Silver Tailings: The Railroad Town of Caliente


Located jus’ north of Las Vegas on U.S. 93, Caliente started with two escaped slaves, Ike and Dow Barton, raising cattle and hay in 1860. They sold out to Charles and William Culverwell, who owned a simular operation near the mining camps of Pioche and Delamar.

With the 1901 arrival of the Salt Lake Rail Line, the area began to shed it’s old background. That same year, streets were surveyed, a post office established and the town officially named after the area’s natural hot springs using the Spanish word for “hot.”

It would be another four-years for regular train service to begin, however Caliente remained a home-base for workers building the route south. Eventually an engine terminal and sidetracks were built, creating employment and stablizing the town’s economy.

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