Take it easy
  Six Mile House (White Pine Co.)

39°18'38.4"N 115°31'22.9"W

VISITED September 23, 2022

From Eureka, head south on US 50 for 32.1 miles; turn right on White Pine County Road 5 and go for 3.4 miles; keep left to continue on White Pine County Road 9for 2.8 miles; turn right and go 0.3 miles; turn right and go for 0.5 miles


A ranch and a station, Six Mile House most likely existed long before 1873, when the first newspaper reference [that we could find] appeared. An 1885 General Land Office plat shows "Traverse's House" in this location. We found references to a "Joe Travis" so we'll assume a misspelling and, at the time the area was platted, Mr. Travis was already operating a ranch and station here.

We start off with, of course, death.

SUDDEN DEATH.--On Thursday morning last a man named Michael Euer, who had been employed at the Six-mile House for some time, was found dead in his bed. The Coroner's jury summoned in the case rendered the following verdict : We the undersigned jurors, summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of a person found at the Six-mile House on the Pioche road, in White Pine county, find the name of said party to be Michael Euer, aged 33 years, and a native of Switzerland. After a careful examination we find he came to his death from the rupture of an abdominal aneurism, on or about the morning of the 31st July, 1873.
-The White Pine News, August 02, 1873

We'll continue with crime.

The two young men who broke jail in Hamilton Monday night, says the White Pine News, and who it is believed were the same parties who were here a couple of weeks ago and took out Spencer & Frank's horses, were captured on the Robinson Summit Thursday. They committed several depredations around Hamilton, such as breaking into cabins, stealing clothing, arms, etc. They were first captured out at the Six Mile House, on the Eureka road. After being in jail a couple of days they broke out through the Sheriff’s office, a feat which was no trick at all.
-The Silver State, October 11, 1882

At this pont, Mr. Travis suffered an accident and, we assume, his widow and children sold the ranch / station and moved away.

Through the kindness of Mr. Orr, stage driver between Eureka and Hamilton, the Sentinel learns of the death of Joe Travis Wednesday morning at 4 o'clock at the Six Mile House, where the deceased resided with his family, a wife and five children, and kept the stage station. About a month ago Mr. Travis was plowing with a spirited team with the lines thrown over his back when a single-tree broke. The flow stuck in the ground, and he was drawn violently over it. In the concussion he received a serious wound to the bladder, from which he suffered dreadfully until relieved by death at the hour named. Dr. Thomas was called to see him Monday night. The doctor tells us that at that time the case of the patient had become hopeless, and that he was then actually dying. The deceased is a cousin of Jot Travis, who has been telegraphed to concerning the sad death of his relative, a worthy man of middle ages, who leaves a large family in distress over his untimely taking off.
-White Pine News, June 7, 1884

Six Mile House became part of White Pine's District 1.

COUNTY COMMISIONER. Redistricting the County Into Townships for Registry Purposes.
At the meeting of the Board of County Commissioners held at Hamilton July 6th, the county was redistricted into the following Townships, and their boundaries defined: 'Township No. 1, Hamilton—To embrace Hamilton, Treasure Hill and Eberhardt, bounded on the north by a line running from Harris’s Station to and including the Six-mile House on the Eureka road; on the West by White Pine Mountains to Nye. county line; on the south by Nye County line; on the east by the Shellback range of mountains.
-The White Pine News, July 17, 1886

It would appear by this time that the Coyle Family had ownership of the ranch, or were at least living there.

County Central Committee Meeting
Coyle's Ranch, Polling place, Coyle's House
Judges Leroy Coyle, J.G. Tonking, E. D. Walti
1 Delegate
-The Weekly Sentinel, Eureka, Nevada October 18, 1888

There are many references to sheep in the area and we assume "Doc Holmes" was a local sheep herder. Apparently someone's horse liked the area.

Stray Horse. THERE CAME TO THE SIX-MILE HOUSE, below Hamilton, in White Pine county, on the stage road, and in now running with my flock, a Light Bay Horse, about five years old, branded 0-0, which the owner can have by Paying charges. DOC HOLMES
-The White Pine News, February 08, 1890

Dennis Coyle, we know, ended up owning the ranch and ran it and the station.

