Palisade, Nevada

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Palisade, Nevada
Unincorporated community
2014-06-21 16 02 41 View of Palisade, Nevada from just north of Nevada State Route 781 (Palisade Bridge)-cropped.jpg
Palisade is located in Nevada
Location within the state of Nevada
Coordinates: 40°36′37″N 116°11′55″W / 40.61028°N 116.19861°W / 40.61028; -116.19861Coordinates: 40°36′37″N 116°11′55″W / 40.61028°N 116.19861°W / 40.61028; -116.19861
Country United States
State Nevada
County Eureka
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Reference no. 65

Palisade (originally called Palisades) is located in Eureka County in the northeastern section of the state of Nevada, in the western United States. It is about 10 miles (16 km) south of Carlin, and about 33 miles (53 km) southwest of Elko. Although now a virtual ghost town, it had a rich history following construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Palisade Canyon (also called "12-Mile" and "10-Mile Canyon"), an important obstacle to the construction and operation of the railroad, lies just to the west.

View from Palisade, Nevada, looking southeast towards Pine Mountain
Palisade Canyon, during construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1868 (LOC)
The same site, located just northeast of Palisade, 140 years later


Palisade was the site of an elaborate hoax during the early 1870s, probably to boost tourism. Whenever a train arrived, the residents were said to stage rampant gunfights and bank robberies. Nobody was privy to knowledge of the hoax except the residents, and the showmanship died off after several years. In reality, crime in Palisade was low and the town did not even have a sheriff.[1][2][3]

In 1932, according to legend, Palisade may have been the site of a possible assassination attempt on the life of President Herbert Hoover. Shortly before Hoover's train was to pass through the town, one railroad inspector said he came across a vagrant by a trestle with 22 sticks of dynamite. Two men skirmished with the inspector and then fled, but another inspector disputed the story and said the vagrant did not have dynamite.[4][5]

Since the 1920s, the town was owned by relatives of Atlanta businessman John Sexton, who sold the entire town at an auction on April 26, 2005, in San Francisco. The town was sold to an unidentified bidder for $150,000. John Sexton, who had not visited Palisade for some 35 years, said he sold the town because he needed tuition money for his daughter to go to college.[4]


  1. ^ Lindskoog, Kathryn. Fakes, Frauds & Other Malarkey. Pasadena: Hope, 1993, 44.
  2. ^ "How Did Palisades in Eureka County Nevada Stage a Hoax to Attract Tourists in the 1870s?". Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Palisade guide". Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Unknown buyer pays $150,000 for Palisade, Nev., at S.F. auction". San Francisco Chronicle. April 27, 2005. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "9 Towns for Sale". ABC News. March 12, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 

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