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Trego is the location of a former station on the Western Pacific Railroad and a current siding. Trego Hot Springs is located about 2 miles northeast of Trego on the railroad tracks.

The name "Trego" dates from the 1910's, just after the railroad was built. Previously, the springs had names like Hot Springs, Kyles Hot Springs (1864), Butte Spring, and Butte Hot Spring.

Today, Trego is best known for its hot springs, which is a long ditch with a mud bottom. The springs are at the north end, near the railroad tracks, and the water flows south. Garside reports that the springs have a temperature of 187F.

The area near the springs were seasonally occupied from 4000 B.P. and 1000 B.P.

Fairfield states that in 1856, Ladue Vary and Fred Hines discovered the springs that were later named Trego when they took a short cut from Granite Creek (now known as Granite Ranch) across the playa towards Rabbit Hole Spring. When they arrived at the Humboldt River, the met a wagon train on the Nobles Trail. Vary and Hines told the emigrants about the spring, and the emigrants took the shortcut and the Nobles trail was adjusted accordingly. "Hot Spr" appears on the 1857 map "Map of the Western Division of the Fort Kearney South Pass and Honey Lake Road" at that location. (Ladue founded Deep Hole in October of 1856 and then later founded Varyville).

An 1857 map has the label "Hot Spr" at the location of Trego.[1]

The 400 foot long trench was initially hand dug by a group led by Frederick_W._Lander in 1860.

Amesbury reports two 1861 entries from the diary of Edith Lockhart:

"August 18: Pleasant day. Started at noon and went 18 miles to Rabbit Hole Springs, rested a couple of hours and went 18 more miles by the next day to Hot Springs."

"Aug. 19. A warm day - got into camp at 10 oclock in this morning, laid over till evening - when we went 12 miles to Granite Creek or Wells."

In June 1864, Company D of the Nevada Volunteer Calvary passed through Rabbit Hole Spring and then traveled twenty miles to "Hot Springs, now another Western Pacific Railroad village."[2]

The Spring City Post Office was possibly in operation at this location from 13 June 1866 to 4 Oct 1866 and then the name was changed to Hot Springs Post Office from 4 Oct 1866 to 6 Aug 1867.[3][4] However, Spring City Post Office could have been at Double Hot Springs, see Hot Springs Post Office.

"Hot Spr. Sta" appears in an 1876 map.[5]

The area was named Trego around the time the railroad came through. Carlson and Basso state that Trego was named after nearby Mount Trego, which is formally known as Old Razorback Mountain. The name Mount Trego appears on the Pershing County Assesors Map and on the 1968 and 1971 NV DOT Maps. The earliest citation for Trego is a Railroad timetable and map that that mentions Trego and that states that "Through passenger service between San Francisco and Salt Lake City will take place August 22, 1910." An April 29, 1912 newspaper article that states that "" Borax" in the water from Trego was the cause of a train engine boiler explosion that killed three people.

The 1914-1915 WPRR Descriptive Time Table states: "Queer hummocks are scattered over the surface and not far from the tracks at Trego, formerly Trego Springs, are the Double Hot Springs, steamy in winter. The old overland trail passes here. The sharp bluish spurs of the Granite Range, soon to be crossed, are plain ahead on the right. From the Granite Range will be sighted California"[6] Double Hot Springs are many miles from Trego.

In 1920, a man was murdered at Trego.[7][8]

In February, 1921, three unidentified bodies were buried at Trego. In June, 1922, there was interest in these bodies when a few weeks prior a body was discovered in a shallow grave near Gerlach. Joseph Romeros was convicted in the Gerlach killing.[9][10]

In 1994, Desert Siteworks was held at Trego. Desert Siteworks was a series of art events led by William Binzen, assisted by Judy West and John Law from 1993 to 1996. Desert Siteworks sometimes coincided with Burning Man, and many of the principles developed at Desert Siteworks (such as Leave-No-Trace) were adopted by Burning Man.

