Deeth

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Elko County

Prior to the establishment of Deeth as a town, the area was used by emigrants as part of the California Trail in the 1840's. The term "Deeth" may have been a bastardization of the word Death. There are journal entries from the 1840's that speak of a place west of Humboldt Wells (Wells) called "Death". This was based on travelers without enough water meeting their doom in the desert. The establishment of Deeth occurred in 1869, along with the other Elko County rail towns of Wells, Elko and Carlin. A sidetrack station and telegraph line were soon built here. By 1875, Deeth had a saloon and a post office that served the surrounding cattle ranches as well. By the late 1870's, the town saw other businesses arrive, such as a store, hotels and a livery stable. By 1880, the population was still only a few dozen residents, but the town was serving as a supply hub for the Starr and Ruby Valleys. A stage line was also running to Mardis (Charleston) to the north. Businesses continued to come to Deeth through the 1880's. Some form of publication called the "Tidings" or "Deeth Tidings" published here for a short time in either 1895 or 1896. Deeth continued in this pattern until 1910 when the boom at Jarbidge helped boost the area substantially. Deeth was growing and soon reached a population of 250 residents. From 1910 forward, the town had saloons, hotels, stores, a livery stable, blacksmith, barber shop, creamery, church, schools and a new newspaper called the "Commonwealth". A new stage and freighting route from Deeth to Jarbidge was also a financial success in the warmer months. (This road is impassible by modern vehicle in the winter). A fire in 1915 wiped out over half of the town. As automobiles became more prominent, people began to bypass Deeth as a stopping point. The town was soon in decline. The Bradley family had major cattle interests in the area. The large house that is still located here belonged to the Bradley and Russell Cattle Company. Lewis "Broadhorns" Bradley was the Governor of Nevada.

Post Office: November 2, 1875 until present day. This post office still services the major cattle ranches.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: I have driven past here many times and never stopped to photograph it. We just went in February of 2022 to take photographs. It is located not too far from I-80. That's the easy route. We drove through the Lamoille Valley, all the way through the Starr Valley and into Deeth from the south. That route is dozens of miles of good, dirt road. Be careful of winter weather, regardless of which route you take.

While photographing the old Bradley-Russell building and others located right near it, a pickup truck pulled up and a rancher got out. He was very friendly but let us know that these buildings were on private property. It wasn't fenced or posted, so we apologized for not knowing. We told him that we were photographing old buildings for a Nevada historical website and he was very nice about it. He let us continue to photograph. He stated that the train still stops at Deeth and that approximately once a week, he has to run off train hoppers who attempt to squat in his buildings. That's why he was checking on us. While we were there, the train was stopped in Deeth and a crew was working on it.