Take it easy

38°20'29.72"N 118° 6'10.79"W USGS Sodaville Quad

VISITED 9/2/2017
DIRECTIONS Take US 95 S out of Hawthorne for 37.2 miles.

A focal point for mining and freighting in the area. It was in the cards to be a major rail stop but apparently someone got greedy and the railroad decided to sink a well at Mina and go there instead.

The mill at Sodaville, - Esmeralda county, has resumed crushing ore from the Mt. Diablo mine at Candelaria. The mill has a force of thirty-five employees.
-Daily Alta California, 6 August 1888

Sodaville is again a bustling hamlet. The Mt. Diablo Mill is running like an eight-day clock.
-Reno Evening Gazette, August 9, 1892

A 100 ton copper smelting plant is to be installed at Sodaville, Esmeralda county.
-Reno Evening Gazette, June 20, 1899

Daily Service BEtween Sodaville and Tonopah
Offices-- Riverside, The Overland, and
Palace Hotels, Reno, Nev.
Fast Freight and Wells-Fargo Express
Ladd and Chon, Props.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 2, 1903

One Will Soon Be In Operation Between Sodaville and Tonopah for Passenger Traffic
John Munford, of the pioneer Automobile Company, passed through Reno Saturday night enroute to San Francisco from Tonopah. Mr. Munford went to Tonopah three weeks ago with a twenty horse power Winton Touring Car for
Fred Seibert. The car was unloaded at Sodaville and the run of sixty miles made into Tonopah in five hours running time, consuming four galons of distillate as fuel in the run. The trip was entirely successful and the practiability of an automobile line was very apparent to Mr. Munford. As a consequence of this trip a forty horse power machine with a capacity for fifteen passengers will be running between Tonopah and Sodaville within a month. A new road independent of the stage road will be constructed and the automobile will be strong opposition to the stage lines now in operation.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 13, 1903

Reno, Nev.-- the first engine to go over the new Tonopah Rhodes road made the trip last week to the first station, Coalville. The trip was made in less than one hour. Freight and passengers are now transferred to and from the stage at Coalville, reducing time between Sodaville and Tonopah more than two hours. -Mariposa Gazette, April 23, 1904

Sodaville, Nev., Find of Rich Vein of Tungsten Results in Vandalism
Reno.—Tombstones are being used for location monuments in the new mining district near Sodaville, where a fabulously rich ledge of tungsten ore was discovered ten days ago, according to reports brought to Reno by men who answered the call of the desert and rushed to get some of the claims.
One miner located the village cemetery, and as there were no rocks near, he used some of the best looking tombstones to mark the boundaries of his claim.
Others soon followed suit, and now the relatives of the departed, interred there years ago, would have a hard time recognizing one grave from another.
-Sausalito News, 4 December 1915

SODAVILLE, 147 m. (hot mineral baths), once the most important town between Reno and Tonopah, is now almost deserted. Before the railroad was carried to Tonopah, this was the point at which all freight for the town was unloaded-- and also the place there mosst of the boomers transferred to stages for the slow, dusty trip across the desert. One man said it was necessary to take a shovel at the end of the trip to discover which of his fellow passengers was his wife. Night and day the railroad and stage officers here were besieged by frantic people-- mine owners trying to discover where machinery was, restaurant-keepers imploring priority for their perishable shipments. Swearing, sweating freight agents threatened to disappear forever. One in Sodaville an unthinking store-keeper suddenly sppeard behind his counter garbed in a Hallowe'en mask and costume that had been ordered for the daughter of one of the prominent mining men of the area. It was Saturday night pay day, and the store was jammed with Indians. What was intended as an innocuous joke proved to be the merchant's undoing. The terrified Indians fled in panic, not bothering to seek the door but plunged headlong throught the window glass. Convinced that the Devil had appeared among them, they refused thereafter to enter the store. Here, too, in 1904, "Two Gun" Mike Kennedy, self-styled the toughest man that ever came out of the East, met his death. According to old-timers, Kennedy had bullied the camp for weeks; and on Saturday night he was cutting it wide and handsome when he ran into a quiet and peaceable miner named James Lund, in from his diggings for a little quiet drinking and fun. Lund, unarmed, called the braggart's bluff, and Kennedy, inviting him to shoot it out, offered him one of his guns. The two men squared off in the center of the main street with the residents lined along the walks, and blazed away. The toughest man ever to emerge from the East fell with six bullets in his body, and the miner, unscratched, walked into a saloon for another drink.
-The WPA Guide To Nevada- 1940


Well, we were going to check it out but the gate said "no tresspassing" and, frankly, the area looks a little creepy, so maybe we'll check it out some other time. No photos, but have some maps showing the rise and fall of the little burg.

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