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Nipton in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Nipton

 
 
Nipton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
1. Nipton Marker
Inscription. The town of Nipton was born on February 9, 1905 with the coming of the first train on the newly constructed San Pedro, Los Angles and Salt Lake Railroad. Originally called Nippeno Camp after a nearby gold discovery, the name was changed to Nipton when the SP, LA & SL merged with the Union Pacific Circa 1910. For many years, the depot was a cattle-loading station for several local ranches including Yates Ranch, the Walking Box, and Rock Springs Land and Cattle Co. The town and depot also supplied numerous mines in the area, becoming a social center for the sparse population of the region. Community facilities included a school, post office, voter precinct, and several small businesses. Begun as a 20th century railroad depot, Nipton is re-forming into a 21st century gateway to the Mohave National Preserve.
 
Erected 1999 by Billy Holcomb Chapter and Queho Posse of E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 99.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 35° 28.006′ N, 115° 16.329′ W. Marker is in Nipton, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is on Nipton Road east of Nipton Moore Road, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Nipton Road
Nipton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
2. Nipton Marker
is about 40 miles beyond Baker. Exit I-15 at Nipton Road about 10 miles before the Nevada Stateline. The town of Nipton is about 10 miles east of I-15. It is about 21 miles further east to Searchlight, Nevada. Marker is in this post office area: Nipton CA 92364, United States of America.
 
More about this marker. Nipton was founded by Frank (Harry) Trehearne who built the store, the hotel and later tent bungalows. The town serviced the nearby mine, The Nippeno, from which it derived its name, as well as several other mines and cattle ranches. The town was also a cattle loading station on the Union Pacific Railroad. East of Nipton on the way to Searchlight, Nevada is one of the nicest forests of Joshua Trees to be found.
SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
 
Categories. Notable PlacesRailroads & Streetcars
 
Rear of Nipton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
3. Rear of Nipton Marker
From Claim to Fame image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
4. From Claim to Fame
On Kiosk about 30 feet north of Nipton Marker:

Two wagon trails crossed here in this wide desert valley, marking the spot where a town would take form in the 1870's. The settlement evolved over time with the ever-changing characters that lived and worked in the Ivanpah Valley.

On January 1, 1900, a gold seeker from Pennsylvania named S.D. Karns, staked perhaps the earliest claim in the area, calling it "Nippeno". The miners took up residence here at the crossroads, which became know as "Nippeno Camp." Soon, the town boasted a railroad station, hotel, and stage coach stop. English immigrant Harry Trehearne shepherded the town's development through the 1940's. After his death and the closing of the railroad station, the town went into decades of decline. In 1985, the Freeman family purchased the deserted town and restored it as a destination for tourist and a home for local miners.
Clara Bow image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
5. Clara Bow
On Kiosk about 30 feet north of Nipton Marker:

One of the Hotel Nipton's frequent guests during the 1920s was Clara Bow, the famed "IT" girl of the silent film era. She and her husband, Hollywood cowboy Rex Bell, bought the nearby Walking Box Ranch as a retreat from the pressures of Hollywood.
From "Nippeno Camp" to "Nipton Station" image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
6. From "Nippeno Camp" to "Nipton Station"
On Kiosk about 30 feet north of Nipton Marker:

Nevada Senator William Clark was determined to connect Salt Lake City to Los Angeles by rail. In 1905 his company completed the San Pedro, Los Angles and Salt Lake Railroad, with Nippeno Camp as a whistle stop.

The railroad brought new life to the community and supplies arrived and cattle were shipped to Salt Lake and Los Angeles.

In 1910, the line was merged into the Union Pacific Railroad and the name changed from Nippeno to Nipton. The station was abandoned in the 1950s.
Harry Trehearne's "Townstead" image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
7. Harry Trehearne's "Townstead"
On Kiosk about 30 feet north of Nipton Marker:

Harry Trehearne (left) and his wife, Ella (behind the counter) at the old Trehearne Store, Nipton, California, April 26, 1941. A miner from England, Harry Trehearne was the principal developer of the town of Nipton from his arrival in 1922 until his death in 1949. Trehearne opened a general store, restored the Hotel Nipton, and dug the first water well. He was also active in many local mine explorations and developments.
Hotel Nipton (shown below in 1939) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
8. Hotel Nipton (shown below in 1939)
On Kiosk about 30 feet north of Nipton Marker:

Built between 1904 and 1910 to serve as a stopover for the railroad, local lore holds that the hotel was originally constructed out of railroad timbers and rammed earth. By 1918, it had seen enough wear and tear to be described as "old" by guest Roy Port of Ivanpah Valley. Harry Trehearne repaired the Hotel Nipton in 1924 and hosted an eclectic clientele. The Freeman family refurbished it again in 1985, and now operates a bed and breakfast at this retreat to simpler times.
Hotel Nipton (today) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, March 15, 2010
9. Hotel Nipton (today)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 44 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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