Flanigan was a station on the Western Pacific Railroad, established 1909 and named for Patrick L. Flanigan. Flanigan served on the State Assembly from 1894-96 and as 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 little station was largely unimportant in its earliest years, but when Southern Pacific's Fernley & Lassen Railway was built from 1912-1913, Flanigan became the junction point. A townsite plat was filed in July 1913 by Charles Ross and George Warnken, and promoter Paul Butler went to work to sell off the lots and surrounding land. Meanwhile, neighboring Flanigan Acres and Junction City were also planned, but never developed. By the end of the year, Flanigan had a reported population of up to 200, and rumors circulated that it would become the seat of a new county created from the northern part of Washoe. On December 20, the fine Hotel Flanigan opened with a grand celebration.

Flanigan continued to grow in 1914, gaining a post office, store, and schoolhouse (which didn't actually open until 1929), before peaking during World War I. During this time, passenger service was provided on the Fernley & Lassen (and briefly from 1919-20 on WP), but that came to an end in 1934. By the 1960s, both railroads removed their crews and facilities. The post office closed in 1961, followed by the school in 1969; the store was also lost to fire that year. In 1971, the school was moved to Standish. By the end of the decade, the Fernley & Lassen line was removed, and Flanigan was left to the dust. What remained in 1985 was finally destroyed by a wildfire.

Western Pacific Railroad
← Calneva, CA • Flanigan • Sand Pass →

Fernley & Lassen Railway
← Easton • Flanigan • Stacy, CA →