Snake Valley human history goes back over 12,000 years, when Paleo-Indians lived in the valley, hunting mastodons and dire wolves on the shores of ancient Lake Bonneville. Over the millennia, the lake dried up, the climate changed, and other people came into the area. The Fremont culture left pictographs and petroglyphs recording their existence here, and built villages at what are now called the Baker Archeological Site and the Garrison Site. They left and the Shoshone came.

Snake Valley has long been a crossroads. Trappers and hunters crossed it searching for riches, followed by explorers, Mormon missionaries, and miners. Some of the people who came to Snake Valley stayed awhile, and some stayed long enough that they had children and their descendants still live in Snake Valley today.

Communities began to spring up to support the local miners, with orchards and vegetable fields planted. Some people brought livestock and began planting alfalfa and grains to support the sheep and cattle during the winter months. Communities developed, and eventually modern ways made it to Snake Valley: paved roads, electricity, phone service. The timeline below lists important events in Snake Valley history.

12,000 years ago Paleo-Indians in Snake Valley
9,000 years ago Desert Archaic Culture
500-800 Fremont Culture emerged
1300 Predecessors of the Shoshone arrive
1827 Jedediah Smith explores the Great Basin area
1852 Major Howard Egan develops mail route across northern Snake Valley
1855 Mormon mission camps near Snake Creek
1859 Simpson Expedition, some of the first scientific writings about Snake Valley area
1860-61 Pony Express runs
1864 Nevada statehood
1869 Burbank established
1870 Garrison settled
1873 Baker established
1896 Utah statehood
1922 Lehman Cave National Monument established by President Warren J. Harding;
Filming “Covered Wagon”
1929 Great Depression starts
1933 CCC camps started
1934 Taylor Grazing Act reforms grazing; launches precursor to Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
1942 Dugway Proving Ground created for biological and chemical testing
1949 Partoun founded
1952 Last section of US Highway 6 and 50 paved between Delta and Ely
1957 School of the Natural Order moved into Valley;
EskDale created;
Party-line telephones in most of the Valley
1959 Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge established
1970 Electricity in the Valley
1979 MX Missile Proposal
1986 Great Basin National Park established
1989 Mount Moriah Wilderness Area created
2004 Southern Nevada Water Pipeline Proposal
2006 Great Basin National Heritage Area declared by Congress

To learn more about the history of Snake Valley, check out the suggested reading.