The railroad never came to Aurora, but it got as close as Hawthorne. But before that happened, Fletcher's Station-- also known as Six Mile Station-- became an important stop on the freight route over Lucky Boy Pass. Even after the arrival of the railroad, Fletcher's Station remained a place to teamsters and travelers to freshen up before continuing on to the camps. Fletcher lay very near the junction of important roads in the area-- the road between Virginia City and Aurora; Candelaria and Aurora; and Aurora and Mt. Grant (Hawthorne).
After the mining camp's heyday was over, Fletcher remained an important stop on the road between Bridgeport and Hawthorne .
The 1880 census shows the Fletchers in Nevada; in 1900 census it shows the Fletchers living in California; in 1910 it shows son Vick back in Nevada.
You can make money on mining, cattle, hay... or even fish.
County Commissioner D. H. McNett is stocking a pond on his ranch in Fish Lake Valley, with German carp which he obtains from H. D. Fletcher, at the Six Mile House.
-Walker lake Bulletin, June 13, 1883
We have a post office!
H. D. Fletcher has been appointed Postmaster at the Six Mile House, and his son Fred is deputy.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, November 14, 1883
We have a wedding!
D. J. Shaw of Bodie was married last Sunday week to Miss Katie Fletcher. The groom is an old resident of Bodie, and the bride is the eldest daughter of H. [Henry] D. Fletcher of Fletcher's Station, and one of Esmeralda's most charming ladies.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, July 15, 1891
Aurora wouldn't perk up again until 1906. Now, things are slow.
Dayton Times:-- H. D. Fletcher, of Fletcher's station, on the Bodie and Aurora road, was in town this week. He says there is not a man a work in Aurora now, and he is thinking of buying a ranch in Mason Valley and locating there.
-Daily Independent, March 3, 1892
Looks like Fletcher's has changed hands.
James Acheson rode down from Fletcher's Monday. He has a number of cattle scattered about the county and is trying to round them up. He informs us that he will vacate Fletcher's station next month and take up his residence at Sweetwater, and that Mrs. Sharp will take the Fletcher place.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, February 26, 1896
Teamsters, stages-- even those new fangled bicycles are welcome at Fletcher's Station.
ON THE WHEEL.
Interesting Description of a Trip from Hawthorne to Carson.
Jay White and Sol Summerfield who recently rode from Hawthorne to Carson on bicycles give the Bulletin the following table of the distances: FROM To MILES
Hawthorne - Summit Station 12
Hawthorne - Summit 14
Hawthorne - Fletcher 23 1/2
Hawthorne - Green's Ranch 27
Hawthorne - Elbow 34 1/4
Hawthorne - Conway's 39
Hawthorne - Sweetwater 43
Hawthorne - Dalzell's 52
Hawthorne - Sulphur Springs 56
Hawthorne - Wellington 68
Hawthorne - Mountain House 82
Hawthorne - Gardnerville 100
Hawthorne - Genoa 108
Hawthorne - Carson 132
The distances were measured with a cyclometer, and in each instance were correct, being verified by previous measurements. The boys give the following account of their trip, which they made in two and a half days: We left Hawthorne at 3:15 AM Thursday, June 18, and in a short time were at the foot of the Bodie grade. Before we started on our trip we had heard various stories of different persons, who it was said had ridden up the grade, so we thought if it had been once accomplished, we could do it again. We oiled the bicycles, took a drink of water, tightened our belts up a notch and prepared to sail up the hill, but the hill didn't sail, and as a result we walked about nine-tenths of the way from the foot of the grade to Stevenson's Station. We both agreed that any man who says he rode up the Bodie grade on a bicycle, is a prevaricator of the first grade and the truth is not in him. After an hour's rest at Summit Station we started on and in half an hour were at the Summit. We fairly flew down the other side of the grade, and the brakes on the bicycles came in good play. It took one and a half hours to ride the nine and a half miles to Fletcher Station, now kept by Tom Sharp, where we ate dinner. Most of the road from the Summit down, was good riding, but we had to walk quite a ways. We left Fletcher's at 12 AM and in half an hour had ridden the three and a half miles to Geo. A. Green's ranch, We got I drink and "pushed" on. That is we pushed the bicycles for the next four or five miles, the road being so sandy that it was impossible to ride. After getting out of the sand we made good time to Elbow, arriving at 2.10. We took a drink from the well and agreed that it was the finest water we ever drank. The heat was about 140 degrees in the sun and with a dusty, sandy road, we were pretty tired, but struck out again and soon had climbed Elbow hill, which we found pretty rocky. Conway's and Compston's ranches were soon passed and at 5.15 we arrived at Sweetwater, thoroughly tired and glad to call it a day's work. We met Geo. Acheson and Geo. A. Curran, the genial Justice of the Peace, there, and spent a pleasant evening.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, July 22, 1896
Looks like Mr. Sharp-- or Sharpe-- is running the joint now.
Tom Sharp came down from the Fletcher station last Thursday to have a jaw tooth yanked out. He was in too much pain to give us any news from his neighborhood.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, February 14, 1900
Mr. Sharp started a cyanide mill nearby.
