Mosquito Valley
(Beulah & Diessner)

Located near the extreme northwest corner of the state, Mosquito Valley and Mosquito Lake contained therein undoubtedly got their name for an ungodly number of that insect. Still, when conditions are right the valley is scenic and picturesque, and an incredible vista can be found along the Bureau of Land Management's Barrel Springs Byway. Like neighboring Long Valley, ranching probably first came to Mosquito Valley in following the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909. In subsequent years, ranches developed and within the first few decades of the century two post offices and schools each operated in the valley. Though their sites are located on private property and a view on Google Earth shows that nothing remains, their history is often overlooked and worthy of being recorded.

Beulah - The Beulah post office was located on the ranch of Daniel Elmer Hill right around the time of its establishment (homestead records date to 1914). The name Beulah was that of Hill's wife, who would also serve as postmistress. At some point, a school was also opened at Beulah. In 1918, Mr. Hill was elected Assemblyman to the Nevada Legislature, a position he held until 1922.

On February 26, 1920, disaster struck Beulah when the Hill home and schoolhouse were lost to fire. Initially, Mr. Hill insisted that Miss Maude Clifford, the school teacher, was mentally unstable and deliberately set the fires and had her arrested for arson. When District Attorney Summerfield arrived to examine evidence and conduct his investigation, he established that instead both fires had originated from overheating stoves, kindled by the Hill's children in their absence. Miss Clifford, instead, had done all she could to save the buildings, and though unsuccessful, did manage to save one of Mr. Hill's automobiles before the garage burned. This event seems to have sealed Beulah's fate, as the post office closed not two months later.

Diessner - Like Beulah, Diessner emerged as a ranch in the mid-1910s. Oscar George Diessner made his homestead across Mosquito Valley in 1916. Presumably following the loss of the post office at Beulah, a new office was established at Diessner in 1923 (though it took some time for Washoe County officials to even find it!). By the 1930s, a new Mosquito Valley School District was formed at Diessner, and though the post office only lasted for a decade the school lasted until at least the early 1940s.

In Summer 1941, Oscar and Minnie Diessner sold their ranch to Don and Harriet Crawford and relocated to Mountain View, California. By 1954, the ranch was labeled as the "Drown Ranch" on topographical maps, and by 1980 the old ranch buildings were removed. A solitary windmill frame marks the site.

See Also