FORT CHURCHILL SOCIETY
CARSON CITY, NEVADA
Fort Churchill Society reorganized on April 9, 2011. Our Society was first organized on May 17, 1958 in Reno, Nevada. The Society disbanded on October 15, 1979.
Fort Churchill, Nevada was founded by the U.S. Army in 1860 at the height of Indian attacks on settlers in Nevada. The Carson River Expedition led by Captain Joseph Stewart was ordered to establish a post on the Carson River which would assist in guarding the Pony Express and other mail routes as well as the protection of settlers.
Hundreds of soldiers served at the fort named after Sylvester Churchill, the Inspector General of the US Army. The fort consisted of adobe buildings constructed on stone foundations in the traditional form of a square which faced a central parade ground. The onset of the Civil War made Fort Churchill a vital supply depot for the Nevada Military District and as a base for troops on patrol on the overland routes. Around 200 soldiers were stationed at Fort Churchill at any given time.
By 1869 Fort Churchill had outlived its use. The adobe buildings were auctioned for only $750 when the fort was abandoned by the military. Remains of soldiers buried in the post cemetery were moved to Carson City in 1884. The cemetery remains a part of Fort Churchill today, but the only remaining graves are of the Buckland family, pioneer ranchers who sold supplies to the fort.
The State of Nevada, only 7 years old, declined the chance to acquire Fort Churchill in 1871. For many years the fort lay neglected, used primarily as a shelter for travelers on the Carson River Trail. Some scavenged the fort remains for building materials.
In the early 1930s the Nevada Sagebrush Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution took an interest in preserving the fort. The State of Nevada took custody of 200 acres of the original military reservation on October 6, 1932. Aided by the passage of Assembly Bill 189 by the 1931 Nevada Legislature, the State of Nevada in turn deeded the land and buildings on April 30, 1934 to the Nevada Sagebrush Chapter DAR to hold in trust. The National Park Service made restoration plans, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) renovated the fort remains and built the visitor center. But World War II pulled manpower away from the fort and it was vandalized and damaged from weather until interest returned in 1957 when it became a part of the Nevada State Park System.
On February 16, 1961, the title of Fort Churchill was reconveyed from the DAR to the State of Nevada. A Governor’s proclamation declared Fort Churchill a state historical monument.
Today, thousands of visitors each year enjoy visiting Fort Churchill State Historic Park, located just outside of Silver Springs, Nevada.
Fort Churchill State Historical Monument
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SOCIETY OFFICERS 2022 - 2023
President Patty McMillin
Vice President/Secretary Claire Halminiak
Chaplain Charlotte Dietrich
Treasurer Peter Woodbury
Registrar Chloe Woodbury
Historian/Librarian James Rothnie
Senior President Susan McCurdy
Senior Vice President Julie McMillin
Senior Secretary Gayle Halminiak
Senior Treasurer Stacy Woodbury
Senior Registrar Anita Sheard
Senior Historian/Librarian Kurt Dietrich