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Washoe Valley News

Reno Evening Gazette September 21, 1877
Washoe Valley Items

In company with Mr. E. Owens of Franktown we rode over the much talked of Dall Rd, leading from a point near Franktown to the Ophir grade. It will be remembered that this road was once offered to the county for $4,000, and was inspected by Messrs. Eastman and Bragg with a view to its purchase by the county. The south end of the county was divided at the time on the road question, some wanting a road from Washoe City, others from Ophir, and a large number in favor of the Dall Road. We understand that a new proposition has been made to the Board of County Commissioners, viz: to build a road on a direct line from Bower’s Mansion to the Ophir Grade. The last Legislature passed a bill allowing this county to spend $5,000 on a road from some place on the north side of Washoe lake to high land on the opposite side. The people in Washoe Valley need a road across the valley from north to south. With these facts before us we were glad of the opportunity to see the roads in question. The Dall road is 3.5 miles long, and must have cost its owner nearly $8,000. He proposes to do work in funding and fixing the road to an amount equal to about $1,500 and sell the road to the county for $5,000. Franktown will give $1,000 or more of this sum. The road is a very good one, and the only practical one for majority of the people in that valley. The proposed road from Bowers’ would cost $6,000 or $7,000 and would not then be as good a one as the Dall road is now. The Ophir road would cost a large sum and  would then accommodate only a few persons.
At Mill Station there are at the dump of Hobart & Marlett’s flume, about 12,000 cords of wood. D. M. Riordan is the V&T R.R. agent and is a very gentlemanly fellow and well posted man. The fluming season is over at Mills. The late frosts nearly destroyed the wheat crop of Mr. Montgomery, and very materially injured that of Mr. Simons. Mr. Simons has one of the prettiest homes in Washoe Valley. He has a large farm, fine orchard, and most comfortable dwelling.

Editors notes: Mr. Dall had a mill for processing Quartz ore from Virginia City that was brought by wagon over the Ophir (Jumbo) Grade on the east side of the valley. He built a road from that toll road to his mill. That is presumably the road mentioned. During this time, the V&T railroad made processing ore along the Carson River profitable and the Washoe Valley mills, and towns, began to disappear. Perhaps this is why Mr. Dall was willing to sell his road.

Flumes were wood “ditches” that transported wood cut from the high country to the west of the valley. Cord wood was cut to fuel the mills and stoves of Virginia City. Nearly all of the old growth timber was cut from around Lake Tahoe to feed the silver production in the form of lumber, fire wood and timbers for the mines.

Western Washoe Valley was vigorously farmed for wheat, potatoes, fruit and especially hay during the Comstock mining boom from 1860 through 1900.

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