Cradlebaugh Bridge

Douglas County
  39.04626, -119.78027

"A guy could get run down trying to pull off this highway! I guess I should expect such from a four-lane freeway. #123 conquered and time for lunch." -- Journal Entry, April 2007

Along US 395 at the Carson River bridge, 9 miles south of Carson City
Today, this marker is currently missing.

Original Date Visited: 5/23/07

Signed: Southbound lane of US 395

Currently Missing -- Last Seen: May 2010
I will admit. This is one of the few markers I expected to go MIA. I suppose it was only a matter of time. [123] Cradlebaugh Bridge had been at risk for removal for over a decade, and yet somehow managed to hang at the south end of the Carson River bridge along the Carson Valley Freeway (US 395.) Unfortunately, this marker was the only form of evidence of Cradlebaugh's bridge ... a truly sad loss for Nevada. Like many state MIAs, nobody really knows what happened to this one. The date of this marker's disappearance occurred within a two-week period in the spring of 2010; at this time, over a dozen markers statewide were removed for face lifts by state sub-contractors, hired by the SHPO. Although most of these markers were expediently replaced within a few weeks, a handful remain MIA to this day.

As you can see, what a lovely lump of rock! Many of us will lose all indication of yet another chapter in Nevada's history thanks to government oversight. Around May of this time (2010), a handful of these sub-contractors ran out of funding and materials to complete the projects, and these markers that were removed probably still await their face lifts in a garage somewhere. [123] may be among this bunch. Until further funding is granted, or a shipment of materials arrive, these markers will remain MIA. Alas ... the former location of [123] just became a whole lot emptier. Until then, it is my hope that at least one of the thousands of people who cross over this bridge will pay their respects to this very important marker.

  • Great views at Marker 123, now another missing marker
  • Photo taken in 2007.  Before its disappearance, [123] was another rarity among Nevada markers -- a mapped plaque.
  • Thunderstorm brewing over former Marker 123

Exact Description:
The remains of Cradlebraugh Bridge, built in 1881 by William Cradlebraugh, stand 1/4 mile westward. This bridge shortened the distance from Carson City to Aurora in the then booming Esmeralda mining district.

There were two routes from Carson City south to the bridge where they joined, crossed the river, and headed into the desert. One followed the west side of the Carson River: the foothill alternate went via Jacks Valley and the old John James Ranch, then around the hill to the bridge. Five miles south of Cradlebraugh Bridge the road passed Desert Station, a lively hostelry, and beyond, the Twelve Mile House enroute to Esmeralda.

The road and bridge were purchased by Douglas County in 1895, for $5,000.

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Related Links & Markers

 [125] -- Twelve Mile House   Nevada Towns: Aurora 

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