4WD or high clearance desired
  Carson Sink Station  

39° 16' 51"N, 118° 47' 37"W - SOUTH OF FALLON quad

VISITED We Visited: 28 February 2003
DIRECTIONS From Fallon, south on U.S. 95 for 13.4 miles, west on local road 0.7 miles
From Fallon:
14.1 miles

Carson Sink Station was, at one time, a frame house inside adobe walls . It was mentioned that there was a "fine spring of water" within a few feet of the station. At the time, Carson Lake was much bigger and much closer, as they mention getting mud from the lake to make the adobe.

The station was built in March of 1860 by Bolivar Roberts, J.G. Kelly and others. They knew the region was inhabited by hostile Indians, so they built the station as a fort for protection. Since there were no logs or rocks available, they used mud from the shore of the marsh to make adobe bricks. To get the mud to the right consistency to mold the blocks, they tamped the material with their bare feet for a week or more. They reported the mud was impregnated with alkali and carbonate of soda and it burned their feet until they were swollen and resembled hams.
-Dennis Cassinelli

The narrative by Sir Richard Burton puts it into perspective:

Arrived at the summit, we sighted for the first time Carson Lake, or rather the sink of the Carson River. It derives its name from the well-known mountaineer whose adventurous roamings long anticipated scientific exploration. Supplied by the stream from the eastern flank of the Sierra
Nevada, it is just such a lake as might be formed in any of the basins which we had traversed a shallow sheet of water, which, in the cloudy sky and mitigated glare of the sun, looked pale and muddy. Apparently it was divided by a long, narrow ruddy line, like ochre-colored sand ; a near approach showed that water on the right was separated from a saleratus bed on the left by a thick bed of tule rush. Stones imitated the sweep of the tide, and white particles the color of a wash.

Our conscientious informant at Sand-Springs Station had warned us that upon the summit of the divide we should find a perpendicular drop, down which the wagons could be lowered only by means of lariats affixed to the axle-trees and lashed round strong "stubbing -posts." We were not, however, surprised to find a mild descent of about 30. From the summit of the divide five miles led us over a plain too barren for sage, and a stretch of stone and saleratus to the watery margin, which was troublesome with sloughs and mud. The cattle relished the water, although
tainted by the rush ; we failed, however, to find any of the freshwater clams, whose shells were scattered along the shore.

Remounting at 5 15 P.M. we proceeded to finish the ten miles which still separated us from the* station, by a rough and stony road, perilous to wheel conveyances, which rounded the southern extremity of the lake. After passing a promontory whose bold projection had been conspicuous from afar, and threading a steep canyon leading toward the lake, we fell into its selvage, which averaged about one mile in breadth. The small crescent of the moon soon ceased to befriend us, and we sat in the sadness of the shade, till presently a light glimmered under Arcturus, the road bent toward it, and all felt " jolly." But, " Heu, heu! nos miseros, quam totus homuncio nil est !" [“Alas for us poor mortals, all that poor man is is nothing."]

A long dull hour still lay before us, and we were approaching civilized lands. "Sink Station" looked well from without; there was a frame house inside an adobe enclosure, and a pile of wood and a stout haystack promised fuel and fodder. The inmates, however, were asleep, and it was ominously long before a door was opened. At last appeared a surly cripple, who presently disappeared to arm himself with his revolver. The judge asked civilly for a cup of water ; he was told to fetch it from the lake, which was not more than a mile off, though, as the road was full
of quagmires, it would be hard to travel at night. Wood the churl would not part with : we offered to buy it, to borrow it, to replace it in the morning ; he told us to go for it ourselves, and that after about two miles and a half we might chance to gather some. Certainly our party was a law-abiding and a self-governing one ; never did I see men so tamely bullied ; they threw back the fellow's sticks, and cold, hungry, and thirsty, simply began to sulk. An Indian standing by asked $20 to herd the stock for a single night. At last, George the Cordon Blue took courage;
some went for water, others broke up a wagon-plank, and supper after a fashion was concocted.

I preferred passing the night on a side of bacon in the wagon to using the cripple's haystack, and allowed sleep to steep my senses in forgetfulness, after deeply regretting that the Mormons do not extend somewhat farther westward.




In 1960 it was said you could still see the faint remnants of four or five adobe walls facing north. Now, however, unless you knew exactly what you were looking for, you're not going to see much of anything at all. Luckily there are a couple of competing markers standing side by side to tell you that this is the site.

Interestingly, there are seashells everywhere, indicating that this was once sea floor. Road can get sandy, so suggest 4WD.


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