Nevada's Birthplace (Original)

Douglas County
  39.00384, -119.76043

"The value of heritage at long last. Out of 2.6 million Nevadans, there's one person who knows the true story behind this old marker! This old girl has definitely seen her fair share of hardships." -- Journal Entry, January 20, 2011

1121 Airport Road, north of Minden
Take US 395 11.2 miles south of Carson City, then 1 mile east on Airport Road (SR 758). Make a final left 0.2 miles north on Heybourne Lane to the Douglas County Public Works Building on the right

Original Date Visited: 1/13/11

Signed: No

The Conquering of Marker 12
After a decade of frustration, Marker 12 was finally conquered! The date was January 18, 2011 when I received an anonymous tip stating that somebody had found this long-lost beauty. The tip had derived from a Douglas County official who stated they'd found the missing marker and eagerly provided me a phone number. Apparently, people have been equally curious about this strange, but vaguely familiar marker that's very much alive and in excellent condition considering the story you are about to read.

First off, you may wondering why I keep referring to these people as "county officials." Well, here's the bad news: [12] is located on private property, protected behind a barbed wire fence at the Douglas County Public Works facility branch in the heart of Carson Valley. (More on this in a minute ...) Upon arrival, I was greeted by a handful of county officials all of whom were happy to discuss the marker's history, and all of whom were surprised at the notoriety of this marker, having recognized me from my article in the Nevada Appeal. Five minutes later, I was given another shocker when county road worker, who I've nicknamed "Buddy," greeted me with a firm handshake. "Buddy" was the very same person who moved this marker from its current location at the State Route 88 junction in Minden sometime around 1998. Truly, Buddy didn't want to withhold any information and while I myself could tell you the story in my own words, I think you'll find his more intriguing verbatim. Buddy rolled everything off the tongue with fast lib and an all-business demeanor making absolutely sure that I soaked in the full story ...

Buddy: "It (the marker) used to be at a Park & Ride, right at the junction there at 88 and 395 in Minden. If you go there today you'll see a big dirt patch. When it was time to build the intersection, we had to demolish the Park & Ride and my supervisors told me I had two options ... either take it (the marker) or it's going to the dump. I didn't want to see it destroyed, so we loaded it up onto a trailer and moved it here."
Paul: "So, you moved it here because you had no other choice --"
Buddy: "-- I thought it was too unique for it go to the dump."

And the golden question that sealed the deal ...

Paul: "So, how do you move a marker like this?"
Buddy: "Very carefully."

After the reveal, everybody at the office including myself thanked him for his initiative! To my surprise, my invitation to conquer [12] offered everybody a bit of closure. For years, they had wondered why this bulky stone slab was here, and it was that day, we had learned the full juicy details. Case closed! I'll admit I was a bit frustrated when I learned that this marker remains mostly inaccessible to the public, but learning the truth, and seeing the marker's rugged condition had freed my mindset of this small inconvenience. In short, Buddy's decision to relocate it here, on private property, means peanuts, a small trade-off to the marker's preservation. Considering its hardships, the marker's text is well-legible, and still etched in stone as it was twenty years ago, with only a few minor ... *get ready for it* ... chips off the old block. The fence and survellance cameras posted on the Douglas County Public Works building forever protects this old girl from future mishaps and vandalism.

A Word of Caution:
I end this former MIA case on an important note: The Douglas officials were nice enough to ask that the public do not visit #12 without permission. This facility is private property and vehicles that visit without permission or prior notification are subject to impoundment. To plan your visit to the marker, the Works Office is open Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm. Upon closing, the gate is locked and monitored by surveillance cameras. Therefore, do not by any means loiter or linger around the facility for a peek at the marker from outside the fence, lest you don't mind a personal visit from the Douglas County Sheriff.

  • [12] Yes folks, there is a reason why this marker is behind bars
  • [12] Buddy purposely angled this marker to face Genoa, five miles away at the base of the mountains
  • [12] Buddy purposely angled this marker to face Genoa, five miles away at the base of the mountains
  • [12] Yes folks, there is a reason why this marker is behind bars
  • [264] Marker Plaque

Exact Description:
Carson Valley is the birthplace of Nevada. In 1850 a first settlement was made at Mormon Station, renamed Genoa in 1856. Here, in 1851, the first attempt to form a government was made. In 1861, Nevada's Territorial Government was established at Genoa.

Over the old road skirting the west bank of the Carson River thousands of immigrants moved southward to cross the Sierra, feeding their livestock on grass cut along the river. At Genoa, at Mottsville, settled in 1852; and at Sheridan, settled by Moses Job about 1854, they stopped to enjoy produce of the state's first gardens. Pony Express riders used this route in 1860, switching in 1861 to the shorter Dagget Trail, now Kingsbury Grade.

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Related Links & Markers:

 [117] -- Kingsbury Grade   [121] -- Mottsville   [122] -- Sheridan   [207] -- Carson Valley   Mormon Station S.H.P. (Nevada State Parks)   Nevada Towns: Genoa 

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