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Discussion Starter #1

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You deserve an award. If anyone has a thankless job right now it's you. Thanks for the wonderful posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here is some more local history. I find it and other pioneering stories interesting.

Story by Bruno Coli:
The history of the Donner Trail Ranch at Verdi, 10 miles west of Reno, at the junction of the Truckee River, Dog Creek and the historic Donner Trail Road, is intimately bound with the history of Western Nevada, as well as that of the gold camps of California and the earliest wagon trains and stage coach routes across the High Sierra.
Merrils Station

The background history of the Donner Trail Ranch reaches far back to the first wagon train migrations across the High Sierra. On a route first marked out by the Washo and Paiute Indian parties, the old “mountain man” Caleb Greenwood in 1844, the Steven’ party in 1845 and the tragically-fated Reed-Donner party in 1846, the Emigrant Trail or the Donner Trail really began on the banks of Dog Creek and the Truckee River with a simple log structure built in 1849 that was used as a tavern and stage stop called Bull and Pepper’s Station. That structure burned down and it was on the evening of March 5, 1864 that the main Ranch House was formally opened as Merrill’s Inn, a stage coach and toll road stop on what had become the Henness Pass and the Dutch Flat Toll Roads from Reno to the gold camps of California. The route up Dog Valley Summit and thence southwest to Donner Lake carried much of the freight wagons between Virginia City and Reno on the Nevada side and the booming towns of Dutch Flat, Auburn and Sacramento on the California side. Completion of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1867 through the Truckee River Canyon at Verdi took much of the freight traffic off of the toll roads, but with the coming of automobile traffic in the early 1900’s and the designation of the Donner Trail Road as the Lincoln Highway, once again this route became a major transcontinental link for the growing West. As the Victory Highway, the road up what is now Old Dog Valley Road from the Donner Trail Ranch became the main auto and truck route between California and Reno until finally in 1927, U. S. Highway 40 was completed through the Truckee River Canyon.
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Fred,

In the article above it mentions the Emigrant Donner Trail as being the Lincoln Highway. This road wasn't paved all the way or at all at the time, was it? I think of a highway as being paved, but back in the day, I'm guessing the roads and highways were still dirt or gravel.

I was surprised how quickly the train robbers got caught. Very interesting one of the main ways some of the men got caught was because of the "gamblers boot". Very interesting, thanks.
 

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This is the Lincoln Highway heading east from Green River, Wyoming when we rode it last summer. It roughly parallels the modern interstate here.

 
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