Why does Nevada come to a point at the bottom? It didn’t always look that way. When the territory of Nevada was first being formed the boundary lines created a more rectangular shape with a sideways notch cut out to accommodate the border of California.
Who looked at that map and said “What this state needs is a point”?
Nevada was carved out of the much larger area called the Utah Territory about the time that silver and gold were being discovered in the mountains. Over the course of several years the boundaries that defined Nevada kept getting wider and wider as the gold discoveries kept spreading. And then Congress wanted the desert territory to enjoy access to a substantial waterway, so it was widened a third time to get a piece of the Colorado River. But it still didn’t have a point at the bottom. What happened?
When Congress granted Nevada the area that is now the point, its intention was to give the new state even more substantial access to rivers that could allow transportation to the Gulf. This time the land they claimed was taken from the Arizona Territory, and that decision was met with an angry response from Arizona who wanted that river access just as fervently. But Arizona was never going to win that dispute. During the Civil War they had aligned themselves with the Confederacy and were not likely to gain any favors from the prevailing Union.
Nevada eventually stopped growing and kept their width and their point.
I never knew! Love your blog and I’m sharing it with our grandkids! Thanks so much!
I’m so glad to hear you’re sharing it your grandchildren Sandy. That’s the audience I’m hoping to reach with the book.