The federal government historically supported numerous surveys for the purpose of measuring the domain which extended, after 1848, to the Pacific. These surveys sought railway routes, military relationships, water transport and wagon roads. The survey activity was extended to all territories, but not to the states.
Nevada, in part, was the site of two notable surveys, Honeylake to Fort Kearny Wagon Road, completed in 1860 by Captain Frederick West Lander, and the route surveyed by Lieutenant James H. Simpson, Camp Floyd to Genoa, in 1859.
Other military engineers engaged in this activity included Stansbury, Marcy, Whipple, and Beale. The name of Captain F.W. Lander stands out as a contributor to Nevada’s history. He has been memorialized in the name of a prominent county. Nearby Simpson Park Mountains are named in honor of Lieutenant Simpson’s efforts.