Flanigan was a railroad town at the junction of the Western Pacific Railroad and the Fernley & Lassen Railway (also known as the Southern Pacific Wadsworth Subdivision), named for Patrick L. Flanigan, who was a state assemblyman from 1894-96 and a state senator from 1896-1902. He also owned 50,000 acres of ranchland in this part of Washoe County and donated much of the right-of-way to the WPRR.

The Fernley & Lassen was constructed from 1912-14 between Fernley and Westwood, CA, and the junction with the Western Pacific was made in 1913. February 12, 1914, the Flanigan post office opened, and that same year a new hotel was completed.

In 1934, passenger traffic service was discontinued along the Fernley and Lassen line, and in 1956 all local rail freighting followed. In 1959, the Southern Pacific also closed the Flanigan station. Flanigan's post office closed March 31, 1961, and the line between Fernley and Flanigan was abandoned in 1963 (the tracks were removed in the 1970s). In 1969, Gertrude Milne's store burned and the Bonham Schoolhouse closed. A wildfire in 1985 destroyed what was left of the town.

I Visited Flanigan