Al Jarvis and wife expect to leave next week for Fletcher's Station on the Bodie and Hawthorne road, where they have secured positions at the cyanide works there.
-Record Courier, September 12, 1902
Thank goodness we're finally gonna get some decent service around here!
Fannie Perkins left for Fletcher Station last Monday to wait on tables.
-Yerington Times, Jun 6, 1903
Looks like the station is about to change hands again.
Fletcher's Station for Sale
Owing to sickness in my family I am compelled to sell or rent my place, known as Fletcher's station. I prefer to rent on easy terms. None but responsible people need apply. Everything is in good condition on the place. Address T. C. Sharpe, Fletcher, Nevada
-Walker Lake Bulletin, August 7, 1903
Vic. Fletcher returned yesterday from Modesto, Cal., where he was summoned on account of the illness of his mother. He reached Modesto seven hours after his mother had passed away. Mrs. Fletcher lived for many years at Fletcher station, this county, and her many friends in this vicinity will be pained to learn of her death.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, November 20, 1903
Vic. Fletcher is now postmaster at Fletcher Station.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, November 13, 1903
A long story that only mentions Fletcher Station once, but a good story nonetheless.
PAT REDDY'S FIGHT WITH WELLS FARGO
For Years He Was Their Bete Noir
Till the Day of His Death the Eminent Attorney Was the Foe of the Corporation.
The late Patrick Reddy, famed as one of the greatest of California criminal lawyers, was, during the last fifteen or eighteen years of his life, the implacable foe of Wells, Fargo & Co.'s express. Time was, however, when he was one of the trusted advisers of the great corporation, and his services were much in demand, but in the early eighties an incident occurred, caused by the penury of the express company, which turned him against them and made him their bitterest enemy.
It began with a stage robbery around Fletcher station.
For some time prior to 1882, the stages operating between Bodie and Hawthorne were continually menaced and held up by highwaymen. Bodie and Aurora were both shipping then and the amount of bullion and coin that was handled by the express company was something enormous and excited the cupidity and attracted to the country some of the most hardened characters on the coast. These were in evidence on every side and among them were a "long and short" man, who made a practice about once a month of holding up the incoming and outgoing stages near Fletcher's station, at a point in the road close to where they passed each other.
They were finally caught, but Wells Fargo detectives could only obtain circumstantial evidence, and relied they needed the best lawyer they could find to prosecute them.
Wells, Fargo & Co. realizing that they could convict him only with the assistance of the best legal talent, employed the services of Reddy, who after a determined fight secured his conviction and had him sent over the road for a long term of years. Immediately after the conviction of Sharp, Wells, Fargo & Co. began suit against Roberts for the recovery of the money he had found on the body of Jones. Meantime, Reddy had put in a bill against the company for $5,000 for services in assisting in the prosecution of Sharp. This the company refused to pay, offering to compromise for $2,500. Reddy steadfastly refused to take less than $5000 either that or nothing. Both sides became obdurate, with the result that Reddy finally declared he would take nothing—he would make Wells, Fargo & Co. a present of the entire amount.
Or so they thought. Instead, Reddy began his mission of revenge.
He then wrote to Roberts, offering to take up his case without charging him a cent for his services. Later the case came up in the district court and Reddy won hands down. About this time one of the company's stages was robbed in Oregon. The culprits were arrested and though the evidence against them was strong, Mr. Reddy, without any fee, took up their case and secured their acquittal. He kept up this kind of warfare m the express company whenever the occasion presented itself, never failing to secure the release of his clients, and it necessitated the expenditure of a large part of Reddy's private fortune, but he was getting even with the giant monopoly, and that satisfied him. In all, it is said he beat the company in at least twenty of their cases, and though the expense was enormous, for he then received no pay for his work, he never murmured, but went about his task gaily and energetically. Till almost the day of his death he kept up the fight, and it was probably with feelings of relief that the officials of Wells, Fargo & Co. received the news that Reddy was dead.
-Tonopah Bonanza, February 6, 1904
Started up? I didn't know it stopped.
George Green's cyanide plant, near Fletcher's Station, in Esmeralda, started up this week.
-Tonopah Bonanza, April 9, 1904
Looks like Tom stayed.
T. C. Sharpe takes charge of Fletcher's station on the first of next month, the Fletcher and Gallagher lease having expired.
-Walker Lake Bulletin, September 16, 1904
But not for long.
Fletcher's Station, one of the oldest road houses on the Hawthorne and Bodie, route, was recently sold for $1,500.
-Yerington Times, April 14, 1906
Even as late as 1930, a wash-out from a storm was enough to merit a newspaper article.
BODIE HIGHWAY IS WASHED OUT
HAWTHORNE, Nev. The road through Bodie canyon from Fletcher's station was closed Thursday afternoon by a cloudburst. Cars from Bodie either came by the way of Bridgeport and Sweetwater or down Bodie Canyon to Del Monte canyon thence through the old camp of Aurora and by the way of Mud Springs back into the road over Lucky Boy grade. Either of these routes are open to travel and it may be some days before the road between Fletcher's and the old Del Monte Mill will be opened as it is reported that the road through the main canyon is badly washed out.
