The old train station in Caliente
The town of Caliente got its name from some hot springs in the area at the foot of the mountains. There's presently some controversy going on in Caliente because the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints owned and operated the Hot Springs Motel in town. According to Grand Jury testimony in 2 different cases, the motel was the site of several forced marriages between under-age girls and older men, all members of the FLDS sect.
Caliente was originally founded as a railroad town. The first settlers in the area were 2 escaped Negro slaves from Arkansas who arrived in the early 1860's. The Jackman Ranch was established near the junction of Clover Creek and Meadow Valley Wash in the early 1870's. In 1874, William and Charles Culverwell bought the Jackman Ranch and renamed it the Culverwell Ranch. Then two of the old Robber Barons, EH Harriman and William Clark backed two different railroads in their attempts to build tracks through the Culverwell Ranch to the mines at Pioche. Problem was, the canyon in that area was only big enough for one set of tracks. Harriman's Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line was there first and they'd already set grade stakes across Culverwell and on to Pioche but Clark's San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad had built themselves just far enough into the canyon to block the Union Pacific route. The standoff was settled in 1901 by William Culverwell with his shotgun. As owner of the property, he allowed only one right of way and he sold that to the Union Pacific. Shortly after that, Culverwell became Caliente, a town site was surveyed and a post office was opened on August 3, 1903.
1905 saw the completion of the rail line to Pioche and by 1910, Caliente had 1,755 residents, making it the largest town in Lincoln County. In the late 1920's, Caliente's population peaked at more than 5,000 residents as the town was one of the major division points on the railroad. That changed in the 1940's when steam locomotives were replaced with diesels and the section point was moved to Las Vegas.
Fast Facts about Caliente, Nevada
High School or Higher: 78.9%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.3%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 5.0%
Cost of Living Index for Caliente: 88.1
Median Resident Age: 36.0 Years
Median Household Income: $25,200
Median Home Value: $91,300
Government, Educational Services, Construction, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Mining, Rail Transportation, Social Services, Real Estate Services
Unemployed (July 2014): 10.8%