Pahranagat Valley is named after a local Shoshone Native American Tribe. Three local springs fill the valley’s lakes, which farmers have used for irrigation since the mid-nineteenth century.
In the late 1860s, outlaws pastured hundreds of head of stolen cattle in the valley meadows.
In 1865, ore was discovered in the area. The following year, a stamp mill was established at Hiko, twenty miles to the north to crush the ore. Hiko became the center of activity for the valley and the county seat between 1866 and 1871, when local mining declined and Pioche claimed the county seat.
The valley received international notoriety in 1867 when Dan De Quille of the Territorial Enterprise published an article titled “The Rolling Stones of Pahranagat,” about magnetic traveling stones. De Quille was notorious for publishing comedy and satire, sometimes mistaken by his readership for truth. In this case, De Quille described these round stones as having a magical quality that, when scattered on the floor, would immediately began travelling toward a common center. De Quille published similar articles on the stones in 1876, 1879, and 1892.
The town of Alamo before you, established in 1900, is the valley’s largest present-day settlement. Watered by Pahranagat Creek, the area includes several ranches and the Pahranagat Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
This is Nevada State Historical Marker #38, see others on this page:
– Nevada Historic Markers