Dennis Coyle, one of the victims of the recent explosion of giant powder near the Rocoo-Homestake mine in White Pine county, arrived in Eureka from Hamilton Sunday night and left for Salt Lake City on Tuesday's train, accompanied by his brother, Hugh Coyle. He goes there for surgical treatment, as the wounded arm is in very bad shape. Usually of a robust, stalwart nature, we are informed that he has become quite emaciated. A telegram received here from Salt Lake City Wednesday by Mrs. Coyle from her husband stated that he stood the trip well, and the physicians there had given him hope that they could save his arm. The SENTINEL joins his host of friends here in hoping that he will pull through his present trying ordeal and return to Eureka in his heretofore usual good health.
-Eureka Weekly Sentinel, December 21, 1901

At this point, Six Mile House was not only a stage station, but a stop on the Lincoln Highway, which was not yet in existence.

TO ELY BY AUTOMOBILE. The Peerless Touring Car Party Meets Disaster Near Hamilton. M. L. Requa, President of the E. & P. Railway; G. D. Abbott, Superintendent of the E. & P. Railway; A. C. Lawson, Professor of Geology at the University of California; F. S. Chapman of the Gibbs Engineering Company of New York, arrived in Eureka Tuesday over the Eureka & Palisade Railway on their way to Ely. White Pine County, to ex-amine the mines of the Nevada Copper Company. At Eureka the party took passage in a Peerless Automobile Touring Car, be-longing to Mr. Requa, which had been shipped to him at Eureka from San Francisco. A great deal of interest was manifested as the horseless carriage came up the street from the depot, and when the stop was made in front of the Brown Hotel a large crowd gathered and comments of every variety were made upon the vehicle. A nearly unanimous opinion was that whatever it could do on a good country road, it was no kind of a machine for mountain use, and when the party started off about 3 o'clock in the afternoon it was under a cloud of opinion "of sure to go to smash." The ground for this emphatic declaration was the bad condition of the roads after last week's storm. 1 A telephone message about 8:30 o'clock announced the safe arrival of the party at the Six Mile House, 36 miles from Eureka. Wednesday afternoon a message stated that the touring car had broke down and that Mr. Abbott was on his way back to Eureka by stage, while the others had gone on to Ely by private conveyance. Mr. Abbott was seen Thursday morning and from him the following was learned : The run from Eureka to the Six Mile House was fairly successful The distance between the Eighteen Mile and the Six Mile, 18 miles, was made in one hour and fifty-five minutes over a very bad road, which in places was covered with water, through which the car cut like a knife. An all-night stop was made at the Six Mile House, and next morning the party resumed the journey. A mile this side of Hamilton an important part of the running gear broke, and the trip to Ely in an auto had to be abandoned, Mr. Abbott returning to Eureka and the rest of the party going on, leaving the car on the road to be freighted back to Eureka, whence it will probably be sent to San Francisco to be repaired. " While our trip was not a qualified success," said Mr. Abbott, " it was demonstrated that it is only a matter of a short time before these machines can be operated successfully over any of the country roads." Mr. Requa's touring car was manufactured by the Peerless Company of Cleveland, Ohio. It is 16 horse power, weighs 1900 pounds, and is operated by gasoline. This auto is said to have cost $1600.
-Eureka Sentinel, May 28, 1904

It certainly was in a convenient location for many.

Party Bound For Ely Have Narrow Escape From Storm
Mr. & Mrs. George Peacock and baby and Mrs. Peacocks' brother, who left Eureka in a private conveyance Friday of last week for Ely, White Pine County, had a rough experience in the storm. When about four miles this side of the Six Mile House their team gave out and for several hours they were exposed to the bitter cold of the night, as nothing was available to build a fire. When the stage going to Ely overtook them, the two male passengers aboard gave up their places to Mrs. Peacock and her baby and George Hagaman hurried them through to the Six Mile House, where they were cared for by Mrs. Dennis Coyle. A sleigh was fitted out and Eddie Coyle went after the four men and the exhausted team and soon had the entire party to shelter.
-The Eureka Sentinel, December 2, 1905

There were many references to harsh winter conditions in this area. Six Mile House is at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet.

Demand for Duckwater Hay. Henry Lorigan has been hauling hay from Duckwater, Nye County, to the Six Mile House on the Hamilton-Ely road under many difficulties. He encountered snow drifts at several places five and six feet deep, and had to seek the assistance of other Duckwater ranchers to help him open up the road. He finished delivering four loads the first of the week, and it is understood the hay commanded a good price for delivery.
- The Eureka Sentinel, December 23, 1905

Originally living in Eureka, looks like she didn't need the house any more.

This week Mrs. Dennis Coyle of the Six Mile House, near Hamilton, disposed of her residence on south Main street, Eureka, to Eugene Geraty.
-The Eureka Sentinel, June 8, 1908

There was talk of a railroad going by which would have really made things exciting. But, it was not to be.

