Barbara Hodges


Along U.S. Highway 50 west of Fallon, a historical marker designates the site of old Ragtown/Leeteville. Although neither survives today, they were of paramount importance to early-day Nevada travelers. At the end of America's westward push, Ragtown was little more than a seasonal tent city, born each spring and torn down each fall by enterprising men hoping to profit from the transcontinental wagon-train trade. California-bound emigrants, weary from their crossing of the dreaded Forty-Mile Desert, found their first water, grass, shade, and rest along the banks of the Carson River.

Lahontan Dam

Lahontan Dam and Reservoir stores the natural flow of the Carson River and additional waters diverted from the Truckee River via Derby Dam and the Truckee Canal. It is the distribution point of irrigation waters that make the desert bloom. Located in Churchill County, this key feature of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation Project is now known as the Newlands Project. Lahontan Dam was built during the early years of the twentieth century in response to the 1902 passage of the Federal Reclamation Act. Construction on the dam proper began in 1911 and was completed in late 1915.

Lahontan City

Lahontan City thrived from 1911 to 1915 during the construction of Lahontan Dam. Built to house and accommodate the federally employed workers and their families, the town sprang from the desert floor almost overnight. The dam was important to Nevada because it was designed to reserve water in the Carson River for irrigation and was the first federally funded western reclamation project of its kind.

Highway 50: Carroll Station

Carroll Station is located in Lander County along Nevada State Route 722 near the Churchill County line. The town site of Carroll was a mining boom town, purportedly named after the miner Charlie Carroll who made the original discovery at the site in 1911. The stage road over Carroll Summit passed nearby. Though the town was short-lived, it survives in that it has given its name to Carroll Summit and Carroll Station—a Texaco Service Station that was a respite stop for Highway 50 motorists.

Frenchman's Station aka Bermond

Frenchman's Station was located in the center of Dixie Valley (Churchill County), east of the salt flats. The property was originally taken up by a man named Aime "Frenchy" Bermond, a native of France who came to Nevada in 1899. The station, a stage stop and relay point along the freight route between Fallon and the mining camps of Fairview and Wonder, was established in 1904.

Churchill County Seats

Churchill County was an original county formed when the Nevada Territory was established in 1861. The population at that time was small, and, for governing purposes, Churchill was attached to Lyon County, with the county seat being established at Buckland's Station. From 1861 to 1865 the county seat remained there.

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