Nevada’s Outlaws

May – June 2019

Part 2: More tales of the dastardly desperados that roamed the Silver State. BY RON SOODALTER As described in part one of Nevada’s Outlaws—published in the July/August 2017 issue—Nevada was every bit as wild as such legendary Western Gomorrahs as Deadwood, Tombstone, and Dodge City. The lure of gold and silver and the prospect of […]

Nevada’s Only National Memorial

May – June 2019

On Nov. 18, 1955, Las Vegans awoke to a fire near the very top of Mt. Charleston where there was not a scrap of wood to burn.

“Flame, just like there was a fire,” Henderson resident Lavern Hanks recalls. Her husband who worked for KLAS-TV tried to investigate. But men with rifles blocked the road to Kyle Canyon. So, he turned around and went home.

Fantastical Fallacies of the Notorious ‘Mangler’

March – April 2019

Tall tales in journalism were relatively common on The Comstock and surrounding regions during the late 1800s. Because a lull in readership was becoming a worry at the “Daily Appeal,” Sam Davis did as any self-respecting editor would: he conjured up a fictitious newspaper and lied to his readers, and they ate it up. Everyone loves a juicy story, and Davis painted the “Mangler” and its editor as the juiciest.

Langston Hughes Sought Solitude in Reno

January – February 2019

When Langston Hughes caught the 5:55 a.m. train from Truckee, California, to Reno in September 1934, he was 10 years into a career that would be marked by greatness and controversy. Already a successful poet, novelist, and journalist at the age of 32, Hughes was widely regarded as the unofficial poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance, which in the 1920s ushered in a prolific and important time for African-American authors, artists, and musicians.

The Man Howard Hughes Left Behind

November – December 2018

Melvin Dummar recounts his brush with fortune and loss.   BY SHAUN ASTOR “I grew up in Fallon. There was an airport, where the Churchill County rodeo grounds are at,” Melvin Dummar, now 74 years old, recalls on a warm evening as the sun falls behind the Resting Spring Mountain Range to the west of […]

Hard Pressed to Survive

July – August 2018

In a world of PayPal, Bitcoin, and all manner of electronic currency where paper money looks downright antiquated, coins are relegated to almost nuisance status. Heavy and destined for the ashtray or swear jar, coin as currency is a near relic. But since 1792, the U.S. has been minting coins for trade and commerce, and in all that time just eight towns were honored with the presence of a mint. Carson City is one of those towns, and the history of the Silver State's only mint is one that could make you rethink that change rattling around in your pocket.

Railroad Collections

May – June 2018

Nevada State Railroad Museum staff and volunteers   Rolling Through the Years How the Nevada State Railroad Museum Cares for its Collections. BY CHRISTOPHER DE WITT The Nevada State Railroad Museum (NSRM) in Carson City has a significant collection of Nevada-related restored and unrestored rolling stock—a term that refers to any vehicle used on a […]

The Founding of Reno

May – June 2018

  WHO IS THE FOUNDER OF RENO? History is evasive on the story of two men and a lucrative spot on the Truckee River. BY JACK HARPSTER On May 9, the city of Reno celebrates its sesquicentennial. The area came to life as Lake’s Crossing in 1861, when Myron Lake purchased a wooden bridge, rustic […]

Snowshoe Thompson

March – April 2018

SNOWSHOE THOMPSON – HERO OF THE SIERRAS Post and promises, legendary mail carrier always delivered. BY BRANDON WILDING “Most remarkable man I ever knew, that Snowshoe Thompson. He must be made of iron. Besides, he never thinks of himself, but he’d give his last breath for anyone else—even a total stranger.” —S.A. Kinsey, Genoa Postmaster […]

Sam Davis

March – April 2018

’30’ is ticked off  for Sam Davis Sagebrush School journalist penned Silver State history. BY CHIC DIFRANCIA On March 18, 1918, the “Car-son City Daily Appeal” carried a front-page obituary for its former publisher and editor, Samuel Post Davis. The headline read: “‘30’ Is Ticked Off For Sam Davis.” Now archaic, “30” at the time […]

Shaping History at Donovan Mill

January-February 2018

Tears of joy and sorrow have both been shed at the site of Donovan Mill in Silver City. The intense and unexpected changes that follow the boom and bust cycles of small Nevada mining towns have been the only constant. Pioneering new ideas and techniques were discovered and put into action here: a place rich with mining innovation, as well as with gold and silver. Originally the land was an idyllic part of the hunting and gathering territory of the Washoe Tribe. The possibility of wealth brought speculators and adventurers, eventually changing the landscape forever. The community, settled in 1859, was filled with people who proved themselves to be independent, resourceful, and self-motivated.

