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Author and researcher Helen Carlson spent almost fourteen years in her search for the origins of Nevada's place names, using the maps of explorers, miners, government surveyors, and city planners and poring through ...
Author and researcher Helen Carlson spent almost fourteen years in her search for the origins of Nevada's place names, using the maps of explorers, miners, government surveyors, and city planners and poring through historical accounts, archival documents, county records, and newspaper files. The result of her labors is Nevada Place Names, a fascinating mixture of history spiced with folklore, legend, and obscure facts.
Nevada's place names had many sources. From the native Indians came such names as Winnemucca, to honor a famous Paiute chief, and Jarbidge, after a mythical devil giant who roamed the canyons and fed upon Indians. The mountain men, trappers, and explorers left such names as the Unknown River (later the Humboldt); Las Vegas, for its fertile meadows; and Pyramid Lake, after a huge rock resembling the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The Mormon colonists and the early emigrants left behind such names as Bunkerville and Spring of Lost Hope. The railroaders laying tracks to bridge the continent loved short names with an echo reminiscent of pounding sledgehammers, like Elko and Bango. The prospectors left names that reflect their hopes of fortunes in silver and gold: Confidence, Perseverance, and Solo Joker.
Nevada Place Names is an invaluable reference tool for anyone interested in the state and its past; it also offers lively reading for anyone curious about the name at the side of the road and the people who lived orworked there.