Frenchman Station Nevada

Frenchman, or Frenchman Station is an unincorporated community and old stage stop locate in Churchill county, Nevada. The property was devlopred by Aime “Frenchy” Bermond, a native of France who came to Nevada in 1899. The station and stage stop is a relay point along the freight route between Fallon and the mining camps of Fairview and Wonder

Frenchman Station, Nevada 1910 - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 94, Mrs. Lyle de Braga Collection
Frenchman Station, Nevada 1910 – Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p 94, Mrs. Lyle de Braga Collection

In the early 1900s, the station provided lodging and food, with a hotel, restaurant, saloons and stables and travellers. Water is hauled into the location from Luck Boy Springs, which is located about twelve miles away. Frenchy had the water hauled in by paid freighters. A sign proudly stood at the holding tank that read: “If you don’t want to pay for this water, leave it alone.”

Frenchy died in 1926, however his station is sold numerous times. The station remains open until 1985. The U.S. Navy bought out the community in 1985 due to its proximity on the northern boundary of the Dixie Valley bombing range. The remaining buildings were demolished two years later. Today, the location is not much more than a wide spot in the road.

Location Summary

NameFrenchman Station
LocationChurchill County, Neada
Also Known asFrenchman, Bermond
Latitude, Longitude39.2793679, -118.2701317
Elevation4,157 Feet
Post OfficeNov. 24, 1920 – May 31, 1926

Trail Map


Hazen Nevada

Hazen Nevada is a small inincorporated town in Churchill county, Nevada located about 16 miles northwest of Fallon.. The town is formed when the Southern Pacific realigned its route to the East of Wadsworth in 1902. A Post Office is established in 1904 and several saloons “hydrated” workers digging the a nearby 31 mile long canal between the Truckee River and the Carson River.

"Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen (Nev.) June 24, 1905." By Lubkin - NARA - 532037.jpg
“Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen (Nev.) June 24, 1905.” By Lubkin – NARA – 532037.jpg

The small rail town is the location of the last lynching in the state of Nevada. Desperado, Willian “Nevada Red” Wood was hung from a telegraph poles not far from the tiny jail, on February 27th, 1905 after robbing canal builders and the citizens of Hazen. Journalists at the time noted, “Keep the good work up! Ornament all telegraph poles with the carcasses of this type of men”

William "Nevada Red" Wood, was Hung on February 27th, 1905 in Hazen, Nevada
William “Nevada Red” Wood, was Hung on February 27th, 1905 in Hazen, Nevada

Hazen became an important four way rail junction for the Southern Pacific, which installed a round house and handsome depot. In 1908, a fire burned much of the town, however the town soon rebuilt. A small school educated the children of several nearby ranches. The Palace Hotel was a main attraction of the little community. The hotel was host to a restaurant and grill. The store located in Hazen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Town Summary

NameHazen, Nevada
Other NamesHazen Station.
LocationChurchill County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.5653, -119.0464
Post Office1904 – Current
Elevation4,000 Feet
NewspaperThe Harvest


Searchlight Nevada

Searchlight Nevada is a unincorporated town with a history in mining. The small town in Clark County is located south of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada and honored with Nevada State Historic Marker number one hundred and sixteen. The Nevada Start Historic Marker is located on the west side of the highway as you enter town.

Nevada State Historical Markers identify significant places of interest in Nevada’s history. The Nevada State Legislature started the program in 1967 to bring the state’s heritage to the public’s attention with on-site markers. Budget cuts to the program caused the program to become dormant in 2009. Many of the markers are lost of damaged.

Main Street of Searchlight, Nevada
Main Street of Searchlight, Nevada

The town is founded after George Frederick Cook prospected the area beginning May 6th, 1897. It is said that he would take a searchlight to find gold in the area, lending the town its name. Following the discovery of gold, the area boomed, which caused its population to raise. At the time, the mining town was part of Lincoln County, and for a time its population was larger than that of Las Vegas. When Clark County is created the town was briefly considered to be the county seat.

