Union Church

Though a crude trading post may have existed as early as 1854, Wadsworth wasn't established until 1868 when the Central Pacific Railroad created a construction camp near the 'Big Bend' of the Truckee River. Before long, Wadsworth became the headquarters for the Truckee Division and a twenty-stall roundhouse was built, as well as machine shops to rebuild engines. Freight routes were soon developed, connecting far off mining camps like Ellsworth and Columbus to Wadsworth and the town became the most important along the railroad east of Reno.

By the 1870s, Wadsworth contained several stores, hotels, and saloons. In 1871, an attempt was made to become part of Churchill County in an effort to attain the county seat (Wadsworth's population, around 700, outnumbered the entire rest of the county). Wadsworth continued to be successful as a freighting point for years, though in April 1884 a fire wiped out the majority of the facilities (which were subsequently rebuilt).

In 1902, the Central Pacific decided to realign sections of the original route. The realignment eliminated the need for Wadsworth and the community was bypassed. In 1904 all of Wadsworth's facilites were moved to a new location east of Reno (now Sparks), and many businesses and residents relocated not long after. A small hamlet remains, though it too was bypassed by roadway traffic when Interstate 80 was built in the 1960s.

Wadsworth-Columbus Freight Route, 1873-1882

Central Pacific Railroad
← Salvia • Wadsworth • Herstin →

Fernley & Lassen Railway
FernleyWadsworth • Dodge →