Nevada Historic Markers in Elko County: Carlin Canyon
Nevada Historical Marker 50
Old Highway 40 (Chestnut Street)
Three Miles East of Carlin
In December, 1828, Peter Skene Ogden and his trapping brigade (Hudson's Bay Company's Fifth Snake Country Expedition) were the first whites to enter here. Joseph Paul, one of Ogden's trappers, died nearby - the first white man to die and be buried in the Humboldt country.
The Bidwell-Bartleson Party was the forerunner of the 1841-1870 California Emigrant Trail tide through the canyon - then known as Wall Defile or Fremont Canyon. Late in 1845, John Fremont dispatched his Kern-Talbot-Walker subsection down the Humboldt; they traversed this canyon with difficulty on November 10. In September, 1846, the Reed-Donner Party, enroute to cannibalism and death in the deep snows of the Sierra Nevada, viewed the canyon.
The Central Pacific's Chinese track gangs constructed the railroad (now Southern Pacific) through here in December, 1868. Subsequently, the canyon became known as Carlin or Moleen Canyon. The Western Pacific, second transcontinental rail link across Nevada, was constructed in 1907.
In 1913, Nevada Route 1, the first auto road, took over the abandoned (1903) C.P grade through the canyon. In 1920, Route 1 became the Victory Highway, and in 1926, U.S. Highway 40. In its freeway phase, it is now designated Interstate 80.