Lyon County
  39.27438, -119.56452

"What a lovely expanse of filldirt. Looks like the old addage rings true in Nevada -- even for the housing market ... for every boom in Nevada there must be a bust. Has #85 suffered the same fate? Wherever this marker is, chances are it's long gone. The problem with this one is going to finding the contact. I don't even know where to start with this one..." -- Journal Entry, August 2009

US 50 and Segale Road -- Dayton

Original Date Visited: 8/14/09

Revisited: 8/19/15

Signed: No

Replacement Marker Dedication: April 2015
Any story dealing with Marker 85 yields a rough and rocky one. In 2009, our conquering of Lyon County was felled quickly upon discovering that this marker had gone missing, or rather had been missing for approximately ten years! Days later we dove deep into investigating this case and received an email a few days later from fellow marker hunter "Air Force Dave S," who had shot down my hunch of the marker being relocated to the privately-owned Sutro Tunnel. The Storey County Historical Society arranges a tour only once a year to the Tunnel during the month of June and if the marker was removed from US 50 we had hopes that officials might have moved it up here in a haste. Dave replied to the owner of the Sutro Tunnel Co. and the owner solidly stated that the marker was not at the Sutro Property and continued with some valuable information. In Dave's email interview, the owner states:

"... Several years ago, the Boy Scout Troop in Dayton restored the marker and the sign at that same turnout.
The Troop took it down the same time NDOT started working on that section of 50 and nothing has been seen since."

In a final statement, the owner barked:

"We don't want anyone to know where Sutro is. I'm glad because that marker really doesn't matter if people can't see the tunnel."

Unfortunately, some people fail to understand that history belongs to everybody. Even though an historic site may reside on private property, an historic marker (and all of its content) solidly belongs to the public. Thanks to the loss of [85] the many thousands of people who whizzed on by US 50 would never know the fascinating chapter of Adolph Sutro and his Tunnel. [85] was a prime example of the endless loop of research I, and many dedicated marker hunters were doing to find the whereabouts of our unfortunate MIAs.

Update 2015:
Let's fast forward, nearly fifteen years in fact that the SHPO has since replaced this long-lost marker at the very same location it had once stood so long ago. Luckily our cries were heard and [85] was resurrected - one of thirty markers that was re-vamped in 2015 in celebration of "Battle Born, 150th: A State Sesquicentennial" (as evident by the campaign's logo on the plaque). It may have taken twenty years, but representation of the Sutro Tunnel can finally be seen along the once sleepy two-lane, now bustling four-lane expressway of US 50. (Oh how the times have changed!) We invite you to visit, stand, then stare beyond the marker toward the hills in the background and reflect what's been preserved.

  • Marker 85 was replaced in 2015 after having gone missing for twenty years!
  • Marker 85 was replaced in 2015 after having gone missing for twenty years!
  • Marker 85 was replaced in 2015 after having gone missing for twenty years!

Exact Description:
Sutro was a town, a tunnel and a man. The orderly town was headquarters for the Sutro drainage tunnel. Adolph Sutro, German born, came to the Comstock in 1860. He advocated a drainage tunnel, visualizing development of the Comstock resource by a system long used to drain and explore mineral deposits.

By 1865, his vision gained approval of state and federal legislation. However, the mining interests, having at first supported the tunnel, became strongly opposed.

When construction began in 1869, it was first financed by the mine workers, since the tunnel would improve mine safety. Later, the funding came from international bankers.

The main tunnel broke through in 1878. Lateral tunnels were extended and the project drained, ventilated and serviced the Comstock as planned. When the tunnel was proven, Adolph Sutro sold his interest in the tunnel company and returned to San Francisco. A "magnificent hole in the ground" remains.

It's nice to see this marker back at its proper home just outside of Dayton!

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Related Links & Markers

 [13] -- The Comstock Lode   Sutro Tunnel (History Channel)   Sutro Tunnel (Online Nevada Encyclopedia) 

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