News Items From Hamilton
The people of Hamilton now feel quite certain that the new railroad is coming this way, and that the main line will not be a very great distance from Eureka. Chief Engineer, C. M. Han, and Locating Engineer, Vanderwork, stopped at the Six Mile House and said they had found the grade more than satisfactory so far. The route now mapped out will bring the road about one mile from the Six Mile House. This is closer than the must sanguine expected, and if this route is taken a large tonnage of ore will he shipped from here, and doubtless the railroad will draw much trade from Eureka. Then watch Hamilton camp grow.
-The Eureka Sentinel, April 10, 1909

THe Lincoln Highway was a going concern now, and Six Mile House provided lodiging, telephone service, food, and camping for travelers.

Left Eureka about 9:30, after saying goodbye to the Browns (and incidentally paying our bill). Then drove out of town, past houses and wagons and small mines that are gradually falling into decay. Went around the long way, instead of the short cut, to the summit, as the short way is considered dangerous. The spring we had welded gave some, but didn't break. Didn't see the two bums at all this morning, though we half way expected they would be hanging around, trying to get a ride, but we simply could not have taken them. They couldn't sit or stand on the running boards, nor could they get on top of all the luggage in back, and we didn't have any seat room. Half way expected to meet them on the road somewhere, but didn't see hide nor hair of them. Wonder where they disappeared to. Hope they aren't going to hold us up somewhere; neither Ned nor I would put it beyond them, and the country is mighty lonesome through here; not liable to be another human being travel along this road for a month or more. Crossed the summit and a few other ranges as well, and then came to a nice little ranch house which just seemed to snuggle down in the hollow between two big mountains. Drove up into the yard and stopped near the house. Man sitting out on the little porch in front, and we asked him if we could get a bite to eat, as it was just noon. He didn't act very cordial, but said to come in. We have gotten used to these people not being friendly when they see an auto drive up, for they are judging by past experiences. However, we went in (or rather I did, while Ned stayed outside and chatted with the old man). A dear little old lady was inside, and when I asked her if we could get something to eat—just a glass of milk and some bread would do—she insisted right then and there upon baking up a batch of biscuits she was just raising and frying us some ham and eggs, and also got us some lovely fresh tomatoes and an immense pitcher of milk (it was really cream). Well, when they found we didn't expect them to go to a lot of trouble, they just couldn't seem to do enough for us. In fact, we asked them not to, for we didn't like to feel they were putting themselves to a lot of trouble and extra work just for us, and the little old lady was quite old—though very spry indeed. She was Mrs. Coyle, the wife of the owner of the ranch, who she said was off with "the boys" getting some cattle from the surrounding mountains; the old chap outside was his brother. He was telling Ned how absolutely horrid some people were who came through, and expected that dear little old woman to wait on them hand and foot, and treated her as though she were a servant, just because she had to do all the work (for servants are scarcer than hen's teeth through these states). And he said that he had made up his mind that the next lot of people like that that came through he would just tell them to go to . No wonder he wasn't cordial to us; for he didn't know which kind we were. Well, Ned and I just ate until we couldn't hardly see, for it did taste so very good. I went out with the old lady to her well, where she keeps milk and butter; it is just a small spring, which has been covered with a shed, and the whole thing adjoins the house. Very handy. And shelves are built right into the small spring, and that's how they keep things cool in hot weather. We were "company" so had our lunch in the living room, which was hung with a number of California (U. C.) pennants, and the old lady told us her daughter had attended University, but is married now and lives at Goldfield. Mrs. Coyle says that they are absolutely snowed in during the winter, and get their supplies from Hamilton, which is about ten miles away. Also get their mail at that address. Am going to write them when we leave, and send them copies of the pictures we took of their house and the old man; the old lady wouldn't come out to be taken, as she said she wasn't dressed up enough. She is an old dear. Left Coyles Ranch about 2:30. We would sure have liked to stay with the old people a few days, but thought we'd better get on and get across the Great Divide before the snow started. The country around here not quite so bare; quite a bit of sage brush, and lots of other small shrubs cover the sides of the mountains. We passed through Hamilton (that is the outer edge) and then started to climb a high, steep mountain ridge. Just climbed and climbed and never seemed any nearer the top the mountains were so steep. Eventually we got to the top and then went down the other side, and after crossing several smaller ridges, saw a valley which seemed to be well populated.
-Crossing Nevada by Auto in 1914, EXCERPTS FROM THE DIARY OF PAULA DAVIS