1931 August 15, Reno Evening Gazette
Although Aurora was a shadow of its former self at this point, there was still activity at Fletcher's Station.
A gala Fourth of July celebration is being arranged at Fletcher Station sixteen miles south of Hawthorne by Tex Hall and Bob Tillotson. The usual big barbecue will be held at noon and a baseball game between the marines and a team yet to be decided upon will begin immediately after. A fireworks display will be shown in the evening.
1933, June 23, Reno Evening Gazette
Here it is almost 1940 and they're still talking about the Fletcher cyanide mill, whereever it is.
BOREALIS OWNERS CONSIDER PLANS FOR MILL NEAR PROPERTY
HAWTHORNE, Nev., Nov. 19 (Special)--With the return of E. R. Boomershine from California last week. local mining interests again turned their attention to the Borealis mine, located eighteen miles south of Hawthorne, which created a sensation a few months ago when several hundred tons of gold ore was produced by power shovel operation and shipped to the Dayton Consolidated mill at Silver City. The ore discovery was made by George Burris. old-time mining man of this state, who interested Boomershine and other California associates, resulting in the formation of a company which commenced work this summer and within a few weeks had produced ore valued at several thousand dollars. It is known that Boomershine and associates spent some time examining what remains of an old cyanide milling plant a mile south of Fletcher station on the Hawthorne-Bodie road and about ten miles from the Borealis mine. With the return of Boomershine work was started on the repair and equipping of this old mill and it is understood test runs from the Borealis mine will be made there soon. This old milling plant was erected many years ago and for a long time was operated by Tom Sharp when the latter was running Fletcher station as the stop-over point between Hawthorne and Bodie. Tailings from Bodie creek were treated in this mill by Sharp. About thirteen years ago Jim Barrett, for many years cyanide man at the mill of the Standard mine in Bodie, duplicated Sharp's work and treated tailings from Bodie creek in the mill near Fletcher. Two years ago Barrett moved some of the tanks and other parts of the mill to Garfield flat, south of Hawthorne where he worked over tailings from the Garfield mine.
-Reno Evening Gazette, November 19, 1938
I can't imagine enough people using this route that it would be profitable in the late 1940's, but who knows.
Fletcher Station Attracts Attention As Vacation Spot
Fletcher station, a famous old time stage stop in the early days of Nevada, is being revived as a vacation grounds, hunting and fishing headquarters. Mr. and Mrs. "Buck" Schot, owners and operators of the station, were in Yerington Monday and announced many changes and improvements at Fletchers. An active cocktail bar has been built, plans made for commercial fishing ponds, auto courts for overnight guests and dancing in an open air pavilion. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights are "snack" nights, when the management provides hot dogs, hamburgers or chili, however dancing is enjoyed every evening. Plane owners have been notified that an air strip has been provided and several pilots going to and from the southern California area have dropped in.
-Mason Valley News, June 24, 1949
Unfortunately, those dreams didn't last long.
Fletcher Station Home Destroyed
YERINGTON- Fire destroyed the two story frame house at Fletcher's station Saturday morning. Fletcher's station was the halfway point for stage coaches, teamsters, and travelers between Bodie, Aurora, and Hawthorne in the early days. For many years the place was deserted except for an occasional cowboy who would make it a temporary summer camp. This spring, Mr. & Mrs, "Buck" Scott of Hawthorne renovated the house, putting in a bar and lunch facilities. About two months ago the place was leased by Mrs. Mildred Nobles of Hawthorne. Few thing were saved from the building which carried no insurance.
1949 September 23, Reno Evening Gazette
MINA RESIDENT SUCCUMBS AT 89
HAWTHORNE - Funeral services were held Sunday for Victor D. Fletcher, 89, of Mina, who died in the Mt. Grant Hospital last week. A native of Hollister, Calif., Mr. Fletcher was born June 11, 1869. He came to Nevada with his parents when he was four years old. He was a resident of the Fletcher Station ranch in 1911, when Mineral County was created from a portion of Esmeralda county. Mr. Fletcher's parents, pioneer residents of Nevada, operated the Fletcher ranch for many years in the days of wagon freighting over Lucky Boy grade between Hawthorne and Bodie, where Fletcher Station was an important stop on the stage route.
1958 April 4, Reno Evening Gazette
Attempts to recognize the station as a historic spot failed.
No deal on Hilton land
HAWTHORNE — It appears that Mineral County's attempt to obtain the old stage stop Fletcher's Station for a recreation area and historical site has failed. Gov. Robert List, who relayed the county's interest in acquiring land and water rights to owner Barron Hilton, head of the Hilton hotel chain, has been told Hilton does not want to dispose of the property. List said Hilton plans to use the 80-acre site for agricultural purposes. That was bad news to the many Mineral County residents who feel the remains of the old stage stop southwest of Hawthorne should be preserved. Established more than 100 years ago, it is closely associated with the growth of the county and the mining camps of Aurora and Bodie. Before the arrival of white people, it was an important camp for Indian tribes of western Nevada and eastern California. Evidence of their old encampments is scattered throughout the region.
-Reno Evening Gazette, July 19, 1982