Wednesday Mail Bag: Why is it called Fish Springs?

Posted By on August 14, 2013

Ever wonder why something is the way it is? Have a question as to how to get something done within the boundaries of our Valley? Valleypedia is your venue to ask it. Over time, our hope is that the Valleypedia page becomes something of an community encyclopedia – an ongoing guide to living in Carson Valley. Have a question? We’ll do our very best to find the answer.

We had a question on our Valleypedia page this week that many have probably pondered fleetingly, but few have found the answer to. I know I didn’t.

Q: How did Fish Springs get its name?

A: Carson Valley Times reader “Dale” pointed out a Record-Courier article from several years ago by the late Linda Monohan.

The short answer, simply, is that there are a lot of answers. And no one has a definitive one.

On the oldest maps, it was called Fish Spring Flat. Because there is, technically, only one spring in Fish Springs. Monohan wrote that the original spring is located near a crop of cottonwood trees east of the Fish Springs fire station.

Among the possibilities, tales and theories she found & heard:

– Fish Spring Flat native Stoddard Jacobsen was the first to call it “Fish Springs.”

– Some early settlers called it “Purple Valley” because at sunset, the Pine Nut Range turns purple.

– A group of pranking shepherds put goldfish in Pine Nut Creek, thus leading to the name, ‘Fish Spring Flat.’

–  An older lady used to catch fingerling fish in the Carson River, and dump them in what is now Fish Springs Pond, thus the name: Fish Springs Pond.

– The area was also called Carp Flat, because early settler Friz Elges stocked a reservoir he’d dug out with carp. It’s possible that led to the evolution of the name, Fish Springs.

So no clear answer, but interesting just the same. Linda’s full column can be found here (Subscription required). It’s good reading.