Fly Geyser has attracted a substantial amount of interest since it developed from a leaking geothermal well into a striking colorful spouting statue, sitting on a dais of mud amidst ponds of warm water and thriving plants. The property is generally off limits to visitors because of liability and vandalism concerns.
The 1881 Gibbs map of California and Nevada indicates a ranch named "Wards" is in the vicinity. Fly Geyser is referred to as Ward's Hot Springs in an 1886 geology report. Presumably, Wards refers to the Ward brothers, who sold to Louis Gerlach who formed the Gerlach Land and Livestock Company.
The Fly Ranch was first homesteaded in the late 1800s by Fred Gerlach, son of Louis Gerlach, for whom the town of Gerlach was named. Later it was a part of the John Casey estate
At some point, John Casey offered to sell Fly Geyser to the BLM for $1.5 million.
After Casey's death, the ranch was sold to Todd Jaksick (Bright Holland Corporation) in 1998.
- Jeff DeLong, "Wonder Caused by Humans, Enhanced by Nature," Reno Gazette Journal, November 19, 2001
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Passing of Last Pony Expressman." (Obituary of Louis Dean), March 30, 1913, p. 28. Louis Dean, Louis Gerlach and Henry Flak bought the Ward Brother's Cattle Outfit in 1884. The purchase included water rights from Pyramid Lake to the Oregon border. Louis Dean was not the last Pony Expressman, see Christopher Corbett, "Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express."
- Sessions S. Wheeler, "The Black Rock Desert," p. 157. Fred Gerlach homesteaded Fly Ranch.
- Albert Charles Peale, "Lists and Analyses of the Mineral Springs of the United States (A Preliminary Study)," p. 200, 1886. "Ward's Hot Springs, foot of Granite Mountains, Humboldt County." Includes brief chemical analysis. (Fly Ranch is in what is known today as Washoe County. Note that Pershing County was formed from Humboldt County in 1919).