In 2013 and 2014, local historian Sue Silver submitted recommendations to the Nevada State Board on Geographic Names (NVBGN) to correct the spelling of several names of places in Mineral County that are shown on various USGS maps. The State Board reviews the recommendations submitted to them and, if approved, sends them to the United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) for final approval of any new names, changes or corrections.
In 2015, Silver received notice that the correction of the name of what has been known as Brawley Peaks had been approved. In the future these will be identified as Braly Peaks, reflecting the correct spelling of the name of James Madison Braly, one of the co-discoverers of the Esmeralda Mining District in 1860 and causing the rush to the town of Aurora.
At its meeting of Feb. 11, the USBGN approved the correction of two other name spellings for places in Mineral County. The first are the corrected spelling of Corey Peak and Corey Creek, which will now be accurately spelled Cory Peak and Cory Creek, named after James Manning Cory, another of the discoverers of the Esmeralda Mining District.
A third place name spelling will correct the spelling of Lapham Canyon and Lapham Meadows, a name which has long been corrupted and is presently shown as Lapon Canyon and Lapon Meadows. The meadows were name after Capt. William Wallace Lapham, who superintended the nearby General Grant Mine on Mount Grant in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Lapham was well known at Lake Tahoe, where he had a station house and wharf at the south end of the lake and from which in 1873 he had launched the Governor Stanford, a 100 foot by 28 foot steamer which became the hit of the lake.
Future new publishing of USGS quadrangle maps will reflect all the above corrected names and the Board’s searchable website will document the dates of these changes.
Silver has also submitted corrections for Durant’s Mill (historic site, now Lyon County), Ravenelle Ranch, each located on the East Walker River (now Lyon County) and Camp Douglass, near Mina.
A recommendation to name the Hot Springs on the east side of the East Walker River, off Aldrich Grade road (now Lyon County) for surveyor John G. Booker, has also been submitted. It was Booker who first recommended to the U.S. Surveyor General in 1901 that the hot springs be set aside for use by the public. John G. Booker grew up at Aurora, where his mother, Mary Cobb Booker died in 1867 and his wife, Anna Pritchard Booker died in 1896. Because of Booker’s recommendation, the hot springs are considered a public reserve and Silver believes the springs should be named Booker Hot Springs.
Silver states the research she did when writing the county histories published by the Mineral County Museum in 2011 to commemorate Mineral County’s centennial, helped her identify place names that were incorrectly spelled or identified on past and currently published maps.