I have no idea what is so appealing to me about Frenchman Flat and Frenchman Station (there is no ‘s in those titles, and that is correct.) Frenchman Flat is in the narrow Dixie Valley, thirteen miles across, which currently offers nothing for the traveler except the occasional excitement of a low altitude bombing run from Navy planes out of Fallon.
I suppose it was this photo that set me off:
It had a perfect visual description of the basin and range landscape – the road going up the Sand Pass in the background, the empty landscape of the Dixie Valley, the decrepit building, a single gas pump. Notice the wooden spoke wheel on the car in the left foreground – looks like a Model T.
Frenchman Station has an interesting history which I urge you read in the link. The station was founded by a Frenchman named Bermond in 1904 and became very popular with teamsters and miners. It later began to serve the motoring public.
There is nothing much there today except a wide spot in the road and a standpipe. The Navy bought the building and tore it down, worried I suppose about the possibility of a wayward bomb destroying all the locals at one go.
I parked there on the way east and took my own photo of the scene above, just because I could.
This is a composite of the old photo above and a current photo. It was easy to compare the alignment of the old LHW and U.S. 50 that way.