Markleeville is a unique and picturesque township located where Markleeville Creek and the East Fork Carson River join before going down to the Great Basin. Here you’ll find a local artists’ studio, restaurants, lodging, gasoline and an outstanding historical museum and visitor center.
Markleeville traces its beginnings to the land claim of Jacob J. Marklee who established a toll bridge across a tributary of the Carson River in 1861, during the height of the silver mining boom at nearby Silver Mountain City. Marklee hoped to prosper from the freight and supplies headed to the mining camps, but he was killed in a gunfight in 1863. As the terminus of wagon and stage travel in the region, by 1864 the town boasted 168 houses, a telegraph line from Genoa, Nevada, a population of 2,620, a post office, and soon thereafter a Wells Fargo Express Office and an armory with a company of Union troops. By 1875, the year in which the county seat was moved to Markleeville, the population had decreased to 172, due to the demonetization of silver. The first courthouse was located in the Odd Fellows Hall, with the present courthouse, of native stone quarried above Silver Mountain City, completed in 1928.
The oldest building in town, built as the Fisk Hotel in Silver Mountain City, was taken apart in sections and rebuilt as the Hot Springs Hotel, known today as the Wolf Creek Restaurant. A disastrous fire in 1886 decimated most of the town, however, and it was never rebuilt in its entirety.
Linger Longer:The Markleeville Historical Museum, housed at the top of the hill on School Street, is dedicated to the history of Alpine County. Operated by the Alpine County Historical Society, the museum complex is open seasonally from Memorial Day to October. The Alpine County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center provides books and guidebooks related to the area, maps, brochures, and local business information. Markleeville is an ideal base camp to explore the natural and scenic wonders of the east side of Ebbetts Pass.
- Elevation: 5,501 ft.
- Mile Marker: 61/0
- GPS Coordinates: 38 41 48N -119 46 49W
- Service Available: Camping, Car Clubs, Fishing, Food, Gas, Lodging, Visitors Center, Museum