The Humboldt River

Humboldt County
  41.01586, -117.57378

""... And speaking of resting, there was a man slumped against #22. By his awkward posture I thought he was seriously hurt at first, but then I noticed a slight creak in his movement. He was a hitchhiker headed to Reno from Elko. Apparently the Humboldt corridor still harbors a fistful of weary travelers. Slumped, sleepy, or otherwise stupified." -- Journal Entry, February 2008

Button Point Rest Area, 8 miles east of Winnemucca
* Use Exit 187 from I-80 *
This marker shares its site with [164] -- Button Point

Original Date Visited: 2/28/08

Signed: A double rarity! It's rare to see historic marker signage along any freeway in Nevada, but this one's signed with an original cut-out shield on both lanes of Interstate 80 before the off-ramp to "Button Point."

  • [22] It is rare to see historic marker signage along any freeway in Nevada, but this one is signed with two original cut-out shields before the off-ramp to Button Point
  • [22] Marker 22 at the Button Point Rest Area
  • [22] Marker 22 at the Button Point Rest Area

Exact Description:
First discovered November 9, 1828, by Peter Skene Ogden on his fifth Snake Country expedition. Entering Nevada near present Denio, Ogden came southward along Quinn River and the Little Humboldt River, emerging on the Humboldt main stem near this site. Ogden explored hundreds of square miles of the Humboldt's course, left records of his trailblazing in his journal and first map of the area.

Ogden gave the name "Unknown River" to the Humboldt at this time, as he was unsure where it went. Later, after the death of his trapper Joseph Paul, Ogden renamed the stream Paul's River, then Swampy River, finally Mary's River, from the legendary Indian wife of one of his trappers. In 1833 the Bonneville-Walker fur party named it Barren River.

Ogden's or Mary's River were commonly used names for the Humboldt prior to the publication of John C. Fremont's map in 1848.

The Humboldt was the only natural arterial across the Great Basin. It funneled thousands of emigrants along its valley en route to the Pacific Coast during the period of 1841-1870.

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