Churchill County
  39.50571, -118.91892

"It's natural for thousands to whiz on by this marker everyday. Well, I stopped ... then soaked in one of the more interesting tales in the state's history. With giant cottonwood trees for shade and a cool river to wade in, it's easy to imagine this place as a virtual oasis in the desert centuries ago. Wait, it's still considered an oasis today." -- Journal Entry, July 2007

Along US 50, 1 mile east of Leeteville Junction (US 50 ALT), 8 miles west of Fallon

Original Date Visited: 7/21/07

Signed: Both lanes of US 50

Marker History
[19] Ragtown was among the low-number series of Stone markers that was remade in the Standard-type issue after vandalism occurred around 1995. After a few requests were made the marker was removed. Fortunately, after a few years hiatus (give or take five years), [19] was spotted along the roadside once again. Interestingly, the wagon that compliments the marker was placed by the Churchill County Museum a few months later.

  • The original Ragtown now sits on a private ranch along Pioneer Way behind this rental center
  • The original Ragtown now sits on a private ranch along Pioneer Way behind this rental center
  • Life on the California Trail

Exact Description:
Ragtown was never a town, but the name of a most welcome oasis and hamlet. This mecca on the banks of nearby Carson River received its name from the appearance of pioneer laundry spread on every hand bush around.

The Forty-Mile Desert, immediately to the north, was the most dreaded portion of the California Emigrant Trail. Ragtown was the first water stop after the desert. To the thirst-craved emigrants and their animals, no site was more welcome than the trees lining the Carson River.

Imagine, if you will, the moment when the animals first picked up the scent of water--the lifted head, the quickened pace, and finally the mad, frenzied dash to the water's edge. Then, rest and repair for the arduous crossing of the Sierra Nevada that lay ahead.

In 1854, Asa Kenyon located a trading post near Ragtown. Here he offered goods and supplies to the trappers. During the 1850's and 1860's, Ragtown was one of the most important sites on the Carson branch of the California Trail.

Next Marker:


Related Links & Markers:

 [26] -- Forty Mile Desert   Virtual Tour of the California Trail 

Have you been to this marker? Tell us all about it here!