All along the road the red, white and blue stakes of the Lincoln Highway afforded aid and comfort to the tourist. Some complaint having been made of the road over White Pine summit, tourists over the Lincoln Highway are now routed by way of Hamilton. This adds five or six miles to the distance between Ely and Eureka but the road is far better and there are some exceptionally fine bits of mountain scenery along the road between the summit and Hamilton. Reaching Six-mile House, we stopped for a chat with Dennis Coyle and to replenish our supply of water for the long run across the desert. Two six-horse ore-hauling outfits were watering at Six-mile on their return trip from Eureka where they had been hauling ore for Witcher & Nyce from the Jennie A lease. A short distance from Six-mile we overtook a lone pilgrim hoofing it toward Eureka with his entire worldly possessions done up in a shoe box. He joyfully accepted our invitation to ride and we had the pleasure of setting him down in Eureka in an hour and 30 minutes, thereby saving him a long and toilsome journey and probably some suffering from thirst. Fourteen-mile station is abandoned but water is available from a deep well. On the gate of the corral is scribbled in pencil a moving appeal to travelers to keep gates and doors closed and not to burn up the fence posts for fire wood.
-Eureka Sentinel, July 11, 1914

Not everyone was lucky enough to enjoy their hospitality, however.

Twenty-three miles from Eureka we saw a wooded mountain, quite different from the bald grey hills we had seen the day before. Short, scrubby green trees, somewhat like our New Jersey junipers, grew on the mountain sides and gave this appearance of foliage and greenness. We saw many of them in our day's ride. When we reached Six Mile House, having passed Fourteen Mile House, we asked the ranchman's wife to give us some luncheon. She said that she could not accommodate us, having but few supplies on hand. She advised us to go on to Hamilton and said that she would telephone to the Hamilton House that we were coming. In accordance with her directions, we took a turn to the right shortly after leaving Six Mile House and climbed up through a narrow, rocky canyon road. Finally, within a mile or so of Hamilton, when we had one more hill to climb, we came upon a morass made by the bursting of a water pipe. We could not go around it and we dared not attempt to go through it, no friendly settler with a powerful horse being in sight. So we turned carefully about, went down the rocky road to the fork where we had turned off, and took the other branch of the fork. Then we climbed up another mountain road until we reached the summit of the pass, 8115 feet. From here we had a grand view of the mountains and we also met the high ridge road from Hamilton. We pressed on down the hill past a deserted ranch house to Moorman's Ranch, a hospitable looking house by the roadside. At Moorman's Ranch we found an unforgettable hospitality. Our host and hostess were Missourians, and to our question as to whether they could give us any luncheon at 2 o'clock, they gave us a most satisfactory answer. Mrs. Moorman soon had a laden table ready for us, and we sat down to fried bacon and eggs, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, preserved cherries, stewed prunes, milk, tea, and pie. How refreshing it all was! And how pleasant was the soft Southern accent of our hostess which she had not lost in the years on the plains.
-Across the Continent by the Lincoln Highway, by Effie Price Gladding, 1915

Apparently at some point the telephone stopped working. Getting it fixed again.

TELEPHONE LLNE TO BE EXTENDED TO EUREKA Ely Record: Hugh Thomas, manager of the White Pine Telephone Company, returned last week from a trip of inspection over the Hamilton line as far as Coyle's ranch. He states that the line has been put in good condition to Hamilton and that the work of extending the line to Eureka is now under way. The line from the Coyle ranch to Eureka has not been in operation for several years and therefore must be entirely replaced, and this work is now under way and will probably be completed within a few weeks, when service will be installed between Ely and Eureka, via Hamilton, which will be a great convenience to the public.
- The Eureka Sentinel, October 08, 1921

Sheep rumors!

Sheep Men's Fears Allayed—Elko county sheep men's fears were allayed today when Louis Carvalho of this city received a message from Six Mile House on the desert near the Pancake Valley stating that the situation there with respect to sheep was not at all serious It was reported in several state papers that an especially bitter winter in that vicinity was killing thousands of the wooly ones. Carvalho sent a message to Six Mile House yesterday asking for details. A reply was delivered this morning stating that there were eight bands of sheep in the valley and one foot of snow was on the ground at Six Mile House. The weather has been hard on sheep since the first of this month and a light and steady snow has been falling there with the snow settling somewhat. No losses of sheep are reported. The Pancake desert is near Hamilton in White Pine county and is the annual wintering place of thousands of Elko county sheep. Communication with herders in the desert is established by a telephone line out of Ely to the Six Mile Station which is but a short distance removed from the desert.—Elko Independent.
- The Silver State, February 15, 1923

While we could find no reference to any nearby mines, it looks like Dennis's brother Hugh had been doing a little digging in the area.

