Sunday, August 25, 2013

10th Anniversary "Showdown!" (Part 2- Panaca, Pioche, and Caliente, NV)

Picture in front of old mining equipment in Pioche
This post is part 2 to our anniversary vacation taken in June of 2013.  

And we arrived in the wild west...

Panaca is a VERY small town in Nevada, but judging by all the online photos and reviews of all the other inns and motels around, they definitely have the best place to stay in this sparsely-populated county.  We were quite comfortable in our cabin at the Pine Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast.  I'd recommend it to anyone going there.  I'm glad I brought a fan, though.  There was working air conditioning, but again, we were in the middle of a heat wave and the A/C wasn't turned on until we arrived.  It cooled off, and wasn't awfully hot in the cabin, however the fan did add comfort to our stay.
 The cabin had 2 queen beds, we tried both and they are really soft and comfy.  There was wi-fi, a little fridge, microwave, and sink, little dining table, a flat screen TV with Dish Network, and nice decor.

 Our hostess, Jenny, was kind, and accomodating and cooked us hearty and delicious breakfasts!  She also was confident that she could cook bacon just the way Steve liked it, so it was crispy but not burned.  A lot of people say that they can do that, but they can't.  Well, Jenny really could do it.  She made us bacon that was thick cut, yet really crisp- and not burned, and really good!
Sunday's breakfast: Fruit, 2 eggs, hash browns, blueberry muffins, fried ham, and grapefruit juice.
Panaca has a rich Mormon history (those who went to settle "the muddy").  It is still a prominantly Mormon town and although there were no restaurants, we were able to attend church there.  It was fun to come across a street sign named "Blad."  My step-mom's "Blad" ancestors are from Panaca, and they played a prominant role in the settlement of the town.  

The Bed and Breakfast that we were at had a book of Panaca settlers and I found a bio in that book of the Blad family.  I love geneology and finding stories are like finding gems to me.  Here's the photos of the pages of the Blads from that book:

Panaca is a sweet little town, and a short 15 minute drive from Pioche, Nevada, the real reason I wanted to take the side trip to the middle of nowhere.  You must be asking yourself by now why I would plan to go to the middle of the desert for a few days, where the entertainment options run dry, for my anniversary. Much of my family knows that I am a family history nut and in doing genealogy I have questions about my ancestors.  Well, one such ancestor is from a small town in the wild west, Pioche.  I had been there once as a child with my family as a stop off on our way home on some trip.  Apparently my dad must've been interested in seeing the mining town that his ancestors are from too.  We looked around the unique "boot hill" cemetery a little, but mostly just drove through then.  Well, all these years later, I still remember that cool cemetery and I wanted to show it to my hubby, since he enjoys history like me.  And so we were off, to answer questions, and show my hubby some wild west history.

Pioche, Nevada

Our first stop in Pioche was, of course, Boot Hill Cemetery.  Take into account that this is the town that my ancestor (August Adelman) who I know little about, married his wife (Katherine Mack), had 3 children, then divorced ten years later.  Why?  Not sure.  Perhaps it was their age difference (19 years!).  But I also have to wonder if the town they were living in had anything to do with it.  Back then, in the later 1800s, early 1900s, Some towns in the west were not as wild as they're made out to be in the Hollywood movies, but Pioche, Nevada wasn't one of those.  This town definitely put the "WILD" in the wild west and makes all those flicks from Hollywood look like little documentaries of Pioche.  Take a look at the pictures I took and you'll see what I mean.
 The grave markers in boot hill are not your run-of-the-mill carved stone with sweet sentiments.  They are mostly carved wood (some very hard to read) with short, brutal tales to tell.
"Shot during dispute over a dog"

Shot by officers

Fanny Peterson
aka Panama Jack
Spanish Courtea...
killed by her lover
 Lymon P Fuller
Damn Shame

see next picture for closer shot

Feared by some, Respected by few, Detested by others, Shot in back, 5 times, from ambush. (Incidentally, I read up on the man that shot him, and the murder was actually deemed a "public service."  Morgan Courtney apparently was a bad bag-o-beans.)

accidently shot himself

good miner, fair man

Steve posing at the gravesites

This old mining equipment runs over head and right through the cemetery.
The town cemetery is right next to Boot Hill and has grass and the more typical headstones.
My ancestors were not found on any gravestones here.
 Next stop- the local museum and exploring the small town...

The museum didn't have anything of relevance to my search, but a few cool artifacts and minerals from the local mines...

vacuum cleaner

I've always loved the color of malachite
 I got a couple pictures of the main street.

 And I was told that the heritage park was where a miners camp was set up back in the day, so we stopped there to get some pictures...
Heritage park has a pretty water feature and pavilion as well as a mining car monument.
Our next stop was down the hill at the old lincoln county courthouse.  It is the very building that August and Kate were married in, and probably where they received their divorce, so it was really cool for me to go through it.  It has a unique story of it's own, costing a million dollars when it should've only cost $16,400.00).  Why?  Because of the WILD West - cost overruns, careless financing, and bad-behaved politicians.  Now it's a museum for all to enjoy (and I really did).

