METROPOLIS

NAME: Metropolis
COUNTY: elko
ROADS: 2WD
GRID: 1
CLIMATE: Hot summer cool fall cold winter with some snow.
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer and fall
COMMENTS: I read about it in a Wells Nevada resturant The town is about 25 miles north west of wells had a population of 25000 people. No residents.
REMAINS: Some Buildings

The Pacific Reclamation Company, of New York, looked upon the semi-fertile lands in the region of the headwaters of the Humboldt River as a place to build a showcase community of farms and a model city a short distance northwest of Wells, Nevada in 1909. Plans called for 40,000 irrigated and non-irrigated acres to be cultivated, surrounding a modern city of 7,500. In 1911, a city of graded streets, cement sidewalks, fire hydrants and street lights was laid out with a four square block commercial district, which included a showcase 3-story brick hotel. In anticipation of many coming here, the Southern Pacific Railroad built a spur to town with a large depot and tree shaded park. By 1912 the town began to populate and acreage was sold. A newspaper, called the Metropolis Chronicle, began publication to boost the town and sales of property. A dam was built across Bishop Creek northeast of town and an elaborate water system of ditches, canals and municipal water system was built. The Pacific Reclamation's dream was rudely awaken as it began when farmers downsteam on the Humboldt as far as Lovelock began to legally complain due to the over use of water in the headwaters region, with Pacific Reclamation being one of the biggest targets. The resulting court decision left Pacific and Metropolis residents with water enough for only the town and 4,000 acres of farmland. Added to that were problems caused by drought and a plague of crickets. By 1913 the bubble was burst and the Chronicle ceased publication. Many families left the area, but those who stuck it out were rewarded soon thereafter by increased water due to acquiring the rights from those that left, which resulted in more than fifteen years of good times by all and Metropolis thrived through with a smaller population. The ornate Lincoln School opened in 1914 and Metropolis settled down to steady agricultural production until about 1925. Farming decreased steadily afterward and the Southern Pacific Railroad removed its spur that year. Buildings were eventually abandoned, sold or moved away. The hotel burned in 1936 and the Lincoln School taught its last class in 1947. Metropolis is dead as a town, thought the abandoned ranches were eventually all bought up and incorporated into several large ranches today. David A. Wright

Even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong. That seems to be the history of Metropolis. It was a planned town intended to be the center of a huge farming district. It all started in 1909 with the purchase of 40,000 acres of land below Emigrant Canyon. Thirty-four homesteads started a high-powered promotional campaign that made fantastic claims as to the soil’s fertility. Many young families were attracted to the Metropolis most of whom were not prepared for the hardships of farming. The construction of the Bishop Creek Dam was to provide a plentiful source of water for the town and farms. Most of the dam comprised 6.5 million bricks left over from San Francisco’s devastating earthquake of 1906. Once the dam was finished, the promotional campaign increased. The Mormon Church encouraged people to move to Metropolis and many did. About 95 percent of its population was Mormon. By the end of 1911, there were 700 residents. Its biggest boom year was 1912 and Metropolis’s future looked promising with the coming of the railroad. But it was not to be. A group of Lovelock (a neighboring community) farmers filed suit claiming the Bishop Creek Dam impeded their downstream water rights. This prevented the reservoir from filling that greatly reduced the number of acres that could be irrigated. Metropolis’s wet years ended in 1914 when exceptional dryness devastated crops. The draught extended through 1918. A typhoid epidemic it the town in February 1916 killing many of those who had stayed. By 1920 less than 100 people remained. Over the years, the buildings in the town either succumbed to the elements or were moved to other locations but many ruins tell the town’s story.HBC


Metropolis Hotel Ruins. D.A. Wright photo.


Metropolis Hotel Ruins. D.A. Wright photo.


Metropolis Hotel Ruins. D.A. Wright photo.


Lincoln School, Metropolis. D.A. Wright photo.


Lincoln School, Metropolis. D.A. Wright photo.


Lincoln School, Metropolis. D.A. Wright photo.


Lincoln School Ruins
Chris Geigle


Metropolis Hotel Ruins
Chris Geigle


Metropolis Hotel Ruins
Chris Geigle


Metropolis
Chris Geigle


Metropolis
Chris Geigle


Metropolis
Chris Geigle

Lincoln School Ruins
Chris Geigle


Lincoln School Ruins
Chris Geigle


Lincoln School Basement
Chris Geigle


Lincoln School Playground
Chris Geigle

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