Fallon Nevada celebrates centennial today

Fallon, along the Lincolon Highway in western Nevada, is today celebrating its centennial of becoming an incorporated city. According to the Lahontan Valley News, there was no town at the turn of the century until rancher Mike Fallon sold his land to Warren Williams in 1903, who then began selling lots on what is now the west end of town. The eastern part was established on land owned by John Oats.

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“Initially, Fallon was a mining town, and in 1919 the city experienced an oil boom. Growing alfalfa has been and is still one of the most stable income for local farmers. Currently, the valley’s 30,000 farming acres produces an average of 5 tons per acre — 70 percent is shipped out of state.” Mert Domonoske, past mayor of Fallon for 16 years, said when he moved to Fallon in 1948,  there were about 2,300 residents, and the only road leading out of town was a two-lane highway. Now “The Oasis of Nevada” has 8,000 citizens.

Smiley Kent moved to Fallon in 1950 after marrying Bob Kent in Elko. Her husband grew up in Fallon and has spent his entire life here. The couple first lived in a home in downtown Fallon, and Maine Street was the place in town where people shopped, Kent said there was not much traffic in the 1950s, and businesses were scattered throughout the city. What she first noticed about Fallon was its peacefulness and all the trees on Williams Avenue. She said Center Street also served as the Lincoln Highway and was the road on which people traveled when leaving town. She said the town always pulled together during tough times, and remembers Mom’s Place at Allen Road and Williams Avenue as the last business on the west side of town. “The town keeps going west,” she said. “The town has expanded so much.”

Events run this evening from 6-8 pm starting when the current mayor and council members arrive at Oats Park by horse-drawn Wells Fargo stagecoach. Festivities will include a bonfire, food, drinks, church bells ringing, musical performances, and singing “Happy Birthday” with a big birthday cake. Just bundle up – freezing temps are predicted all day and week.

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