Reno-Fort Bidwell Stage

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The Reno-Fort Bidwell Stage went through the Smoke Creek Desert.

From Reno to Fort Bidwell:

  • Reno "Stages from Reno to Eagleville 160 miles fare $16; Cedarville 180 miles fare $18; Fort Bidwell 200 miles fare $20; to Alturas 210 miles fare $18; Davis Creek 250 miles fare $20; Lake View 295 miles fare $21;"[1]
  • Fort Sage? - Occupied in the 1870s to protect the Reno-Fort Bidwell Road.[2] The T25 R18 and T25 R19 plats shows the road to Surprise Valley going through Newcome Lake.
  • Nevada State Journal, May 30, 1954, p. 8. The stage line went along Pyramid Lake
  • Sutcliffe In 1892, the U.S. Congressional record stated: "Returning to the lake and turning north we next come to the place marked on the map as "The Willows". This is about 19 miles from the agency and is only a fishing post but at the same time it being on the old stage route from Reno to Fort Bidwell it is made to serve as a stopping place for travelers and teamsters. The place is occupied by James H. Sutcliffe. He has a small cheap house no barn nor garden. He keeps a few boats to rent to persons coining there to fish. He values his entire improvements at $250. He does not claim to have any title and has always understood and known that he was on the reservation."[3]
  • Pyramid In 1864, Charles Symonds started a ranch at this location that became Pyramid. The ranch was known as a "breakfast" station, because the evening stage coach would leave Reno and arrive at Pyramid in the morning, where the team of horses would be changed and the passengers would get breakfast.[4]
  • Bonham Ranch


  1. George A. Crofutt, "Crofutt's overland tours," p. 97, 1888.
  2. Col. George Ruhlen, "Early Nevada Forts," Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, p. 51, Vol. VII, No. 3-4, 1964.
  3. "A letter from the Secretary of the Interior submitting an agreement entered into between the Indians of the Pyramid Lake Reservation and the Commission appointed under the provisions of the act of March 3 1891," United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2953, January 11, 1892. p. 7, 15.
  4. Sessions S. Wheeler, "The Desert Lake: The Story of Nevada's Pyramid Lake," p. 78.