National Register of Historic Places in Carson City

National Register #84002070: Wabuska Railroad Station in Carson City, Nevada 7 August 2008
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National Register #84002070
Wabuska Railroad Station
South Carson Street and Fairview Drive in Ted Slim Gibson Memorial Park
Carson City
Built 1906

This Southern Pacific Railroad Station was moved to Carson City from the town of Wabuska, one hour east of Carson City in Lyon County.

It is the second depot constructed in Wabuska. The first was built in 1881 by the Carson and Colorado Railroad Company; a narrow gauge railroad which operated between Mound House, Nevada and Keeler, California.

Although settlement in the Wabuska area can be traced to 1874, development was sporadic until the Carson and Colorado Railroad provided easy access to the region.

Wabuska was an agricultural community until the turn of the century. Initial development was confined to the depot, a hotel, a general store, the post office, a saloon and a Wells Fargo express office.

In 1900 the Southern Pacific Railroad purchased the Carson and Colorado Railroad Company. Increased freight traffic between Wabuska and neighboring mining camps coupled with the discovery of copper ore in the Mason Valley prompted The Southern Pacific Railroad to improve their Wabuska facilities in 1906. A crew of eight Southern Pacific carpenters built the new Wabuska. The Lyon County Times documented the progress of the depot, noting that the structure was "of modern design."

The single story, wood-frame depot remained in active service until 1979.

In 1982 the Southern Pacific Transportation Company donated the vacant depot to the Nevada State Museum with the understanding that the station would become part of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Museum in Carson City. In 1983, the station was moved to the museum site and restored.

The Wabuska Railroad Station is significant as an intact example of early twentieth century Nevada railroad architecture. The depot is among the last surviving railroad stations associated with the Hazen to Mina branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Of the seven stations constructed to serve the line in the early twentieth century, only the Wabuska and Mina Freight stations survive.

The Wabuska Railroad Station is also historically significant as the major shipping point for Mason Valley. During the early 1900's, the Wabuska region served as the principal supplier of agricultural products for the mining camps of Tonopah and Goldfield. Wabuska also served as the transfer point for the Nevada Copper Belt Railroad, a major carrier of copper ore which operated between 1910 and 1947.

Source: NRHP Nomination Form

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