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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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November 13, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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November 13, 1997
 

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Pahrump Valley Gazette,Thursday, November 13, 1997 17 Gazette on the street... i If you could travel back in time, what era el 9 would yolt like to vls# and why: Li00gston, TX England Sweden Las Vegas JERRY HEESACKER -- RetiredAir Force -- "I don't think I want to go back. I would want to go the other way, forward. I would rather go forward 100 or 200 years to see what this world will be like then." JEREMY GRIGGS -- Telephone technician -- "Medieval times, it just seems like a good time to go back to, To see the knights in shining armor." ANNA NORDEN -- Lawyer-- "I would like to go back to the time when white people first came to the Grand Canyon, Just to suddenly find yourself on the rim." LEO SCHAFER -- Engineer-- !'About 100 years ago. I think that's where I belonged." CLARA jACKSON -- Housewife-- "I would like to visit the prehistoric time. i would like to see how they lived. It must have been really hard for them. Even the first people who visited this area, must have had a hard time." Compiled by PVG staff photographers i 482-3016 No to Abuse 751-1118 Tonopah 24 Hr. Crisis Line Pahrump Neva00!tt - then a now Hazen-Fallon Railroad last remnant of an era by Phillip L Earl Nevada Historical Society . Interest in a rail connec- tion between Fallon and the Southern Pacific line to the west sur- faced in the spring of 1903, and local ranchers and businessmen commis- sioned a preliminary survey between Massie and Fallon in April of that year. Promotional and planning meetings were held over the next year and $60,000 was pledged in May 1904. Southern Pacific officials were discussing an extension east from Hazen by that timepand a group of Californians were promoting the construction of an electric interur- ban line. Southern Pacific Superintendent John Shaughnessy sent out survey crews in February and March 1905, but grad- ing and construction were to be delayed for another year pending completion of the Hazen Cut-Off to the south. The Nevada Legislature granted a fight-of- way over public lands under state con- trol in 1905, as did officials of the U.S. Reclamation Service. Much of the right- of-way was already under Southern Pa- cific control and State Senator W. W. Williams of Fallon donated a 10 acre tract for a Fallon depot in June 1905. A real estate boom had meanwhile gotten underway. A.A. Hibbard, a Reno broker, predicted that Lahontan llthough the Nevada Northern Railway in White Pine County is the last of the state's shortlines, the 16 mile line operating between Hazen and Fallon is an important remnant of the railroad era that began in the first decade of this century. First day of service on the Hazen-Fallon railroad, January 10, 1907. Photo courtesy of Churchill County Museum, Fallon later, January 10, 1907. There had been talk of celebrating "Railroad Day" upon completion of the line, but several dates came and went and the Hazen-Fallon line was never officially christened. Both Fallon and Hazen were plagued with crime during the construction phase, but life returned to normal within weeks of completion. Southern Pacific officials were promoting Lahontan Valley and Fallon's busi- nessmen were doing their part to ensure their future prosperity, or- ganizing the community's first chamber of commerce on October 1, 1906. Passenger service began within a month and was coordinated with the Southern Pacific schedule from Hazen to Reno. There was talk of extending the line on east to min- ing operations at Sand Springs and to the camps of Fairview, Wonder and Rawhide, but the economics of such a proposition did not jus- tify the expense and the line ended in Fallon. A gasoline motorcar ser- vice between Reno and Fallon was established in March 1911, but sub- sequent competition with buses and private automobiles forced a cut- back to a single run a day in Sep- tember 1920. In May 1924, with only one or two passengers a day taking the trip, the service ended. By the early 1920s, the Lincoln Highway had been improved to the point that motor tracks were im- pacting freight service and the line had begun to go into the red by the late 1920s. It remained in operation only because the citizens of Fallon and Lahontan Valley protested when company officials applied to the Nevada Public Service Commission for abandonment. This situation continues today. Southern Pacific officials; mining companies, naval authorities and Fallon shippers have been able to work out a plan to make proper use of the line. A nominal once-a-week service is maintained by law and the future is up in the air. Valley would be "a second Sacramento Valley" within two years. Fifty to seventy-five ten- horse teams were operating between Hazen and Fallon by midsummer 1905 and there was every prospect that a railroad would be a financial success from the outset. Hazen had become a cailhead for traffic to the mining camps of central Nevada via the Hazen Cut-Off and the former Carson & Colorado was also prospering. Construction got underway in August 1906 and the first train rolled into Fallon five months