Dixie Valley, Nevada

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For the broader physiographic area and military range, see Dixie Valley.
Dixie Valley, Nevada
Ghost town
Dixie Valley is located in Nevada
Dixie Valley
Dixie Valley
Coordinates: 39°43′23″N 118°4′49″W / 39.72306°N 118.08028°W / 39.72306; -118.08028
Country United States
State Nevada
County Churchill
GNIS feature ID 864479 (1800s post office)[1]

Dixie Valley, Nevada, was a small ranching town in Churchill County, Nevada until the area was acquired in 1995 by the US Navy for the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC).[2] The town had no retail businesses, most residents were more than a mile from their nearest neighbor, and a 1-room school (grades 1-8) was the teacher's residence and served as a meeting, dance, & election hall (grades 9-12 were bussed 75 miles to Fallon, Nevada). The abandoned town of Dixie was established at the head of Dixie Valley in 1861 and named by Southern sympathizers.[3] The medium-sized Dixie Valley geothermal power plant (1988, 66 megawatts)[4] employs ~30 people and has 12 production steam wells and ~24 injection wells.

Detail from 1910 map showing the location of the former town of Dixie

1954 earthquakes[edit]

A very large earthquake doublet occurred on December 16, 1954. The Dixie Valley/Fairview earthquakes occurred four minutes apart, each with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). The initial shock measured 7.3 Mw and the second shock measured 6.9 Mw. Damage to man-made structures was minimal because the region was sparsely populated at the time, but oblique-slip motion on a normal fault resulted in the appearance of large fault scarps.[5]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Dixie Valley, Nevada
  2. ^ Mackedon, Michon. "Dixie Land". WNC.edu. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  3. ^ Carlson, Helen S. (1985). Nevada place names : a geographical dictionary. Reno: University of Nevada Press. p. 99. ISBN 087417094X. 
  4. ^ Shevenell, Lisa; et al. (2000). "Geothermal Resources in Nevada" (PDF). Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  5. ^ Stover, C.W.; Coffman, J.L. (1993), Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, pp. 287, 288, 295, 296