Between 1907 and 1910, the gold mines of Searchlight produced $7 million dollars in gold and boasted a population of 1,500. Ore is shipped to Barnwell via the Barnwell and Searchlight rail service. In order to reduce costs, the Quartette company constructed a twenty-stamp mill on the Colorado River. The new mill utilized a 15 mile narrow gauge rail is constructed down to the mill in an attempt to further reduce costs. The rail is completed in 1902. Several tent saloons are erected during this time and named Cyrus Noble, Old Bottle and the Little Brown Jug.

Quartette Mill, Searchlight, Nevada
Quartette Mill, Searchlight, Nevada

Later in 1903, enough water is is on hand in town to support a second twenty-stamp mill. The onsite mills capacity is further increased in 1906 when the Colorado Mill is closed and relocate near town.

During its peak in 1907, Searchlight boasts well-furnished stores, about a dozen saloons, telephone exchange, forty four mines and several mills. The Chamber of Commerce advertised some 5,000 people living in the little haven. Searchlight’s decline began in 1917.

Today, the town is home to about 500 people. Its location on the 95 highway offers a rest spot for travelers between Las Vegas and various Colorado River how spots, including Lake Mojave, Laughlin NV, Bullhead City and Havasu. The small community is home to a few small casinos, gas and food. Senator Majority Harry Leader Harry Reid is perhaps the towns most notable citizen. Harry Ried proudly raised the American Flag over his property, when he was home which was visible from the highway.

Nevada State Historic Marker Text

Initial discoveries of predominately gold ore were first made at this location on May 6, 1897.  G.F. Colton filed the first claim, later to become the Duplex Mine.  The Quartette Mining Company, formed in 1900, became the mainstay of the Searchlight district, producing almost half of the area’s total output.  In May 1902, a 16 mile narrow-gauge railroad was built down the hill to the company’s mill on the Colorado River.

On March 31, 1907, the 23.22 mile Barnwell and Searchlight Railroad connected the town with the then main Santa Fe line from Needles to Mojave.  By 1919 trains travelled over the B. and S. Railroad only twice a week.  A severe washout on September 23, 1923, halted traffic completely.  Train service was never restored.

Searchlight is the birthplace of U.S. Senator Harry Reid (b.1939) who became the first Nevadan to serve as the Senate Majority Leader, a position he assumed in 2007.


Nevada State Historic Marker Map

Town Summary

NameSearchlight, Nevada
LocationClark County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude35.4744, -114.9307
Nevada State Historic Marker116
Populationup to 5,000
Elevation3,547 ft (1,081 m)
News PaperSearchlight Bulletin Jan 1, 1903 – Jan 3, 1913


Schwab California

Schwab is a gold mining camp and ghost town located in Echo-Lee Mining District of Death Valley National Park in California. The little townsite of Schwab was a short-lived mining camp run by three ambitious women: Gertrude Fesler, Mrs. F.W. Dunn, and Helen H. Black.

Schwab, California - “In the afternoon the townsite company drinks tea,” Death Valley Chuck-Walla magazine, Vol 2. No. 1, June 1907
Schwab, California – “In the afternoon the townsite company drinks tea,” Death Valley Chuck-Walla magazine, Vol 2. No. 1, June 1907

in December of 1906, as the Echo-Lee District is beginning its real boom stage. A new townsite is platted to serve the many mines in the area. The townsite was named Schwab, after the well-known steel and mining magnate, who helo interests in the Echo-Lee District. The townsite was promoted by the Schwab Townsite Company, which was incorporated in Nevada on December 31st, 1906. Thoe project is financed by S. H. Black, J. C. Houtz and J. E. Cram and $30,000 got the town up and running. The town being fully paid in advance by the three principles, made Schwab a closed corporation.

Ads in the Bll Frog Miner and the Rhyolite Herald and attempted to raise interest in the town. The owners claimed to have made arrangements for the town for the completion of a restaurant, a lodging house, a mercantile store, an assay house and a saloon. They also stated that roads were being built and stage service would be establised.