Unlike nearby Frog (Garrett Ranch) Springs, Trego is on public land.

Postmaster appointments for Roop County in the 1860s. Note that Spring City became Hot Springs which probably became Trego.
WPRR 1910 Timetable showing Trego
October 1913 map showing Trego
c. 1914 map of the W.P.R.R. showing Trego

See Also

External Resources

  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Trego
    • Citation: U.S. Geological Survey. Geographic Names Phase I data compilation (1976-1981). 31-Dec-1981. Primarily from U.S. Geological Survey 1:24,000-scale topographic maps (or 1:25K, Puerto Rico 1:20K) and from U.S. Board on Geographic Names files. In some instances, from 1:62,500 scale or 1:250,000 scale maps.
    • Variant: Trego Siding. Citation: Garside, L. J. and Schilling, J. H. 'Thermal Waters of Nevada' Reno: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 91, 1979, 163 pp. Describes hot springs and hot water seeps of Nevada with location information and map at 1:1,000,000. p60
    • Note that the latitude and longitude indicated by GNIS for Trego is located on the playa surface and is thus probably incorrect. The Trego 1:24,000 1980 Map shows Trego to be on the south side of the railroad tracks, near the crossing of the the road to Frog (Garrett Ranch) Springs. Note that Trego Hot Springs 1:24,000 map is a separate map.
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Trego Hot Springs
    • Citation: U.S. Geological Survey. Geographic Names Post Phase I Map Revisions. Various editions. 01-Jan-2000.
    • Variant: Butte Hot Spring. Citation: Garside, L. J. and Schilling, J. H. 'Thermal Waters of Nevada' Reno: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 91, 1979, 163 pp. Describes hot springs and hot water seeps of Nevada with location information and map at 1:1,000,000. p60
    • Butte Spring. Citation: Garside, L. J. and Schilling, J. H. 'Thermal Waters of Nevada' Reno: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 91, 1979, 163 pp. Describes hot springs and hot water seeps of Nevada with location information and map at 1:1,000,000. p126
    • Kyles Hot Springs. Citation: Sacramento Daily Union Newspaper, August 26, 1864. Letters from Nevada Territory (by G.K.G.)
    • Trego Hot Spring. Citation: Garside, L. J. and Schilling, J. H. 'Thermal Waters of Nevada' Reno: Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin 91, 1979, 163 pp. Describes hot springs and hot water seeps of Nevada with location information and map at 1:1,000,000. p60
  • Helen S. Carlson, Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary," p. 234. The entry for Trego says that Trego is at the foot of Mount Trego. Carlson cites:
    • Carlson cites Trego, Robert, "Black Rock Desert Roads," Nevada State Journal, October 23, 1955, p. 10-11. Low resolution image of Trego Station, Robert Trego states that there were two houses in 1955. Also mentioned are Sulphur and Jungo.
    • Carlson cites "General Highway Maps. Prepared by Nevada State Highway Department, Planning and Survey Division, in cooperation with U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Public Roads 1959-1971 (GHM)," p.260.
    • Pershing County," Nevada Department of Transportation, 1968. Shows "Mt. Trego".
    • Dave Basso, "Ghosts of Humboldt Region," p. 133, 1970. States that it was named Trego for a nearby peak.
    • | Nevada DOT 1971 Atlas (Pershing County Field Data 1965) shows "Mt. Trego".
  • Regina C. Smith, Peggy McGuckian Jones, John R. Roney, Kathyrn E. Pedrick, "Prehistory and history of the Winnemucca District," BLM, 1984:

17. 26Pell8, Trego Hot Springs

The Nevada State Museum surveyed 86 miles along a proposed Bell Telephone undergound route in 1971. Among the sites found during this survey was 26Pell8, a major occupation site near Trego Hot Spring. Test excavations showed signif- icant depth and cultural features. Nevada Bell funded large-scale excavations by the Nevada State Museum under the field supervision of James Toney in 1972. Some further field work was done in 1973.

