Esmeralda County
  38.14959, -117.94723

"Give the lonely ghosts of the Nevada desert some time and they'll certainly reply. Columbus is one such ghost, complete with its haunting landscape." -- Journal Entry, July 2008"

Along US 95, 9 miles north of Coaldale Junction

Original Date Visited: 7/21/08

Signed: Both lanes of US 95

Marker History
[20] is another original Stone marker that has been replaced using a Standard-type issue. This is to be expected because according to my research, this one's seen much better days. When it was first erected around 1990, the face of this marker fell victim to spraypaint very quickly. Later, it was removed after requests were made by area ranchers, but it didn't take long for NDOT to bring this old beauty back to life. From what I've been told, it only took six months for [20] to reappear on the roadside, if for nothing else, than for something to see along this desolate stretch of US 95. In a nutshell, the "new" marker you see today has been around for awhile. Today's Standard-issue has received its share of vandalism and miscourse, so much in fact that its state seal has been sadly ripped off. Marker 20 finally went missing for some time in 2010, but was replaced in 2014 thanks to Nevada's 150th celebration.

  • [20] Sign for Marker 20
  • [20] Marker 20 has certainly seen better days
  • [20] Former Marker 20 and behind it, the majestic White Mountains, the highest mountain range in the Great Basin.  Notice the the far right peak in the photo -- Boundary Peak, 13,140, the highest point in the state.

Exact Description:
The remnants of Columbus are located on the edge of Columbus salt marsh, five miles to the southwest.

The town was initially settled in 1865, when a quartz mill was erected at the site. This was a favorable location for a mill, because it was the only stop for several miles around where water was in sufficient quantity for operation.

The full importance of Columbus was not recognized until 1871, when William Troop discovered borax in the locality. Shortly thereafter, four borax companies were actively engaged in working the deposits on the marsh.

Columbus probably reached its most prosperous year about 1875, when the population was reported to have reached 1000. In 1875, the town had many kinds of business establishments, including a post office and a newspaper, The Borax Miner.

In 1881, about 100 people were left after the borax activity had practically ceased. All mining and milling operations stopped entirely, shortly after that time.

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Related Links & Markers:

 Nevada Towns: Columbus 

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