Monday, August 26, 2013
Location: Caliente, Nevada, is located over 100 miles north of Las Vegas and 20 miles south of Pioche on Highway 93. This town is a gateway to Rainbow Canyon (to the south), Kershaw-Ryan State Park (to the north) and Cathedral Gorge State Park (also to the north).
History: Prior to the railroad, Caliente's limited importance lay in its cattle and hay operations which supplied the mining town of Pioche to the north. Caliente also attracted visitors because of its extensive hot springs in the area. In 1905, the town became more important with the construction of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad today the Union Pacific. This railroad would link Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Soon Caliente's success and demise would be linked to the railroad. For instance, it served as a hub for workers building the route to the south. The town also served as a division point complete with yard tracks and company houses. In 1923 the Union Pacific built the iconic mission-style building which originally housed a hotel, restaurant, train station and Telegraph Office. Today trains do not stop in Caliente and passenger service has been discontinued. The passenger station has been restored and now houses town offices and a library. (Information from www.wikipedia.com and www.backyardtraveler.blogspot.com)