The Rise and Fall of Reno’s Chinatown

January-February 2018

The Sacramento-to-Reno section of the Central Pacific Railroad was completed in the spring of 1868 and the many Chinese laborers who had risked life and limb laying track over the Sierra Nevada received final payment and were left along the line to fend for themselves. Many settled in Reno, where they constructed flimsy bare- wood structures at the crossroads of Virginia and First streets along the banks of the Truckee River and attempted to put down roots in the community they now called home.

Nevada’s Outlaws

July – August 2017

If you were to ask the average Western history buff to name the most infamous desperados of the late-19th-century frontier, he would no doubt rattle off such names as Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin, and Billy the Kid. It is highly unlikely that such monikers as “Big Jack” Davis, “Three-Fingered Jack” McDowell, “Fighting Sam” Brown, or “Farmer” Peel would ever come up. And yet, these products of a raw and often lawless Nevada, as well as dozens of their contemporaries, were every bit as piratical as their more notorious counterparts.

Manhattan Photographs

May – June 2017

A Peek Into the Past Photos from Manhattan’s heyday provide a glimpse into yesteryear. STORY BY LORRAINE A. DARCONTE PHOTOS COURTESY JOSEPH DEISS A cache of photographs taken in the small mining town of Manhattan in the early 1900s was discovered by chance, and the images taken by Percival Nash offer a personal look at […]

Little-known Facts of our Official State Emblems

March – April 2017

There’s a state locomotive? Indeed there is. While most people can name our state animal or state song, all told there are 22 official state symbols as designated by the Nevada Legislature. How many can you name?

Five Fools On A Flume

January – February 2017

A bonehead challenge in Nevada’s ‘wooden wonder’ BY BOB SAGAN That ancient adage—a fool and his money are soon parted— might have found its purest form of expression in a little-known incident that occurred in 1875 Nevada, had it not been for a hefty dose of dumb luck. The incident in question was triggered by […]

A Mysterious Murder On The Comstock

January – February 2017

VIRGINIA CITY – A MYSTERIOUS MURDER ON THE COMSTOCK Unanswered questions loom after the murder of a notorious prostitute. BY ROBIN FLINCHUM It’s been 150 years since that dreadful January morning when Mary Jane Minieri left her little cottage on Virginia City’s D Street and stepped carefully through the mud to her friend and neighbor Julia Bulette’s […]

The Petticoat Prospectors

November – December 2016

The Petticoat Prospectors Looking back: The little-known history of female miners in the Silver State BY TERRY SPRENGER-FARLEY “We do not see any reason why women should not engage in mining as well as men. If they can rock a cradle, they can run a car; if they can wash and scrub, they can pick […]

History Men

September – October 2016

Nevada Sentinel E Clampus Vitus keeps keen eye on the state’s story STORY BY ERIC CACHINERO PHOTOS BY ASA GILMORE If you’re a consumer of Nevada history, E Clampus Vitus may play a bigger role in your life than you’d expect. Sure, you may think that this group of men, donning red shirts and badge-clad […]

The Territorial Enterprise

May – June 2016

The Territorial Enterprise FIRST SHUTTERED 100 YEARS AGO, THE ICONIC COMSTOCK NEWSPAPER LIVES ON. BY CHIC DIFRANCIA When William Jernegan and Alfred James pulled the first sheet of the Territorial Enterprise off an old Washington hand press in Genoa on Dec. 18, 1858, a newspaper legend was born that has endured to this day. Future […]

Law, Order, and a Game of Chance

March – April 2016

Law, Order, and a Game of Chance THE EARP BROTHERS SEEK THEIR FORTUNES IN NEVADA. BY RON SOODALTER Life in the Old West—Hollywood notwithstanding—was often mundane. The deadly gunfights and daring hold-ups were comparatively few. Yet, certain names have attained legendary status, selling countless books and millions of theater tickets, while the reality was considerably […]

Dashing Through History

January – February 2016

Lake Tahoe Famiy at the Reins of a Half-Century of Memories. BY TERI VANCE   With a natural affinity for the outdoors and animals, Sam Borges had always dreamed of a life working with horses. And when a sense of dissatisfaction with the routine of his job in San Jose, Calif., came upon him, Sam […]

Harolds Club

November – December 2015

Harolds Club RENO’S WILD WEST CASINO EXPERIMENT LEAVES LASTING IMPRESSION ON GAMING. BY DORESA BANNING The giant, $60,000 mural that once hung over Harolds Club’s South Virginia Street entrance in Reno now stands in front of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Center as an homage to this pioneering Nevada casino. The 70-foot-long, 35-foot-tall painting is vibrant in […]

The Genes of our Jeans

September – October 2015

  The Genes of our Jeans JACOB DAVIS, RENO’S UNSUNG INVENTOR, CREATES A FASHION LEGEND. BY KATHLEEN PAINI CLEMENCE When a jean-clad crowd filters into Reno’s Knitting Factory on concert nights, it’s unlikely many know they are entering the site where fashion history was made. Formerly known as 31 Virginia Street, the property housed the […]

