Sunday, April 9, 2017

Before Palisade Died

Palisade, Nevada, can't even qualify as a ghost town...there just isn't anything left. The town was built along the route of the Transpacific Railroad, at the east end of Palisade Canyon, and served as an interchange with the Eureka & Paalisade Railroad, and a shipping point serving many local mining and ranching operations.

The 85-mile long, 3-foot narrow-gauge Eureka & Palisade was built between the two townships between 1873 and 1875 in order to connect the silver and lead mines around Eureka with the new Transcontinental Railroad. Like most mining-related narrow-gauge railroads of Nevada, the line's fortunes followed the boom and bust cycle in mining. The road struggled financially, and went through reorganization several times, becoming the Eureka & Palisade Railway, and then Eureka Nevada Railway.

By 1910, mining was on an upswing, and so were the fortunes of the little E&P. Up to 200 tons of ore a day were hauled by the line to Palisade where it was transferred to the Southern Pacific and taken to smelters in Salt Lake City.

The company survived just a bit longer than the Nevada Central, and when it was finally closed in 1938 it was the last narrow-gauge line operating in Nevada. With the railroad's closing, there was no reason for there to be a town at this lonely spot, and it all but disappeared into the weeds.

On the far side of the freight shed can be seen a coach and a couple of locomotives of the narrow-gauge Eureka & Palisade.
One of the original Baldwin 4-4-0 American locomotives from the E&P has survived as the last such wood-burning locomotive in America. It is privately owned by Dan Markoff and is kept in Las Vegas. The locomotive occasionally makes appearances at special events, but this is rare because its boiler is original, and Markoff wants to preserve it that way. Photos from one of those events can be seen here.

Built in 1884, this two-story building served as offices for both the Central Pacific and the Eureka & Palisade/Eureka Nevada
Standard-gauge tracks are on this side of the building, the narrow-gauge tracks are on the far side.

Photos and memories of the town can be seen here.

The site of Palisade, Nevada, as it appears today along the Union Pacific main line.

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