Sunday, February 23, 2014

History Lesson

By Brandon Wilding 

In 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad (Union Railroad) made its way from California to the hills of Nevada. A town-site was laid out 10-miles west of Lake’s Crossing and named Verdi by Charles Crocker when he pulled the name of Guiseppe Verdi, a famous Italian composer, from a hat of possible names. Verdi quickly grew when the people of Crystal Peak deserted their homes when they learned that the train was going to bypass their lumber mills.
Verdi’s sawmills supplied the lumber needed to the railroad as it made its way across the Truckee Meadows. The need for lumber in the mines of Virginia City also benefited the small town. The town’s sawmills stood with splendor and showed the promise of small town. In addition to lumber, Verdi was in a prime location for the ice industry. Many ice ponds thrived between Truckee and Verdi, including the small town of Boca. Verdi became the gateway that ice passed through on its way to the new town of Reno and the mines of Virginia City.
True to the nature of many early settlements, Verdi fell victim to three destructive fires. After each fire the town and the sawmills were rebuilt. However, after the fire of 1927, the need to rebuild was no longer worth the manpower or trouble. The lumber industry was no longer a promising venture. The town’s population began to move away and the old burned out sawmill stood empty. Verdi still stands today rich with history. It is a hidden gem that some historians considered the terminus to Henness Pass. It also boasts the first train robbery in the west.

No comments: