Travels in the American Southwest
Ione
GPS - N38 56.974 W117 35.077
2 miles north of Berlin
Road factor/Accessability - Graded dirt (Ione Main street is paved)
~308 miles from Las Vegas

With the discovery of silver in 1863, the town of Ione grew so quickly Ione Ore House Saloon that it became the first Nye County Seat in 1864. Resident Tasker Oddie wrote in 1889, "This is the greatest place I ever saw as it is so unique in its crudeness." And in 1898 he wrote, "Ione is unique in itself just now. Everybody says that there is no town anywhere that has more drunken men in it for its size. It is simply full of them. There must be nearly 200 people in all here now, counting the miners. There are a number of saloons, in fact more than any other buildings. "Although prosperous, as the mines grew unproductive, both the miners and then in 1867 the county seat moved to Belmont, site of a richer lode. Today, Ione is billed as "The Town That Wouldn't Die". Many buildings survive in varying degrees of collapse. Ione offers limited services. Old photos of Ione.

Ione Town Sign

IoneThe Ione Valley was home to a large population dating back 5000 years. More recently, Shoshone and Northern Paiute nations inhabited the valley. An historical marker states that the tribes had unusual property arrangements and agricultural methods. Perhaps they were referring to the custom of  marriage. "A widow could be claimed by the younger brother of her deceased husband and a widower could marry the younger sister of his late wife. Plurality of wives sometimes occurred since a man had the privilege of marrying his wife's younger sisters also." This, according to The WPA Guide to 1930's Nevada. I exchanged e-mail with the folks at the Washoe, Paiute and Shoshone Peoples Page (website no longer working) but they were unable to give any assistance as to what the historic marker might have referred.

For information on the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe click here


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