Truckee River -- West
"Well, I suppose this spot is as good as any to locate a marker symbolizing the Truckee River. Although this interstate location makes sense for convenience, it might be better placed in Crystal Peak Park, or along Old US 40 in Verdi just so people don't have to double-back! Another excellent location would be along the interstate right at the state line. The text on this plaque correlates better with that section of the Truckee. Either way, doodle, doodle, done. #62 conquered." -- Journal Entry, August 2007
Original Date Visited: 8/14/07
Signed: Signed as an interstate exit that reads "Historical Marker" -- eastbound lane of Interstate 80.
Notes: Here's the deal: the only way to access this marker is by traveling the eastbound lanes of I-80. Since most of you will be coming from Reno that means the only way to get to this marker is to leave the freeway at Exit 4 then circle and jump back onto the interstate. Within a half-mile, you'll see an specific exit for this marker that reads "Historical Marker."
In prehistoric and early historic times, the Truckee River Valley in vicinity of Verdi was occupied by the Washo Indians. Their camps were on these flats near the river. Many fish blinds were located nearby for their use in this important subsistence activity. Even an earlier population left its mark in the form of petroglyphs on boulders in the area.
The Truckee River runs from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake and was first discovered by Captain John C. Fremont in January, 1844.
The Stephens-Murphy-Townsend Party in 1844 also followed the Truckee River into the Sierra and crossed the mountains via Donner Pass. The ill-fated Donner Party rested on the Truckee Meadows, at present Reno, but they tarried too long and were caught by the Sierra snows. Despite the Donner tragedy, many emigrant trains to California, particularly from 1849 until 1852, traversed the Truckee route.
In 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad followed the Truckee's course. From the 1920's to the 1950's, the surrounding meadows echoed to the heavy exhausts of the giant Southern Pacific, cab-ahead, articulated steam locomotives. During the same period, the primitive emigrant trail and the early toll roads were developed into the Lincoln and Victory Highways, and then into U.S. 40 and I-80, today's freeway.
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