The Last Spike

Clark County
  35.83523, -115.27969

"It's good to see that another marker hasn't gone down in vain especially with how far I have driven! I'm pretty sure this replacement marker here alongside the choo-choo tracks is a replacement, but I won't fully know until I get back home to investigate ... IF I can get any information at all. Roads are one thing that have shaped Nevada, but trains are an entirely different creature altogether. Transport across the region, across the state ... across the country is a gargantuan feat and a much needed in this gargantuan United States. #195 conquered." -- Journal Entry, March 2009

Original Directions (as stated by the SHPO):
"Located off Interstate Highway 15 on Frontage Road, 4.6 miles northeast of Jean, Nevada."
New Directions:
Along the S.P. Railroad, 4.6 miles north of Jean

* Access from Frontage Rd (SR 604) at Mile Marker 10, then north on dirt path) *

Original Date Visited: 3/14/09

Signed: No

The Mystery of Marker 195
Make no mistake: [195] may be missing from its original location, it is still very much alive! This case is an odd one. What you'll find at the SHPO's listed directions are the remains of this marker, but even these remains are a tricky, if not a lucky find.

Here's where you can find them. Head northbound out of Jean along the Frontage Road for the specified mileage (4.5 miles) where you'll arrive at a railroad underpass. Right as you exit the underpass look to the hill on your immediate right. There isn't much room for pulling in for marker viewing and perhaps could be one of the reasons why it was removed. So far the story seems like just another case of the MIA, right?

After contacting the SHPO I learned that a new sign was acting as [195], in their words, "a cheaper alternative to re-building the marker." Unfortunately, this new sign is missing all of the original text (which I have listed below) in addition to being even trickier to spot from the road than the first marker! This new version of [195] can be found right alongside the railroad tracks of the Southern Pacific which directly parallels Frontage Road. Are we paying attention? Keep a sharp lookout for Mile Marker 10 no matter which direction you might be coming from. Once you spot it follow up by immediately looking for a dirt path leading toward the railroad tracks. This shouldn't be too difficult because there is only one dirt path at Mile Marker 10. Here is what you'll see from the road. I ask you - can you spot the marker? ...

From here it's less than a quarter mile to the railroad tracks. This marker was placed around 2000 so that trains could see the sign as they passed. Cute, but ridiculous for the majority of us in an automobile. This new sign has become a part of the Historical Marker System, but we can say Kudos for the SHPO in at least finding an alternative to this important piece of Nevada history.

  • This off-the-beaten-path marker is a simple and relaxing one to find.  Any respite from I-15 is welcome in Clark County.
  • The acting replacement sign for Marker 195

Exact Description:
Due to the removal of the original plaque, the following text may never be read again. As of this date, all text for this marker is gone. The following description is the text taken the Nevada State Archives and the State Historic Preservation Office ...

This site is near where workers drove the last spike which completed the railroad between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Los Angeles, California. It was driven on January 30, 1905. This was the last "transcontinental" line to Southern California and one of the last lines built to the Pacific Coast. There was no formal celebration at the time of the last spike. The men on the spot gave some recognition to the event.

Las Vegas owes its existence to the railroad, then known as the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, as the men in charge laid out the town and established a division point there, taking advantage of a good supply of water.

The remaining legs of this marker tells all. If you follow the SHPO's original location all you'll find is this.

Next Marker:


Related Links & Markers:

 [40] -- Las Vegas "The Meadows"   [197] -- Arrowhead Trail II 

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