With the assurance that construction work has actually been started on the Eureka and Palisade railroad, Hugh Coyle, who has extracted a large quantity of lead ore from his properties near the Six Mile House, is having between 600 and 700 sacks hauled to the county road, preparatory to forwarding the shipment to the Salt Lake smelters. Mr. Coyle has opened up an immense body of high grade lead ore, which is ready to be mined at the pleasure of the owner. He expects to be the first shipper over the new road, when it is placed in operation.
- The Silver State, February 15, 1923

At this point, the Lincoln Highway had been re-routed to the route US 50 takes now, generally, and it no longer passed by Six Mile House. That, coupled with the Coyles' advancing age, led him to sell the ranch.

FOR SALE—Six-Mile ranch and water rights; 110 acres patented land; three springs; ideal for sheep ranch ; situated on Lincoln highway. Apply Dennis Coyle, Hamilton, Nev.
- White Pine News, September 09, 1923

Finnaly, Dennis Coyle passed away

Pioneer Remains Away After Death of Wife
Dennis Coyle, for twenty-one years owner of the Six Mile ranch beyond Hamilton. where he was engaged in the cattle business, has decided to remain for the winter at Tonopah. where his beloved wife recently was buried, and will return to his White Pine home in March or April. Ed Coyle, his son, returned a week ago after attending the funeral of his mother, and says his father looks ten years younger, though greatly saddened by the pathetic demise of his aged helpmate. Mrs. Coyle was a Eureka pioneer of '72. She came around the Horn with her mother and was still in her teens when she reached the Nevada mining camp where she met her future husband. The couple remained in Eureka, where their children were born and reared, until 1902. Two married daughters, Mrs. Rose Dougherty and Mrs. Fanny Hill, reside at Tonopah. The parents moved there last spring to be where they could have medical treatment, as last winter at the ranch proved perilous for them in that respect.
- White Pine News, December 02, 1923

Funeral services for Dennis Coyle, pioneer resident of Nevada, who died here last week were held from the Catholic church with internment in the local cemetery. Mr. Coyle was born in Ireland in 1850 and went to Eureka when he was twenty-five years old. He was seventy-seven at the time of his death. In 1878 he was married in Eureka to Margaret Cassidy and four children were born to the union of whom three survive. Mrs. James Hill of Tonopah, with whom Mr. Coyle made his home, Ed Coyle of Hamilton, and Mrs. Owen Dougherty of Oakland.
-Reno Evening Gazette, January 18, 1928

There was still talk of putting in a railroad, though.

Steel track to be Laid to Old and Famous Camp of Hamilton and It Is Stated That Sum to Be Expended is $5,000,000.
Construction of a 500 ton smelter, rehabilitation of the present narrow-gauge road south of the smelter site, to Eureka and the building of a new railway line from Eureka to Hamilton are the main features of a $5,000,000 project which the Eureka Smelting Company has worked out. President Griffith H. Riddle said the proposed route for the extension of the railway from here to Hamilton follows over Pinto Summit along the old railway grade that was built a distance of eleven miles by the Rio Grande Railroad in the late seventies, when that road contemplated a route through Eureka to the Pacific Coast, a project that was abandoned as a consequence of the failure of the English firm of Baring Brothers. RIddle stated that the grade over Pinto Summit both ways will be four percent, and that from Pancake Mountain to a point near Hamilton, in the vicinity of Six Mile, the old-time station house now known as Coyle's Ranch, the grade will be four percent.
-Reno Evening Gazette, February 5, 1929

Finally Dennis's brother Hugh passed on.

HUGH COYLE, 72, widely known in mining circles of eastern Nevada, died in a local hospital Wednesday morning following a period of failing health for some months past. He was born in Ireland, but had lived in this country more than 55 years. He came to Nevada in 1871, to Eureka, when that silver camp was at its peak, but in later years he had been engaged in operations at the still more famous old camp of Hamilton. Survivors include a nephew, Ed Coyle of Hamilton, and two nieces, one in Reno and the other in Oakland.
-Salt Lake Telegram, August 7, 1931




When we visited Hamilton some years back, I remember going down a section of the original, first generation 1913 route and finding a house right next to the trail For some reason, I did not mark the location or get a photo, but I've started thinking about it recently and was determined to go back and get a photo. Did some research, located a place I thought was what I saw, slammed together a web page, and went out to photograph it.

Well, this is not the place I saw.

Still, it is Six Mile House, and it is on the old Lincoln Highway.

Not much left. Can't tell which ruin might be the actual ranch house. The brick and stone structure is kind of odd, and might be it. Who knows. Anyway, there are several structures here, and it is definitely the remains of the old Coyle Ranch.

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