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Carlin was a railroad town for almost a century when the steam locomotives gave way to diesel and Carlin's usefulness came to an end. Modern Carlin's brightest lights are at the highway, but most of the pleasant little city is spread down the hillside below. The husk of the old downtown lies dead on the far side of the railroad track, accessible via 4th Street.

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    To explore Carlin across the railroad tracks, drive south on Fourth Street. Once across all the tracks, turn left. A pedestrian walkway crosses above the switching yard, and provides an excellent view of the railroad activities that still account for most activity here.

    It is an odd little town, lacking in any hint of the fantastic. Yet in January, 1889, the Carlin correspondent to the Elko Free Press wrote cheerfully about the ghost that shared the Carlin house into which she and her husband had just moved. "Sometimes he taps on the headboard of the bed. Other times he stalks across the kitchen floor, and he hammers away at the door but nobody is there. But the gayest capers of all are cut up in the cellar. There he holds high revels, and upsets the pickles and carries on generally."

    Travel NevadaWhen the ghost persisted, the lady's husband went into the cellar and probed the earthen floor and walls. Behind the pickle shelves he found a partially burned and dismembered corpse. The husband and wife who formerly occupied the house were eventually tried and convicted of murder. Their hanging, a gruesome affair in the back yard of the Elko County Court House, was the first legal execution of a woman in the Pacific region, and the only one so far in Nevada history.

    Carlin also provides convenient access to Palisade, once the connecting point with the Eureka and Palisade Railroad and now an inhabited "ghost town" with some interesting ruins. Take Nevada 278 south out of town; you'll see the Palisade turnoff about ten miles along.

    A new casino and hotel occupy the site of the old Gearjammer's Cafe near the freeway offramp, and Chin's Chinese Restaurant is famous for miles around.

    from The Complete Nevada Traveler, by David W. Toll

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