Sparks in Washoe County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Engaged in straightening and realigning the old Central Pacific trackage across Nevada, the Southern Pacific Company moved its shops and headquarters from Wadsworth to this location in 1904. The railroad set aside five city blocks for its employees' residences. Each railroader paid $1.00 for a lot. They had to build a house within 120 days and file their deed of ownership. The company also cut their houses in Wadsworth into sections, loaded the parts on train cars and shipped the houses free of charge to Sparks. The railroad moved its employees, their house and personal items on July 4, 1904.
Sparks, originally known as East Reno, New Town Tract and Harriman, came into official existence. In 1905, the state legislature incorporated the town, named it in honor of John Sparks, rancher and governor of the state of Nevada.
Sparks boasted one of the largest roundhouses in the world during the steam era, the Nevada base for a vast stable of steam locomotives. The famous cab-in-front locomotive type known as Mallets, were the huge steamers hauling both freight and passengers over the steep grades
Original Marker Text
Sparks sprang into existence in 1903 as a new division point on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Engaged in straightening and realigning the old Central Pacific trackage across Nevada, the Southern Pacific Company moved its shops and headquarters bodily from Wadsworth to this location. Employees were assigned lots and their houses were freighted to the new town. Sparks, originally known as Harriman, came into official existence in April 1904. Later, in 1905, the city was incorporated by the state legislature and named in honor of John Sparks, rancher and governor of the State of Nevada.
Sparks boasted one of the largest roundhouses in the world during the steam era. It was the western Nevada base for a vast stable of steam locomotives, particularly the famous cab-in-front articulated type (mallets). These huge steamers hauled both freight and passengers over the steep grades of the Sierra between Roseville, California and Sparks.
Erected 1970 by Nevada State Park System and Duby Reid Post No. 30 - American Legion. (Marker Number 88.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1904.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1700 Prater Way, Sparks NV 89431, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Beckworth Trail - Over a Sage Plain (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Bank of Sparks (approx. 0.6 miles away); Glendale School (1864-1958) (approx. 0.7 miles away); James C. Lillard Railroad Park History (approx. ¾ mile away); Chinese in Nevada (approx. ¾ mile away); Southern Pacific Railroad Yards (approx. 0.8 miles away); Coney Island (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Fight of the Century (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sparks.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 2, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 491 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 16, 2016, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. 2. submitted on August 2, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. 3. submitted on April 16, 2016, by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. 4, 5. submitted on August 2, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.