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Canoes on Carson Lake near Fallon NevadaFallon has been a farming center since the Newlands Project diverted irrigation water from the Truckee River in the early 20th century. More recently, the Navy moved its "Top Gun" school for fighter pilots here, and the little city that calls itself "The Oasis of Nevada" has become prosperous. It's the seat of Churchill County and offers all services to travelers.
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My Memories of the Comstock by Harry M. Gorham
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  • The Nevada
    Travel Network
    Visitor's Guide to
    Fallon

    WHEN MIKE FALLON BUILT a crossroads store on his ranch property in 1896, the sparsely settled region of the Carson Sink had a nucleus for the first time since Kenyon's trading post at Ragtown, to the west, served the wagon trains, and the tiny settlement at Fallon took the county seat from Stillwater in 1902. A bank was established in 1908, and Fallon was incorporated. By this time the intensive agricultural development had begun to pay satisfying dividends.

    Fallon's Hearts O' Gold cantaloupes graced the menus of fine hotels and restaurants in the biggest cities of the nation, and Fallon turkeys brought premium prices. The Cantaloupe Festival in October is still the community's premiere annual event.

    In June, 1942, the Navy began construction of a small air station southeast of town; in 1958 it was dedicated to Lt. Cdr. Bruce Van Voorhis, a Navy pilot from Fallon awarded the Medal of Honor. The 14,000-ft. runway is the Navy's longest and serves the national Top Gun fighter pilot training school.

    Fallon is an easy, amiable, tree-shaded town. On a warm summer's evening, after a scurrying rain squall has wet down the fresh-cut alfalfa, Fallon is at its comfortable best. Take the kids swimming at the pool, or watch a Little League game at the City Park. One of the most pleasant images in my memory is from this park, of a little leaguer, the tail of his number 7 tucked halfway down his pants, and waving a glove the size of a satellite dish at the baseballs flying over his head.

    The Overland Hotel on Center Street serves lunches and dinners in the Basque style and there are Mexican, Italian and Chinese restaurants as well. The Churchill County Museum is on south Travel NevadaMaine; you'll see a new exhibit on Native Americans, an antique fire truck and a thousand items in between, from lithic tools to a hand-pumped vacuum cleaner. Stillwater, briefly and long ago the Churchill County seat, is headquarters for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Reservation. Some years ago, Stillwater resident Fortunate Eagle flew to Rome, dressed in traditional style. Upon arrival he descended to the runway and planted his lance in the asphalt, claiming Italy on behalf of the American Indians by right of discovery.

    The celebrated storyteller "Squaw Tom" Sanders lived near Fallon for many years, and many of his tales were of the local Indian life. He is buried in the reservation cemetery at Stillwater. In the early 1950s, Fallon's literary tradition was further enriched when a "poor, skinny, dreamy kid" of 21 from Portland, Oregon, showed up at the door of the Eagle Standard on Williams Street the poet Richard Brautigan, who stayed only briefly. This poem appeared in the weekly "Gab & Gossip" column on July 25, 1956 and may be his first published work:
    
    	"Storm over Fallon"
    
    	Thunder roared
    	across the sky
    	like the voice
    	of an angry man.
    
    	Rain started falling,
    	slowly at first,
    	the faster and faster,
    	and louder and louder.
    
    	The man became silent.
    
    	The voices of the rain
    	chattered like
    	little children
    	at a birthday party.
    


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