notes that John Hunter had by then
> moved to Santa Barbara County, California. I know nothing at all of him
> after that.
> ... Everyday, history is eaten up by progress. As the
> physical evidence disappears, nothing is left unless someone has
> pictures, documents, manuscripts, etc. I believe that preserving the
> past helps us all to understand the future. Finding a document, map or
> picture that has escaped the pages of history is exciting. Finding a
> missing segment of trail or rail, settlement, etc., is right up there
> Ten years ago I wrote a short history of my great-grandfather. It was
> well-received and The Journal of Arizona History gave me a kind review.
> Prof. Don Warrin of Cal. State/Hayward, also wrote a chapter about him in
> a newly completed manuscript. ... It will
> not be of any great interest to you unless you are interested in Arizona
> history, but had it not been written, Joseph King would have [been] ignored
> historically, and there lies its value. I never knew him, and I never
> knew John M. Hunter, but people like them well deserve to be remembered.
> Without people like them, we would not be where we are today, and they
> all deserve our thanks.