Round Hole

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Round Hole is a spring on the west side of the Smoke Creek Desert.

Thompson and West (1881) state "Eight miles south of Murphy's is Sheep Head, a station in the desert on the stage road. A spring of water is found here, the only good water in the desert. This stretch of inhospitable land is in some places forty miles wide, and is surrounded by a scant growth of sage-brush and grease wood, while for miles there is no vegetation whatever. Alkali, salt, borax and gypsum are the leading components of the soil, rendering a trip across its arid waste extremely unpleasant. Six miles south of Sheep Head is a spring called Buck, or Bull, Spring, and six miles farther south is Rotten Egg Spring, a name peculiarly appropriate, so extremely disagreeable is the water both to the smell and taste. Round Hole, or Deep Hole, Spring lies six miles more to the south, and the water, although not very pleasant is used for drinking purposes. It is on the above route that the stage road runs, and sixteen miles southeast of Round Hole is Pyramid Lake, on the road now followed by the stage, passing through Pyramid City, and Jonesville, which lie on the line between Washoe and Roop Counties."[1]

A 1892 U.S. Congress record states "There is said to be a white man living at the place designated on the map as "Round Hole Spring" but from all we can learn the place is not very valuable either to the occupant or to the Indians being a cheap stopping place at a spring on the highway with little if any improvements. This is a cattle ranch with cattle principally ranging oft the reservation but these springs furnish necessary water on the reservation."[2]

Rolland Bonham (d. 1952) operated stage stops in the area: Twenty Mile House, Sheep's Head Station, Round Hole Station. [3]

Round Hole, Smoke Creek Desert (Fairbanks 1901)


  1. Myron Angel, David F. Myrick, "Reproduction of Thompson and West's History of Nevada, 1881," p. 565, (1881, 1958).
  2. "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.
  3. Nevada: The Silver State," vol. 2, p. 859, Western States Historical Publishers, 1970.

External Resources

  • GNIS Round Hole (historical)
    • Citation: " 'Nevada': National Map Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, no date (map states it uses data from the 1920 census, and the acquisition data by the Nevada Historical Society was 1923). Full color map showing railroads, mountains, roads, communities, and springs, at scale of 1 inch=11 miles."
  • GNIS Round Hole Spring
  • Harold W. Fairbanks, "The Western United States; A Geographical Reader," 1908. p. 100. Photo of Round Hole.