Dixie Valley, Nevada

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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. [permanent dead link]
  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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-06. 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