Deep Hole

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Deep Hole is located on Highway 447 west of Gerlach near the Smoke Creek Desert road and Planet X Pottery. Deep Hole was founded by Ladue Vary in 1856 who created a stone building that still stands. (Vary went on to found Varyville).

Ingalls writes: "Deep Hole is at the north end of Smith (sic) Creek Desert, 115 miles north of Reno, nine miles northwest of Gerlach, on Western Pacific Railway, which is its telegraph, express and shipping station. It was named after several deep springs near by."

An 1857 map shows a "Trading Post" at the location of Deep Hole.[1]

Frederick W. Lander negotiated peace with Numaga at Deep Hole on August 21, 1860.

In 1866, the Chico/Idaho stage line passed through Deep Hole and a public house was operated by "Messrs Partridge and Wurm."[2]

In July, 1869, two men were murdered at Deep Hole. Bloody Point was named for this incident.

Fairfield has a detailed description of the deaths of Partridge and Coburn.[3]

"In my annual report for 1869 under the head of outrages I detailed the murder by Indians of two white men Partridge and Coburn at Deep Hole Springs Nevada in July 1869. I investigated the case as far as possible and it appeared that the white men were killed by two Indians brothers Amazoo and Hop-we-puck-ee living in the northern section of the State. Military authorities at Camp Bidwell California arrested several Indians suspicioned as perpetrators of the murder among the number Hop-we-puck-ee. He was finally turned over to civil authorities at Susanville California was taken from the custody of the constable by some white men and hanged in September 1869. Amazoo was apprehended near Reno Nevada together with two other Indians Joe and Mack who belonged on the reservation and who were innocent of any criminal knowledge or participation in the murder. At a preliminary examination nothing was adduced against these Indians but instead of being released Deputy Sheriff Edwards turned them over without authority to some irresponsible white men from Honey Lake Valley California. These men took the Indians a few miles from Reno murdered them and threw their bodies into a deep hole by the wayside. Such was in substance the Indian version of these outrages and subsequent information has almost fully verified their statements. These cases illustrate the swift and unlawful retribution to which Indians in this State are subjected without any discrimination as to guilt or innocence A suspicion against an Indian is tantamount to his death warrant to be executed by bad white men without fear of prosecution or molestation at the hands of civil authorities."[4]

In 1889, Louis Dean owned Deep Hole and Granite Creek Station.[5]

Louis Gerlach owned Deep Hole and hired James Raser as his ranch foreman.

Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker were at Deep Hole. UNR has a picture description.

  • The 1873 plat shows the Miller's living at Deep Hole.[6]
  • 1880 Census data for Deep Hole Farm, Roop County,, 1880 Census Data for Deep Hole,
    • Miller, David C. 41 M FARMER ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Miller, Jenny 52 F KEEPING HOUSE ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Miller, James 18 M LABORER ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Miller, Maggie 15 F KEEPING HOUSE ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Miller, William 14 M LABORER ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Miller, James C. 25 M LABORER ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Roberts, Julius 21 M LABORER ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880
    • Donnelly, James 47 M VAQUERO ROOP DEEP HOLE FARM 1880

Presumably the Miller lived at Millers - a GNIS historical locale (ca. 1881) located south of Deep Hole.

Could James Donnelly be who named Donnelly Peak?


  1. "Map of the Western Division of the Fort Kearney South Pass and Honey Lake Road," 1857.
  2. "Idaho Stage Road," The Chico Weekly Courant, July 7, 1866, p. 2.
  3. Asa Merrill FairfieldFairfield's Pioneer History of Lassen County, California," p. 475,
  4. J. M. Lee, "Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs By United States. Office of Indian Affairs," 1870.
  5. "Died on the Desert," The Weekly Gazette And Stockman, Reno, August 8, 1889, p. 1.
  6. T33 R22, General Land Office Record, 1873

External Resources

See Also