In 1976 I decided to buy a piece of property, instead of buying a truckload of dope. I was tired of meeting up with people that would gladly stab me in the back, for better deals. I was tired of dealing with shady people. I was tired of people.
I had decided I needed an ace in the hole, a get away place. I was living in California at the time, and it was always getting more crowded. I looked at various properties, and usually found a reason not to invest in them. Little lakes in the Sierra’s, and larger ones in the valleys.
Waterfront property is the ticket, but always has a significantly higher price tag. My only problem with that was, waterfront property would always go up in value, meaning taxes would go up, and popularity of water sports would keep a quiet little lake, noisy, crowded and polluted.
I looked on the outskirts of little towns, for possible property, but realized the little places would grow, and end up forcing me out. I really don’t do crowds. It became apparent to me, that a piece of property would have to be far from the usual beaten path.
15 miles east of Winnemucca Nevada, is a backwater place called Golconda. It was almost a place once, and even boasted a hot spring / resort in the early 20th century. There was a lot of gold mining around those parts. In fact, 20 miles north of Golconda is one of the last underground gold mines, still in operation.
5 miles south of that mine, The Twin Creeks Mine, sits a chunk of ground, that had been looked at, and left behind as useless. Core samples showed the property had no real wealth, and was sold as parcels as small as ten acres. This section was right against the Osgood Mountains, and looked out to the south-east at the Humboldt River, and Battle Mountain Nevada.
In May of ’76, I walked around out there and determined, that this place would never grow. No one would ever really do anything out there, and it would always look pretty much the same. That was 39 years ago, and a person did build a place a half of a mile from there. That is all that changed in that amount of time.
A section of land is one mile square, and that is broken down to 640 acres per section. In Nevada, every other section ( checker board ) is Public Land, with the Bureau of Land Management, overseeing it’s use. Most of the land out there is open range, meaning local ranchers have livestock running around.
The property just north of the one I bought, is public land. There is an operating spring that spills about a gallon a minute of pure fresh clean water. For years the spring has fed a couple of water troughs, and spilled out to cause a greener place in all of that dryness out there.
I bought that property because of the spring. My research had shown the local water table was at 400 feet, and would be costly for a well to be drilled. The spring was only 600 feet from my property, and is considered public property, so I would be allowed to get water there.
I wasn’t ready to actually live out there, I just wanted to know that if ever I needed a place, it was already paid for, and I could go there. There was nothing to go to there. The local town type place, Golconda was a thriving gas station, bar, general store and post office, all in the same building!
I stopped in there when I bought the 10 acres, in May of ’76. The people weren’t impressed with me, and I wasn’t impressed with them either. We all mumbled under our breaths, and parted ways. I’ve been back there many times over the years, and it’s mostly been the same.
The local store is a joke, and you would have done better shopping in Winnemucca, 15 miles farther west. The local everything’s don’t cater to folks. They have what they have, and if you don’t like it, that’s okay with them. It seems most of the people out there got trapped, and finally accepted that fact.
Horny Toad Ranch is still there, and was supposed to be the place I was going to be living at now. It wasn’t going to be easy, dealing with the challenges there, but I had some ideas that may have worked out. It seems politics, always get in the way of people just being able to live. I’ll describe that later for you in Winnemucca Sucks!