|Frenchman aka Frenchman's Station, Bermond (Churchill Co.)|
39° 16' 46"N, 118° 16' 09"W - FRENCHMAN quad
|VISITED||We Visited: Buzzin' by all the time|
Directions: Take Highway 50 east from Fallon for 32.5 miles until... until... well, until you get to where Frenchman's used to be.
From Fallon: 32.5 miles
Frenchman's was a freight station that served the boom towns of Fairview and Wonder and- later- motorists venturing out on Highway 50. For some reason it took on the name "Bermond" when it acquired a Post Office. Probably because the owner, a Frenchman named Aime Bermond, wanted to name it after himself. But it was usually referred to as "Frenchman's."
I remember when Luis and I were coming back from a visit to Rawhide when his fan belt broke. We managed to limp into Frenchman's Station, where thankfully they had a replacement for only, oh, I don't know, $80 or something. Oh, I'm just kidding. It was really, really nice to have a little place out in the middle of the desert to stop for stuff, and although I love the U.S. Government with all my heart and I admire the U.S. Navy in particular, I hate them for taking Frenchman's Station. And I'm not entirely happy about the whole Dixie Valley thing either, in case you wanted to ask.
Some anecdotes from the newspapers of the day...
A social affair unique in it manner occurred here Thursday night. A party of 17 chartered an auto truck and went down to "The Frenchman's" station, out in the middle of hte desert, for a dance and a frolic. This station is situated just 12 miles from the nearest water and is maintained for the purpose of supplying teamsters with water, which is hauled from springs in the hills. There is a large pavillon here, with a good floor, and walled up with wire netting to afford a place for travelers to sleep during hot weather. The merrymakers had music along and danced until midnight, when Mr. Bermond, the proprietor, announced supper. The unique part of it is that away out on the big alkalai flat a dinner was served with all the French fixings, wines, etc., about the same as would be had in a first-class restaurant in a city. About the last palce in the world where one would expect to encounter a first -class French chef is out in the sand, so far from other human habitation.
Looks like they might have been having a little too much fun out there on the flat.
SHERIFF SEIZES LIQUOR
This March 13 1864 article from the Marysville Daily Appeal helpfully lists a chart of stations and their mileages, between Virginia City and Austin. Note that it mentions a "Frenchman's Station" 13 miles west of Cold Springs, and 16 miles east of New Pass. Different "Frenchman's"? Screwed up list?
Nov. 24, 1920- May 31, 1926
Nothing. Just a wide spot in the road. [sob]
Just a note on the recent photo with the airplane. The owner of this picture writes: My father's plane was a 1948 Luscombe (NV1522B). He purchased it new. When he wasn't working around the state, he used to fly to Frenchman's just for fun, but also occasionally to pick up a friend there that worked at the Scheelite mine to take him home to his family on weekends in Hawthorne. The back of the photo says 1952 with no other information. I can't identify anyone in the picture.
The photo with Mr. Bermond standing in front was provided courtesy of the Churchill County Museum.