When did the western shoshone first make contact with europeans?

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QUESTION:
Can anyone tell me when western shoshone (ely area) first made contact with europeans and how that effected their lives? I have Jedediah Smith in 1827 but do not know if he was actually in the Ely area.

ANSWER:
At the rest area on Alternate Route 50 (4 miles north of Ely), there is a historical marker which reads:

“JEDEDIAH STRONG SMITH (Explorer of the Western Wilderness) Historical Marker

In May-June, 1827, Jedediah Smith attempted to find a route from California’s central valley to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah, and he became the first European to completely cross what is now Nevada.

Because Smith’s journal and map have never been found, his exact route is unknown. Based on Smith’s own statements about his difficult trip, modern Nevada historians and geographers have pieced together the most plausible route.

Smith crossed the Sierra Nevada at Ebbetts Pass, swung southeast along or across the headwaters and the middle reaches of Walker River, and passed into central Nevada’s trackless waste south of Walker Lake.

He entered Big Smoky Valley on its southwest side in June, 1827, and crossed the valley in a northeasterly direction. He then paralleled the future Simpson Survey, route of the Pony Express and Overland Stage, along modern U.S. Highway 50″ (which runs through Ely).

For the second part of your question, see the

Link of the Week:

Western Shoshoni Indians in Nevada – A brief summary of the Western Shoshone tribe beginning from 11,000 years ago.

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