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Photo: Matthew B. Brown (Unionville Historic Marker)
Almost four years ago, Paul Sebesta decided to get to know Nevada a little better—OK, a lot better. To accomplish this, he set out to visit every historic marker in the state—all 267 of them.
From easy-to-find markers such as number seven in Dayton and number 30 near the courthouse in downtown Reno, to off-the-beaten-track markers such as number 158 on State Route 266 at the site of the former mining camp of Palmetto, Sebesta would eventually see them all. You have no doubt seen the large Nevada-shaped markers scattered around along Nevada’s highways, in town centers, and at the sites of former boomtowns, or the unmistakable blue-and-white highways signs announcing “Historic Marker Ahead.”
More than a statewide scavenger hunt, Sebesta’s search became a quest to better understand his home and honor its remarkable history. Astride his trusty steed, Silver (a 2001 Toyota Tacoma pickup), Sebesta wore through four sets of tires, a windshield, and a small fortune as he plied 80,000 miles of Nevada highways, meticulously documenting and photographing each marker and its surroundings as he went. “I wanted to [show that] history—in a world of constant change and growing suburbia—is indeed alive and well in the Silver State,” he says.
It took Sebesta a little more than three years to complete his collection. As he went, he kept track of the markers and recorded his findings at nevada-landmarks.com. More than the thousands of miles spent behind the wheel, the endeavor also included countless hours of research in libraries, state archives, and government offices. Sebesta even tried to find out what had happened to various markers that had gone missing over the years.
Thanks to this tireless work, anyone interested in Nevada’s historic markers is only a few clicks away from virtually everything they could want to learn about the sites. Nevada-landmarks.com divides the markers by county and gives detailed descriptions and locations. Each marker has a dedicated page that includes numerous photos and historical tidbits as they appear on the markers themselves. “My goal here is simple,” Sebesta says, “to catalog every state marker in Nevada for a record of its existence. I hope our state’s history and historic markers are remembered and kept alive for future generations to enjoy.”