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Railroad line along the Old Emigrant Road from Wadsworth, Nevada
Central Pacific Railroad Survey Map
of Western Nevada dated February, 1869
Public record located at the
Washoe County Recorder
Reno, Nevada
(Unrecorded survey map of Eastern Washoe County, Nevada, reflecting the relationship of the CPRR's constructed route to the Old Emigrant Road, as mapped by Andrew J. Hatch, Feb., 1869.)
Courtesy Larry K. Hersh Collection.
Wadsworth Nevada Survey Map

Robert J King wrote (9/21/1999):

> As a research historian I was beside myself when I found your map of the
> "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
> value.
>
> 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!!!
>
> Regards,
>
> R. Joe King
Robert J King wrote (9/23/1999):
> ...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
> also.
>
> 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.

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