The first published report of this site was by Jonathan Davis and Robert Elston (1972) who described its stratigraphy. They interpreted the startigraphy in terms of climatic variables. Sometime before 3300 B.P. a deep lake occupied the playa. The lake receded during a dry interval (possibly the Al ti thermal ) . Between 3300 and 1400 B.P. moister conditions produced an ephemeral lake, and the major occupation of 26Pell8 occurred at this time. Around 1400 B.P. the climate again became drier, then moister again, and, finally, the dry conditions which prevail today were established.

In 1980 Susan Seek completed a comprehensive report on 26Pell8. She listed the radiocarbon dates, which ranged from 3810 B.P. to 1120 B.P. (Valastro, Davis, and Varela 1979), and related them to the climatic and cultural sequence. Cultural features and artifacts from the site were described in her report which also included a number of specialists ' appendices (Clark 1980; Danise 1980; Davis 1980; Rosen 1980; Stearns 1980; and Wright 1980). Seek concludes that 26Pell8 was occupied between 4000 B.P. and 1000 B.P. Plant foods, jackrabbit, and cottontail seemed to be emphasized. The occurrence of semi -permanent structures suggests extended occupation and Seek concludes that 26Pell8 was a summer camp from which people exploited lacustrine resources on the now dry playa.

Collections and Archive Materials

Nevada State Museum

Selected References

Clark, W.H. 1980 Dansie, A. 1980 Davis, J.O. 1977a, 1977b, 1980 Davis, J.O. and R. Elston 1972 Jensen, A. 1975 Seek, S.M. 1980 Stearns, S. 1980 Toney, J. 1971, 1973 Valastro, S., Jr., E.M. Davis, and A.G. Varela 1979 Wright, C. 1980 Rosen, M.D. 1980

"In 1853 when he was seventeen years old Fred Hines crossed the plains with Dr Minor. He passed through this valley over the Noble road and went on to Shasta and mined there until July 1856. Then he Ladue Vary and A U Sylvester came to this valley; Vary to prospect, and the others to trade with the emigrants. They went out to Lassen's Meadows on the Humboldt and stayed there until the last of September or the first of October. During that time Hines and Vary came back to Deep Hole springs with a pack train. When they went back Hines concluded to go straight across from Granite creek to Rabbit Hole and save a good many miles of travel. They did this and about midway between the two places found some hot springs. Shortly after they got back to the Humboldt an emigrant train came along. They were going over the Noble road and Hines told them how to keep his trail and find the hot springs. They followed his directions and made a new road which was traveled after this instead of the old one."

Origin of Trego

Trego is named after the Western Pacific Railroad siding. But who was Trego?



  1. "Map of the Western Division of the Fort Kearney South Pass and Honey Lake Road," 1857.
  2. The Sagebrush Soldiers," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, map on p. 65, Vol. 5, No.3-4, 1963.
  3. Prehistory and History of the Winnemucca District: A Cultural Resources Literature Overview," Regina C. Smith, BLM 1983.
  4. Nevada Postal History 1861 to 1972, Robert Harris. "List of Nevada Post Offices and Postal Routes and dates of operation. Map included." 1973.
  5. Bancroft's Map Of California, Nevada, Utah And Arizona, Published By A.L. Bancroft, & Compy. Booksellers & Stationers San Francisco Cal. 1876.
  6. "Descriptive Time Tables, Denver and Rio Grande - Western Pacific, Winter 1914-1915."
  7. Reno Gazette-Journal, "Mexican Prisoner Shoots Constable," November 29, 1920. Gerlach Constable Scott Butler shot in the leg on a train after arresting Manuel Hernandez at Jungo. Hernandez suspected in the disappearance of a man.
  8. Nevada Gazette-Journal, "May be Victim of Hernandez," March 12, 1921.
  9. "Bones Uncovered in Desert Grave," Reno Evening Gazette, June 6, 1922
  10. "'Murder Mystery' at Trego Solved," Reno Evening Gazette, June 13, 1922.

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