Gertrude Fesler was a young stockbroker out of Chicago who moved to Rhyolite and ended up purchasing a one-third interest in Schwab, located in the Funeral Range. After meeting her business partners, Fesler soon bonded with their wives and it wasn’t long before Mr. F.W. Dunn put his wife in charge and Helen Black purchased her husband’s share in Schwab!

Schwab was a popular town for local gold prospectors in early 1907, but the town did not survive the Financial Panic of 1907. Little remains of the town today besides one fuzzy black and white image from the Death Valley Chuck-Walla magazine, showing the three women and one unidentified person sitting at a tent, and small historic artifacts such as broken glass.

The town of Schwab is situated just below the Inyo and Skibo camps at the junction of the wagon roads leading up the east arm of Echo canyon and to Death Valley on the south. In other words, Schwab is located in the north or upper branch of Echo Canyon, astride the main Echo-Lee wagon road, across a small ridge from the present Inyo ruins, and about 1-1/2 miles from those ruins. At this location, evidence of the old townsite may be found.

The remains consist of seven leveled tent sites, some with ow and crude stone retaining walls remaining. More tent sites were once present, but have been erased by high water in the adjacent wash during Death Valley’s infrequent but violent flash floods. Two of the tent sites have eroded cellars behind them, about ten feet square and five feet deep. Since an immense pile of broken 1900 to 1910-dated beer bottles is located directly behind one of these tent-cellar sites, it is safe to say that this was the tent saloon, where once twenty-nine men were counted drinking at one time. The townsite covers several hundred feet along the-shallow wash which marks the northern branch of Echo Canyon, and remains are mostly restricted to the west side of that wash On the east side, however, is another tent location, and a shallow, unmarked grave, a lonely monument to one prospector who ended his days during the brief life of Schwab. About 300 yards to the west of the townsite is a crude derrick, the remains of Schwab’s well. The well site is dry and completely filled in, but numerous five gallon cans are scattered along the trail from the well to the townsite.

Rhyolite Herald of 22 February 1907.

Town Summary

NameSchwab, California
LocationDeath Valley National Park, California
Latitude, Longitude36.505, -116.7236
Elevation3,340 feet
Post Office

Schwab Map


Sutro Nevada

Located at 4,478 feet, Sutro Nevada is a ghost town located in Lyon County Nevada built to support construction of the Sutro Tunnel.

The town of Sutro Nevada, taken in 1874
The town of Sutro Nevada, taken in 1874

The story of Nevada can not be told without the Comstock Load. The Comstock Load was a massive silver mine located under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, near Virginia City, Nevada. The strike is made public in 1859 and lead to the largest rush into Nevada since the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Miners following the silver ore tunneled deeper and deeper into the mountain. Natural springs frequently flooded the tunnels and many miners escaped with their lives after tapping into a large underground reservoir of water. The deeper the miners tunnelled, the more expensive to remove the scalding hot water from their tunnels.

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830–1898) was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, California, serving in that office from 1894 until 1896 - Photographer Mathew Benjamin Brady
Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830–1898) was the 24th mayor of San Francisco, California, serving in that office from 1894 until 1896 – Photographer Mathew Benjamin Brady

Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro proposed a solution to the water problem. His proposal was to build a drainage tunnel from the deepest part of the Comstock Lode.

The Sutro Tunnel

In 1865, Sutro’s tunnel gained traction and had gained approval from the federal and state governments. The Sutro Tunnel Company is formed and started selling stock certificates to raise funds. Construction began in 1869 and connected to the Savage Mine on July 8th, 1878. On June 30th, 1879, the tunnel is connect of all of the mines and the first water is released. The tunnel was 3.88 miles in length and runs from Dayton to Virginia City.

Town Summary

NameSutro Nevada
LocationLyon County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude39.28, -119.584167
Elevation4,478 ft (1,365 m)
Population600 – 800
Post OfficeMarch 1872 – October 1920
NewspaperSutro Independent Sept 25, 1875 – Nov 22, 1880

Sutro Map