Jedediah Strong Smith (Explorer of the Western Wilderness)

White Pine County
  39.27675, -114.84628

"Well then ... a rest area doesn't do Jed Smith's remarkable trailblazing justice! Better spots would be the Northern Nevada Museum, or better yet, further north on US 93 near his junction with the Schell Creeks. Just an idea." -- Journal Entry, March 2008

Along US 93 at the former Ely Rest Area, 2 miles north of Ely
Today, this marker is currently missing.

* This marker shares its site with [99] -- Taylor *

Original Date Visited: 3/13/08

Signed: No

Currently Missing -- Last Seen: May 2009
Today, you'll find this rest area CLOSED and the marker nowhere to be found. Ely branch NDOT was in the process of tearing down this rest area because of its low use to reduce maintenance costs. Sit back and relax. What you're about to read was found through bits and pieces over a six months and I must say of all markers, we would've never expected this one to go missing.

Although, we were fortunate enough to conquere this one before it went missing you won't find a hint of anything here on your arrival. This one went MIA in the summer of 2009 due to the closing of the East Ely Rest Area, three miles north of Ely. The rest area was a pointless one mainly because of its proximity to Ely's major epicenter. I contacted the Ely branch NDOT on this one shortly after its disappearance and here's what they had to say ...

NDOT: "...That rest area is in the process of being torn down. Nobody used it and we're doing it to reduce maintenance costs."
Paul: "So on average how many people do you think used that rest area?"
NDOT: "Not enough, or it wouldn't be on the list (to tear down.)"

In regards to the marker ...

NDOT: "(It) was torn down too. We hope to have it up in the next few months."

It is now 2017 and we've made many trips to this area since then! We visited the White Pine NDOT maintenance yard in hopes of miraculously spotting [84], but have come away unsuccessfull and bit disheartened. It's likely that this one (like many other MIAs in the state) will slip through the cracks of the system without ever seeing the light of day again. [84] will probably remain MIA for some time and there's no word on what the rest will become.

  • Marker 84 before its disappearance in 2013
  • Marker 84 plaque
  • Marker 84 and the former Ely Rest Area in Ely

Exact Description:
In May-June, 1827, Jedediah Smith attempted to find a route from California's central valley to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah, and he became the first European to completely cross what is now Nevada.

Because Smith's journal and map have never been found, his exact route is unknown. Based on Smith's own statements about his difficult trip, modern Nevada historians and geographers have pieced together the most plausible route. Smith crossed the Sierra Nevada at Ebbetts Pass, swung southeast along or across the headwaters and the middle reaches of Walker River, and passed into central Nevada's trackless waste south of Walker Lake.

He entered Smoky Valley on its southwest side in June, 1827, and crossed the valley in a northeasterly direction. He then paralleled the future Simpson Survey, route of the Pony Express and Overland Stage, along modern U.S. Highway 50.

He entered Utah at Ibapah.

By 1824, Jedediah Smith had catalogued more of the American map than any other explorer. This guy got around!

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Related Links & Markers

 Jedediah Smith: Desert USA 

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