Reno & Washoe County
  39.53816, -119.76645

"For the first time, I am at a loss for words. The awesome swimming pool view speaks for itself." *Face palm* -- Journal Entry, September 2007

Inside Deer Park, corner of Prater Way and Rock Blvd -- Sparks
* Find this one in front of the public swimming pool *

Original Date Visited: 9/27/07

Signed: No

Notes: Access Interstate 80 and exit at "Rock Blvd." Make a left at the off-ramp, heading north a 1/4 mile to Prater Way. Make a left turn onto Prater and access the park from the next immediate street on your right.

Now here's the deal. You'll find the marker located at the west end of the park ... right in front of the swimming pool. And here comes the golden question: why of all places did the SHPO choose this ridiculous location? Considering the fascinating railroad history of Sparks, we can think of a number of better places for this one. I'll admit that Deer Park is nice and cozy, but it just doesn't quite fit the marker's text and the legacy of Sparks and leaves a lot to be desired. Here are three much better locations for this marker. What do you think?

- The Old Railroad Yard, S. Pyramid Way, south of Interstate 80. It makes sense to place it here knowing that Sparks itself sprang into existence at this very spot.

Center of Victorian Plaza, B Street -- Sparks. This centralized location makes sense and attracts the a high amount of tourists and visitors to Sparks.

Intersection of Greg Street and Sparks Blvd, adjacent to the old railroad yard -- East of Sparks. A little more out of the way, but provides a nice overall view of Sparks and the Central Pacific Railroad.

  • Marker 88 plaque
  • What a lovely swimming pool view.  Of all the places the SHPO could have placed this marker, this one could win for worse-placement-award
  • Marker 88 in rural-based Nevada makes its home in an urban park

Exact Description:
Sparks sprang into existence in 1903 as a new division point on the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Engaged in straightening and realigning the old Central Pacific trackage across Nevada, the Southern Pacific Company moved its shops and headquarters bodily from Wadsworth to this location. Employees were assigned lots and their houses were freighted to the new town. Sparks, orinally known as Harriman, came into official existence in April 1904. Later, in 1905, the city was incorporated by the state legislature and named in honor of John Sparks, rancher and governor of the state of Nevada.

Sparks boasted one of the largest roundhouses in the world during the steam era. It was the western Nevada base for a vast stable of steam locomotives, particularly the famous cab-in-front articulated type (mallets). These huge steamers hauled both freight and passengers over the steep grades of the Sierra between Roseville, California and Sparks.

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Related Links & Markers

 [68] -- Wadsworth   [189] -- Southern Pacific Railroad Yards   Central Pacific Railroad Across Nevada 

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