"Looks like we made a new friend! After stopping to chat with the postmaster in Tuscarora, her friendly Boxer came out to greet us. We named her "Lady." Er, the dog, not the postmaster. A few rounds at the cemetery, a few rounds through town and Tuscarora is yet another town added to my places visited in Nevada. The list is surely, sweetly, supremely growing." -- Journal Entry, May 200
Original Date Visited: 5/13/08
Signed: Both lanes of SR 226
Notes: It's quite disappointing that Marker 48 is eight miles displaced from its namesake town. Oddly, the SHPO placed this marker north of the Tuscarora turnoff, which means people may not even see the thing when they make the pilgrimage to see the old town. Even the locals at Tuscarora have expressed interest in moving the marker to their town. Moving it to Tuscarora would insure the marker stays protected from vandalism in this rather remote location. While you're in town, take a gander at the donations center in front of the post office. Here, you can learn how you can futher support the preservation of this old mining girl. Read up on what Tuscarora's eighteen-proud residents are doing to improve the town.
This colorful historic camp originated with 1867's discovery of placer gold by John and Steve Beard. In 1871, W.O. Weed discovered the rich Mount Blitzen silver lodes, two miles northeast of the Beard claims. The camp was named by C.M. Bensen, who had served on the Civil War gunboat, Tuscarora, namesake of a tribe in the Iroquois confederation.
Tuscarora's first boom, 1872-1876, boosted its population to 3,000 whites and a like number of Chinese. Hordes of the latter had swarmed here on foot from Elko in the summer of 1869, abandoned by the Central Pacific Railroad after its completion. They started extensive placer operations at the Beard discovery site, later called Old Town, to differentiate it from the main camp two miles distant on Mount Blitzen.
Estimates of silver and gold production during the camp's lifetime, 1867-1915, ranged from $10 million to $40 million. Principal silver mines were the Navajo, Belle Isle, Argenta, Commonwealth and Grand Prize. The only gold mine, the Dexter, opened after the principal silver strikes and operated continuously until 1898.
Toll roads, crowded with stagecoaches and long strings of heavy freight wagons, serviced the camp from railheads at Elko, Carlin, Battle Mountain and Winnemucca.