The courthouse has 2 floors, and it was the upper floor that contained this cool law library and the actual courtroom.
Did I mention the courtroom was full of these creepy "dummies?"  I thought I'd sit in on the jury.
Then the jail was out back.  THAT was creepy.  It was a very dark place with another creepy dummy on a half broken bed and it was a very undesirable place to be.  The pictures we took have the camera flash on, so we could actually see what was around us.

Being in jail= no bueno.

It was a hot day and although dark, it was still hot in the jail.  I can imagine the misery of being an inmate there- hot, stagnant air, sweat, dirt, bugs, rodents, latrine stench.  Ick!

Behind me in the corner is the "latrine."

can you see me through the bars?

I told the lovely museum keeper about my ancestors and that I was searching out more to their story.  She was amazing and looked through old Pioche newspapers while we toured the museum, and when we came down, she had found a true gem for me!  It is the ad for August (Gus) Adelman's butcher business.  I was so happy!!!  The paper was from 1878, which was quite neat to look through.  I got pictures of every page (4 total).

Loved this story of "A Tall Man"

And this seemed like a useful rhyme.

The ad let me know that August goes by "Gus" and his butcher shop was on Meadow Valley Street, so of course, I needed a picture of that street. We didn't have a map, but the town is tiny, so we just drove until we found the street, stopping only for a picture by one of the mines.
And near the place we had lunch we found "Meadow Valley Street!"
Notice the "Silver Cafe" across the street?  It was where we had lunch and ordered pizza.  The pizza exceeded my expectations and reminded me a lot of the pizza at one of our favorite pizza joints, Mama Lia's. 
Here's another shot of Meadow Valley Street.  Somewhere along this road was the butcher shop of Gus Adelman.
Well, it being a Saturday, the city/county offices and historical archives could not be accessed.  Shucks (a bit of an oversight on my part)!  But at least we saw what we could.  Pioche was great, and only took us half a day to see all we did, so we headed back to the B&B.  On our way back to Panaca, we thought we'd check out the Cathedral Gorge State Park (only 5 minutes from Panaca).  Even though it was the heat of the day, in the triple digits, we were glad we stopped there.  That place had cool formations with shallow slot canyons that shockingly felt air conditioned.  We didn't see another soul at that State Park, so it was just us in this alien-like scene.  If you're ever shooting a martian movie, this is the place to come.  Erosion has left this masterpiece for us to enjoy.
While waiting for the camera to take this picture of us, I felt like the sun was turning me to crispy bacon.
We ventured into the slots...

tight squeezes, but I made it.

It was oddly a very comfortable temperature in the slots- probably like 75 degrees.

Don't lick it, Steve!  It's not melted ice cream.

Up close, these formations looked like peanut butter that got too warm and dripped everywhere.

looking up at the end of the slot canyon

 Finally, we went to an overlook, and it was way prettier than what the camera captured, but here's 2 photos for you anyway.  Again, it's way more magnificent in real life.

Before we turned in for the evening, of course I had to get a picture with the cool open range sign.  I am so used to seeing Utah's boring cow on their open range signs, but these signs in Nevada make you really want to be careful near the open range.
Oh, and I don't have a picture, but we also stopped at Bullionville, another mining- ghost town off the side of the street.  We hiked 1/10 mile to the top of the hill where the small cemetery was, but didn't find my ancestor there either.  I was so hot and tired, but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to sight see in that area.  Steve had to literally push me up that hill, but we made it, and ended the day with no regrets.

The next day was Sunday and we attended church in Panaca, then packed up, and headed to Las Vegas, with one stop planned on the way to do just a teensy bit more of my family history sight seeing. The town is called "Caliente," pronounced by the locals, "CAL-EE-EN-EE."

Katherine Mack, after she divorced August Adelman, moved with her children to Caliente (about a 1/2 hour drive for us from Pioche), then married a Jacob Speillman, and then he died, and she married a "Culverwell."  He also died.  So, she was divorced once, widowed twice, from what I can put together.  Not sure the first name of her husband, Mr. Culverwell, but the town of Caliente has lots of "Culverwell" history. 
Me posing by the Culverwell street sign

On the census, Kate Culverwell lived on Clover Street.  I found a sign that happened to be the corner of Clover and Culverwell.

Notice the train station right up the road.  Culverwells had something to do with that.
We stopped by the train station.  Everything was closed (Sunday, right?), but there were little history-markers around for us to read.

Trying out the panorama feature on the camera.  It makes the building look curved, but it's not.
The town is small and quiet.  There was a deer enjoying romping through, no doubt working it's way around to all the nearby gardens.

On our way out of town, we saw this informative sign (Culverwell's Ranch) and another to Caliente's cemetery, so we stopped and looked around.
Charles Culverwell- I don't know if that is Kate's husband or possibly a reletive of him.  I got to keep researching.
The cemetery proved to be a winner!  I found the grave of Louis John August Adelman, the firstborn of August and Kate.  He died at age 35, leaving his wife, Amelia ("Millie") of 10 years.

Using, I found more info about Millie.  She remarried 3 years later to Frank Seldon Warren.  Here's her picture.  She's the one on the left.
I took pictures of the other graves with Culverwell names, since they may be a relation.

Here's a look at Louis Adelmann's gravestone in the foreground.  The cemetery is built on a hill.
That ended our "Showdown in the Wild West" portion of our anniversary vacation.  It was wonderful to share this time with my husband and add another experience to my personal generations project.

Next stop: Las Vegas!