Fort Sage

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Fort Sage was a garrison occupied in the early 1870's on the Reno - Fort Bidwell road, which alternately went through Sutcliffe and then the Smoke Creek Desert.

Fairfield (1916) mentions "Fort Sage mountain (State Line Peak)" a few times [1]

Ruhlen (1964) states that Fort Sage was located "46 miles north of Reno"[2] "between State Line Peak and the Virginia Mountains."[2]

Pendelton (1983) states that rock foundations found 5 km. southwest of the Fort Sage Drift Fence at Miller Spring could be the ruins of Fort Sage.[3] Miller Spring is 39 miles from Reno. The Reno 1957 1:250,000 map shows "Ruins" near Miller Spring.[4]

A foot note in Pendleton states that the location of Fort Sage is uncertain and that Jocelyn[5] and Ruhlen[2] locate Fort Sage in Washoe County. However, Pendleton states that W. Dalton La Rue (owner of the Winnemucca Ranch) thought it was in California and that the rock foundations at Miller Spring were built by a Mexican landowner in the 1880s.[3] Note that a "Fort Johns" was located near Susanville.[6]

A website states that Fort Sage was a rest stop on the Reno-Fort Bidwell Stage and that it was called Camp Sage by the military. The site states that in 1872, a surveyor named Alexis Von Schmidt wrote in his journal that Sage Fort Creek was named after settlers who build a fort and were eventually killed. A second version was told to Phillip Hall by Charles Clark which stated that a crude stone fort was created by soldiers and that no one was killed[7]

See Also

Camp McGarry


  1. Asa Merrill Fairfield, "| Fairfield's Pioneer History of Lassen County, California," 1916.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Col. George Ruhlen, "Early Nevada Forts," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, p. 51, Vol. VII, No. 3-4, 1964.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pendleton, Lorann S. A., Thomas, David Hurst, "The Fort Sage Drift Fence, Washoe County, Nevada," Anthropological papers of the AMNH, Vol. 58, Pt. 2, 1983.
  4. Reno (1957, Rp. 1980), Map, 1:250,000
  5. Stephen Perry Jocelyn, "From Mostly Alkali", Caxton Printers, 1953.
  6. The Sagebrush Soldiers," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, map on p. 65, Vol. 5, No.3-4, 1963.
  7. Historic Towns of Lassen County