Saturday, June 28, 2014


I WAS DRAGGED TO THIS EXPERIENCE BY MY COMPANION---and I'm so so glad!  Turns out to be a wonderful adventure requiring two days to absorb.

She said that out there---12 miles into the Nevada desert are the remains of a grand vision.

And this was to be the start of it:  A  dam on Bishop creek.  You would never guess what this dam is made of:  BRICKS---MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF BRICKS salvaged from the 1907 earthquake in San Francisco and shipped here on rail cars. I will let a historian summarize for you:

In 1911 the Pacific Reclamation Company had big plans.  They would create a marvelous city named Metropolis (twelve miles northwest of Wells, Nevada).  To support this grand city they would farm the desert.  They had the land, the seed, the people, and the water.  Put it all together, and with a lot of hard work, life would be grand.  This page is about the water.  To irrigate their lands they built a substantial dam in Bishop Creek and ran a ditch to the upper end of Metropolis.  Unfortunately, by 1947, "drought, water rights litigation, high interest rates, jackrabbits and Mormon crickets contributed to the demise of the town and surrounding farms."    Not much is left of the town, nothing is left of the fields, but the dam, ah the dam, the ditch and the reservoir - there is much to see on this page.

Elko County Place Names

So out there we went.  If you look closely you can see one of the more prominent structures.

We're almost there the ruins of a once modern school.

I settled in this precise spot because it is where Eleanor Roosevelt stood to address a crowd
on the opening of the school.

The weather was beautiful and we wandered around several miles of what was a 40,000
acre development.

The basement schoolrooms were eerie.

The town has two bronze plaques.

A still utilized cemetery with this helpful diagram of who is buried where.  Some
descendants of the original 700 citizens still live in nearby farms.

The remains of a grand hotel with generators and air conditioning.

The second plaque

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES---Someone else has told the story better than I .  Click here::

And if you would like to see what an invasion of Mormon crickets looks like. click here:  That's me standing in the middle of them. (Thank you Diana for the link)

One personal lesson I learned here was to say YES to the suggestions of my companion---and YES to more things in general.  She  wheedled me into a bar in Wells, Nevada to watch the triple crown race and I met a host of interesting people and got the scoop on the doings at a brothel only a hundred yards away,. Yesterday she persuaded me into the hills of Montana to walk a Labyrinth. (will show you later)

Other truths made obvious here:
2. TAMPERING WITH ANY LINK IN THE WEB OF LIFE HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.  Settlers thought coyotes were a nuisance and killed them off-----and were overrun  with rabbits.


heyduke50 said...

a neat spot you found that totally eluded me...

Anonymous said...

How 'bout sharing "the scoop on the doings at a brothel only a hundred yards away"

Now that sounds interesting.

farmlady said...

Very interesting. I will have to find this place someday soon.
This post says volumes about the "great" ideas of man and how nature is the ultimate decision maker.

Anonymous said...

I like your analysis of the three conditions that help a small community to survive.
Does anybody inhabit Palo Solari's Arizona community, any longer?

Anonymous said...

To answer my own question, I see Arcosanti was started in 1970, the land was bought in 1957, with 50-150 inhabiting at any time. 5000 was envisioned.a