Wilson Canyon

Lyon County
  38.80969, -119.22015

"Here's a lovely refresher. And just in time too: right when I was beginning to think that every county here in Lyon belongs to Dayton. It isn't my first visit to Wilson. This place and I have quite a few fish stories to tell. In a state as arid as Nevada, it's rare to find a place as immaculate as Wilson Canyon -- a raging river coursing past towering red and gold walls. Wilson still remains a relatively hidden gem without a whole lot of visitors. A future Nevada State Park anyone? -- Journal Entry, September 2007

Along SR 208, 2.3 miles south of junction with SR 339, 14 miles south of Yerington
* Find this one at the south end of Wilson Canyon next to the river *

Original Date Visited: 9/18/07

Signed: No

  • Marker 255 plaque
  • Wovoka, the Rain Maker

Exact Description:
Wilson Canyon and the Wilson Mining District were named for brothers David and "Uncle Billy" Wilson. David Wilson (b. 1829), came west in 1850 during the California Gold Rush. He returned to the Midwest in 1853, married, and joined the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War. Wilson participated in at least one battle and was discharged with sunstroke. He then returned to the West.

The Wilson family settled in the Wilson Canyon area in 1863 mining gold discovered in Pine Grove by brother "Uncle Billy" and ranching in Mason Valley. The Wilsons' mining efforts eventually yielded several million dollars.

David Wilson died in 1915, a prominent local rancher and community leader. He is buried nearby in the Wilson Ranch cemetery.

A Northern Paiute named Wovoka was raised with the Wilson boys and took the name Jack Wilson. He regularly attended family bible readings and prayers. Wovoka started the Ghost Dance movement in 1890 which swept into the Great Plans with potent political force.

Marker 255 and the West Fork Walker River.

Next Marker:


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