NPS Logo

Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

Suggested Reading

Soldier and Brave
Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

US Forest Service National Historic Landmark FORT RUBY

Location: White Pine County, on an unimproved road, about 8 miles south of the town of Cave Creek. Access is difficult. Make local inquiry.

Eastern Nevada's Fort Ruby (1862-69) played a major role in the history of transportation and communication, but also participated in the Indian wars. In 1859 William Rogers, an assistant Indian agent and the first white settler in Ruby Valley, built a cabin near the southern end of the valley. It became a station for stagecoaches on the Central Overland Mail route, the Pony Express, and a relay station on the transcontinental telegraph line. During the Civil War, in the fall of 1862, to protect these facilities and to control the Gosiute and Paiute Indians, who were focusing their attacks on Overland Mail stages, Col. Patrick E. Connor's California Volunteers founded Fort Douglas, Utah, near Salt Lake City, and Fort Ruby in Nevada's Ruby Valley about 3 miles west of the stage station. Troops from the fort engaged in several skirmishes during the Gosiute War (1863). The next year Nevada Volunteers replaced the California troops and garrisoned the fort until 1869, when the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, the first transcontinental line, brought an end to stage service and thus the need for Fort Ruby.

The site is on a privately owned ranch. The only extant structures are two one-story log buildings, surrounded by more modern structures. The former are the earliest extant examples of pioneer log construction in Nevada. One of them, now used as a tool shed and in fair condition, is palisaded, a rare example of that type of construction. The other, in good condition, is constructed of round logs in a horizontal position, the ends saddle notched. The site of the overland stage and Pony Express station, 3 miles to the east, has been marked by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

NHL Designation: 11/05/61

Previous Next
Last Updated: 19-Aug-2005