El Dorado Canyon (Original Stone Marker)
Original Date Visited: 4/13/08
Signed: The original signage for this marker still sits on both lanes of US 95 with an arrow pointing the way to SR 165.
Ready, Set ... Relocate!
In 2004, the Nevada Department of Transportation began work on US 95, upgrading it to a new four-lane freeway from Railroad Pass south to Searchlight. Unfortunately, Nelson Junction was right in the center of this new construction and the junction was completely demolished. The base for Marker 6 was destroyed and the original stone tablet was on its way to the dump yard until a few locals from Nelson rescued it from its untimely fate.
Nelson local who will call "Bud," remembers the story well ...
"I pulled up to the highway man who already had it (the marker) in his dumptruck. He was ordered to dispose of it so I simply asked him ... 'Can I have It?' I've lived here my whole life and didn't want to see it destroyed. So I called up my son and we hauled it back to town."
Bud was not solely responsible for the complete revamping of the marker, but rather it was the town's decision to do so.
"It took about a year to get to looking pretty again. My friend Marla offered to put it in her yard so the tourists could come by and see it whenever they want."
Quite un-modestly, he retorted,
"I like to think we did a little somethin' good."
Sadly, Bud passed away in 2011 but his efforts weren't forgotten. The SHPO has since replaced this original Stone marker with a new metal landmark at the same intersection, but for those of who prefer the classics, fortunately this old stone beauty is still alive thanks to a few proud locals. Find the marker in a cactus bed upon entering the town of Nelson, 13 miles east of US 95.
Local pride truly can work wonders.
Toward the Colorado River from this point runs El Dorado Canyon, where occurred one of the biggest mining booms in Nevada history. Gold and silver were discovered here about 1859 and soon mines were developed. In the 1860's, the canyon was bursting with a rowdy population of nearly 500 men, many of these said to be deserters from the Civil War.
The river was navigable at the time, making it possible to bring in food and supplies by boat.
Notorious for its feuds and shootings, the canyon was equally well known for its three largest mines, the Techatticup, Wall Street and Savage which yielded five million dollars during 40 years of operations.
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