Smoke Creek Station

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Note that there are two Smoke Creek Stations, one to the west of the Smoke Creek Desert, the other to the east.

Smoke Creek Station - stage station

One is listed in the GNIS as being "ruins with grave" at 40.5515682 -119.9507620. This location is to the west of the Smoke Creek Desert and is on the stage road from Chico to the mines in Idaho.

  • Fairfield, "Fairfield's Pioneer History of Lassen County, California,"
  • p. 241: In 1861, "Fred Hines and L. N. Breed kept the Smoke Creek station this summer and fall."
  • p. 261: "In the fall of 1861 J.H. Breed bought his brother's share of the Smoke Creek Station and probably got the part that belonged to Hines a little later on. He stayed there the following winter and in the spring sold out to I.J. Harvey who had been employed to buy the property for a United States Army Post During the winter of 1862-63 William V. Kingsbury established a trading post at Smoke Creek and afterwards kept a station or hotel in connection with it. He stayed there until late in the 60's."
  • "The following is his advertisement, which was something out of the common, as it appeared in "The Sage Brush" of January 12, 1867 :"
    • "The Celebrated Smoke Creek Station, situated on the Humboldt, Idaho, East Bannock, Reese River, Salt Lake, Sur- prise Valley, New York, London, Paris, Japan and China road, in fact from which point you can go anywhere if you want to, is still running, commanded by that well known individual,"
    • "Owing to the immense travel to the above localities, we have made arrangements to accommodate it all, in a superior and gentlemanly like manner. We are endeavoring to induce the directors of the Pacific Railroad to locate the terminus of the road at Smoke Creek, it being we think, the most central point for it. San Francisco may 'buck' a little against it, but geo- graphical position will tell."
    • "It is unfortunate for San Francisco to be located so far away from Smoke Creek but we cant help it now. — Speaking of square meals/ torch light processions, baled hay and 'sich' like, there is where we understand ourselves. We can converse upon those subjects, in connection with that commercial article called cash, with the most perfect aplomb and nonchalance."
    • ""We most respectfully invite those going anywhere to call on us. Kingsbury & Co."
  • The 1876 Bancroft map has "Smoke Creek Depot" on the west side of the desert. [1]
  • In 1911, The Nevada Historical Society stated: "Roop, which is also known as Smoke Creek is situated in the central portion of Washoe County on its western boundary line one hundred and twenty five miles from Reno.(footnote a: RL Polk & Co Nevada State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1907 1908) Roop was settled about 1860 and took its name from Roop County which was formerly the northern division of what is now Washoe County.(footnote b: Authority of Mr JH Smith Buffalo Meadows Nevada) Roop County in turn took its name from Isaac Roop (Footnote c: Miss MA Taylor of Reno says that Mr Roop had two daughters Jane and Susan for whom Janesville and Susanville in California were named.) who was elected Governor under the Provisional Territorial Government by the people of Western Utah in 1859"[2]
  • Township 31 North -- Range 18 East -- Sheet 1 (T31NR18E.1) (1866) shows Smoke Creek Station.
  • Ruhlen states that " Camp (and Depot) Smoke Creek" was near the Smoke Creek Station.[3] Ruhlen also describes Camp Pollock (June-July 1864) as being near Smoke Creek Camp, but that Pollock was on the California-Nevada line that had recently been surveyed.
  • Helen S. Carlson, "Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary," p. 219, located about 5 miles east of the California/Nevada Line. This location appears on a 1881 map. and is near Robbers Roost. Carlson states that the station was established by Lieutenant Henry W. Williams from Fort Crook California on December 15, 1862. In October 1863, Nevada Volunteers were ordered to replace the California troops and moved to Granite Creek Station. Smoke Creek Station was abandoned in 1866 ([3])
  • Wentworth gives a summary of the Smoke Creek Station, "Trailing Sheep from California to Idaho in 1865: The Journal of Gorham Gates Kimball," Edward N. Wentworth, Agricultural History, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Apr., 1954), pp. 49-83.
  • Jeffrey D. Johnson, "Julia’s Unequivocal Nevada Klampout #32" (2011). Description of Smoke Creek Station, included quotes by Joseph Goldsborough Bruff and Edward Griffin Beckwith

Smoke Creek Station - WP Railroad Station

The other is located on the WP Railroad south of Reynard and west of Wild Horse Canyon [4].


  1. Bancroft's Map Of California, Nevada, Utah And Arizona, Published By A.L. Bancroft, & Compy. Booksellers & Stationers San Francisco Cal. 1876.
  2. "Biennial Report of the Nevada Historical Society," Issue 2, p, 85, 1911.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Col. George Ruhlen, "Early Nevada Forts," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, p. 51, Vol. VII, No. 3-4, 1964.
  4. Helen S. Carlson, "Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary," p. 219