Hamlet on the market for $965,000

VALMY -- For sale: Tiny Nevada town complete with store, restaurant, bar, post office, six-room motel, fire station and recreational vehicle park.

Asking price: $965,000.

Location: Valmy, a historic central Nevada community astride Interstate 80, just 203 miles northeast of Reno.

Population: About 150, if you include those living on area ranches and employees of the nearby power plant and several gold mines.

Initially named Stone House when it became a stop on the Overland Stage route, the community was renamed Valmy in 1915 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which maintained a station here.

Although trains still rattle through Valmy, the railroad station is closed and the only local commerce is generated at the Valmy store-bar-restaurant-post office on the north side of the interstate and south of the Humboldt River.

Owner and "mayor" of Valmy is Bill Morrison, who has owned the town since 1994. He's also chief of the 10-member Valmy Volunteer Fire Department.

Morrison and his wife -- also a volunteer firefighter -- plan to continue living in Valmy, but he said it's time to let someone else run his store and the other enterprises he calls Valmy Station.

Morrison, 54, said he wants to leave the daily responsibilities of operating his businesses in Valmy and pursue other interests and hobbies.

"I want to develop a backhoe business I've been working at, help out with the growth of our fire department and have some time for travel and other pursuits," he said.

In addition to selling Valmy Station, Morrison also hopes to sell the 48-space mobile home park he owns on the south side of Interstate 80.

Valmy, a Humboldt County community 39 miles east of Winnemucca and 14 miles west of Battle Mountain -- Valmy is between Pumpernickel Valley and Mote -- is a nice place to live and work, Morrison said.

People who live on the ranches nearby and those who work at the power plant stop in regularly to eat, stock up on groceries and patronize the post office.

"Everybody who gets their mail around here must come to the post office," Postmistress Donna Austin said. "We have 70 boxes rented out but no local delivery. So we see just about everybody in the Valmy area on a daily basis.

"This is a real friendly place. We get visitors stopping in Valmy from all over the country, including many long-distance truckers, some of whom receive their mail in Valmy," she said.

Nobody knows why the town was renamed Valmy.

"Valmy was a town in France, where the French beat Austria and Prussia in 1793 at the Battle of Valmy. But we can't find out why the name Valmy was given to this community in Nevada," said historian and Nevada state Archivist Guy Louis Rocha. In addition to a small village in the Argonne region of France, there is also small village in central Wisconsin named Valmy.

Morrison said he hopes he will be able to sell his town soon and move on to other endeavors.

A former Nevada Army National Guardsman who served as a medic, Morrison said his consuming interest is the Valmy Volunteer Fire Department, which he has headed for several years.

Two of the four trucks are new $155,000 tankers. The volunteer firefighters train at the Nevada State Fire Academy in Carlin and are qualified at fighting structure, rangeland and vehicle fires, Morrison said.

Two of the 10 volunteers, six men and four women whose ages range from 24 to 76, are EMT-qualified, he said.

"I hope we can find the right person to take over Valmy Station," he said.

"This is a great little town to live," Morrison said. "We all know one another and Valmy's out of the rat race and big-city congestion. And there's no terrorism here."


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