41.226770, -115.059909 - METROPOLIS quad
|VISITED||9/8/2014 Our Breakfast : Biscuits and gravy at Angel Creek Campground
9/7/2014 Our Lunch : Burgers at The Pig BBQ & Pub in Winnemucca
|DIRECTIONS|| From Fallon: North on US 95 for 33 miles to I-80; East on I-80 for 268 miles to Wells, NV; North on Humboldt Avenue for 0.9 miles; Turn right onto 7th St, Take the 1st left toward 8th St, continue onto 8th St for 2 miles; slight right on Metropolis Rd for 3.1 miles; slight left on country road 3 miles; right on BLM road for 6 miles.
From Fallon: 281 miles
In 1910 the Pacific Reclmation Company decided to "reclaim" about 40,000 acres of desert land by building a dam on Bishop Creek, using the water to create a new farming district.
The Pacific Reclamation Co. is planning to reclaim 50,000 acres of land near
Elko, Nevada, by building large storage
reservoirs in the northern part of the
After completing the dam, the company heavily promoted the area, and the LDS church encouraged its members to move there. By 1912, several large buildings were built by the company, including an amusement hall, a post office, a school, and a large hotel. A railroad spur was constructed and a train station was built, with regular passenger service. The population grew to about 700.
Southern Pacific Opens
Eight Mile Branch to
Unfortunately, the Pacific Reclamation Company failed to do its homework and neglected to secure water rights. A lawsuit by farmers in Lovelock put a damper on the plans to irrigate with water from the dam.
Beginning in 1912, however, problems with water rights on Bishop, Burnt and Trout creeks had dramatically reduced available irrigable lands to only 3,000 acres. Attempts at dryland farming, the first time this had been tried on any significant scale in Nevada, proved disastrous.
Many farmers tried dry farming wheat, and because of above average precipitation, were successful at first. Then the problems began. Rainfall slacked off from 1914 through 1918. A typhoid epedemic swept through town in February of 1916. Farmers killed coyotes, and the rabbit population soared. Mormon crickets and grasshoppers ate crops. The Pacific Rural Press reported:
A very successful campaign against
rodents in the Metropolis section of
Elko county this year has given such
sucess that the farmers are now formulating
plans for another drive next
Still, farmers enjoyed some success.
But by then, the Pacific Reclamation Co. declared bankruptcy. The population dropped, and rail service was discontinued a couple of years later. By 1925, the amusement hall and hotel had burned, and the last store had shut its doors. The post office finally closed in 1942, and by 1950 Metropolis was a ghost town, surrounded by ranches.
|POST OFFICE||November 24, 1911 - December 10, 1942|
The roads to Metropolis are all smooth, locally used roads so you'll have no trouble getting there at all.
The ruins of the Lincoln School and the Metropolis Hotel are prominent, as is the graveyard. Aside from a concrete foundation or two, not much else is left. You can also visit the dam, some miles to the east, that was supposed to turn the area into a farming paradise.