Cave Valley

The Cave Valley Ranch was located south of Ely Nevada and Northwest of Pioche via the Patterson pass. The ranch included a building known as Parker Station which was established in the early 1870s by George Parker, a settler from Philadelphia. He built a two-story building made of logs that was used as an exchange station for stage, mail, and freight teams. The station was an important stop on the Toano-Pioche stage line. Nevada Governor Reinhold Sadler purchased the station from Parker near the turn of the 20th century and lived there on and off until the Riordan family acquired the property in 1917.
After Dan and Elda bought the cave valley ranch, they moved into the Parker station building and made it a most confortable home for their family.
Unfortunately, the building weathered badly after Dan and Elda retired from ranching in 1950 and moved to Corona, Ca to live near their youngest daughter, Dorothy, and her family. Today there is nothing left of the building except for a colapsed pile of logs.
However, there is a model replica of Parker Station built by Thayles Anderson. He lived in Ely but spent several summers working on the cave valley ranch. As a hobby, he later built the replica from memory.

Thayles Anderson's
Parker Station Replica
In background L - R
Kathy Chapin Gracey
and her brother,
Fred Chapin
Interior of the front Interior of the back Map of Cave Valley

Things that Kathy Chapin Gracey remembers her Grandfather, Dan Riordan, telling her when she was a teenager at home in Corona California:

Getting Supplies for the Emigrant Springs Ranch near Lund Nevada from Salt Lake Utah.
When Dan was about 15 years old (circa 1895), his parents, Michael and Hannah Riordan, gave Dan the responsibility one spring or early summer to go to Salt Lake City for supplies. Salt Lake City was about 300 Miles from the Emigrant Springs Ranch. He left the ranch in a buckboard wagon pulled by a team of horses. He took $500 cash and a rifle. The trip would take several weeks. My grandfather didn’t elaborate much when he told the story, so I have to imagine how the trip went. I suppose he could only go 20 miles or so each day and then stop for the night. I guess he must have slept on the wagon. I asked him if he ever had to use the rifle for any reason and he said no. He didn’t mention exactly what all he brought back from Salt Lake, but I suppose it was general supplies like coffee, sugar, flour, and probably implements for the ranch. He did say he was to purchase and bring back a milk cow. It is hard for me to imagine such a trip for a 15 year old boy, but I guess that would’nt have been too unusual back then.
A professional water witch
One of the things Dan did after he retired from ranching and moved to corona was to find the best places to locate water wells. He showed me one day how he did it. He would cut a branch from a tree that looked like a “wish bone”. He would hold the two ends of the branch with each hand close to his body with the other end of the branch pointed up. He would then walk slowly around the area where he thought there could be water. When he came to a spot where there was underground water, the branch would bend over and point at the ground. He was so successful at finding water that people all over the inland area of Southern California would hire him to locate the best place to dig a water well. His talent for finding water was pretty amazing. He must have had some mysterious energy in his body because he could never wear a watch. Every time he would try to wear a watch it would stop running!
How Dan was mysteriously rescued during a blizzard.
One time when Dan was herding cattle with some of his brothers at the White river ranch, he happened to be alone by himself when an unexpected snow storm blew in. The storm was a blizzard and he could not see any landmarks. Everything was all white around him. He was lost and he knew it. He was afraid he would not be able to find his way back to the ranch or locate his brothers. Suddenly he saw some kind of a light shining through the blinding snow. He couldn’t tell for sure what the light was, but it was the only thing he could see and headed for it. Lucky for Dan, the storm soon let up and he saw his brothers straight ahead of him. When he joined his brothers he exclaimed “Thank you for lighting that bonfire. I thought I was lost for sure”. His brothers looked curiously at Dan and said “What bonfire? We didn’t light a bonfire!” Dan never figured out for sure what he had seen that day but he was convinced that whatever it was saved his life.