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Nyala, Nevada facts for kids

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Nyala, Nevada
Country United States
State Nevada
County Nye
Elevation 1,467 ft (447 m)

Nyala is a ghost town in the Railroad Valley of Nye County, Nevada, at the northwestern base of the Quinn Canyon Range.

Known variously as Mormon Well or Polygamy Well, the site was a watering hole for travelers through Railroad Valley as early as the 1860s. Because of its supply of water the site not only became an important stop on the Midland Trail, but was also alluring as a base of operations for agricultural pursuits.

Herman and Alvena Reischke arrived at Mormon Well in 1913 to develop ranching property and soon expanded their business interests, opening a boardinghouse, restaurant, and general store; a small settlement developed around them, and on February 5, 1914 the community was granted a post office under the name Nyala.

In 1917 Reischkes sold the property and moved to Tonopah. Between 1917 and 1950 there were several owners—Goodman and Crosby, Emery Garrett, and Sheldon Lamb—until Howard and Minnie Sharp bought the ranch in 1950. It remained in the Sharp family until 2010 and is now operated by the Higbee family from Alamo. The post office was discontinued on January 15, 1936 and all services were shut down. It remains a private ranch.


The name Nyala was given to the settlement by Alvena Reischke. She had cut out an article from a newspaper showing a picture of an Aftrican antelope named the Nyala. The American pronghorns (antelope) near the ranch reminded Alvena of the Nyala. The new post office needed a name so she submitted Nyala and it stuck.

Alternatively, the name may commemorate Frank N. Nyala, resident of the town.

  • A History of Railroad Valley, Nevada Robert D. McCracken and Jeanne Sharp Howerton. Central Nevada Historical Society, Tonopah, Nevada. 1996.
  • Unpublished diary of Alvena Reischke. 1913.
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