Boulder/Hoover Dam

July – August 2015

History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.— Mark Twain         Then & Now: Boulder/Hoover Dam HISTORIC ENGINEERING FEAT STANDS STRONG FOR NEARLY 80 YEARS. BY ERIC CACHINERO We love historic places in Nevada, and […]

The Spark that Ignited a Valley of Fire

July – August 2015

The Beauty of this Nevada State Park Burns Bright. BY ERIC CACHINERO Fire is a truly wondrous element. It can be used to heat, cook, forge, ignite, power, illuminate, and even sustain life. But it’s not flames that light up Nevada’s first state park, rather millions of years of geologic activity that gives the landscape […]

The Glenbrook

May – June 2015

Historic Train Roars Back to Life. BY WENDELL HUFFMAN After slumbering for almost 90 years, the historic locomotive Glenbrook is once again under steam, blasting its whistle just a short distance from where it first started operating in 1875. This Memorial Day, the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City is set to host the […]

St. Augustine’s Cultural Center

March – April 2015

St. Augustine’s Cultural Center AUSTIN CHURCH GETS A SERIOUS MAKEOVER. STORY & PHOTOS BY ERIC CACHINERO On Christmas Eve 1866, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in Austin was officially dedicated. The bricks and solid-granite foundation used in its construction were pulled from the Austin quarry and brickyard, which flourished in the 1800s. The church was constructed […]

Silver State, Gold Records

January – February 2015

Nevada’s musical legacy stretches back more than a century. BY NELLIE DAY Nevada leaves a lasting impression on people for many reasons. Case in point: Nevada has been a keen source of musical inspiration for more than a century. Just ask Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons—an American indie rock band from Las Vegas—who […]

Experience ‘The 36th Star’

September – October 2014

Experience “The 36th Star” Emancipation Proclamation is Centerpiece of Nevada Museum of Art Exhibition. BY JERI SINGLEY As Nevada celebrates its sesquicentennial, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno is giving visitors the chance to explore the state’s heritage through its exhibition, “The 36th Star: Nevada’s Journey from Territory to State.” Three years in the […]

Bowers Mansion: The Chronicle of a Curious Nevada Landmark

July – August 2014

This historic icon’s influence spans more than 150 years. BY TAMERA BUZICK The best view of Nevada’s gold- and silver-mining days can still be seen from the Bowers Mansion porch. On a warm summer afternoon, you can sit back and enjoy the same view once seen through the eyes of early Nevadans. If you use […]

Railroad Town

May – June 2014

Established as a railroad town on the swamps east of Reno, this Nevada community has shimmered for more than a century. BY ERIC CACHINERO | May/June 2014 Although Sparks is often overlooked in the annals of Nevada history, the story of the development of this railroad town is as strong as the steel from which its tracks […]

Battle Born Birthday Cakes

March – April 2014

BATTLE BORN BIRTHDAY CAKES In 1964, Nevada celebrated its 100th birthday in ‘stupendous’ fashion. It plans to do the same in 2014. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN | MARCH/APRIL 2014 In 1964, Nevada celebrated its 100th birthday in ‘stupendous’ fashion. It plans to do the same in 2014. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN | MARCH/APRIL 2014 The Nevada Centennial […]

The Metropolis That Wasn’t

January – February 2014

THE METROPOLIS THAT WASN’T North of Wells lies one of Nevada’s more intriguing ghost towns, with zero ties to the state’s mining past. BY GREG MCFARLANE Many of Nevada’s ghost towns boomed, prospered, and faded in the 1800s, when the state was largely undeveloped and had no major population centers. It’s hard to believe that […]

Black History In Nevada

January – February 2014

We honor African-Americans, past and present, who have shaped our state. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN On Monday, January 20, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Nevada and the rest of the country. King is the recognizable face and symbol of the mid-1900s civil-rights movement, even making a trip to Las Vegas in 1964 […]

Sinatra Jr. Kidnapped

November – December 2013

Sinatra Jr. Kidnapped, December 8, 1963. Looking back at the botched abduction of a Las Vegas crooner 50 years later. BY JONATHAN SHIPLEY While lounging around in a T-shirt and a pair of underwear, Frank Sinatra Jr. enjoyed a chicken dinner seemingly without a care in the world. Joined by John Foss, trumpet player for the […]

Commemorative Stamps

November – December 2013

Commemorative Stamps Nevada has recognized its milestones through the years on various U.S. postage. By THOMAS LERA NEVADA FIRST SETTLEMENT CENTENNIAL On October 3, 1945, Nevada Senator Pat McCarran wrote to Postmaster General (PMG) Robert Hannegan, suggesting the issuance of a commemorative stamp for the first post office established in the Territory and State of […]

Mobile Museum

July – August 2013

MOBILE MUSEUM Nevada was one of the first states to bring its rich history to children and adults alike. BY PETER BARTON In 1953, Judge Clark J. Guild, founder of the Nevada State Museum, along with James W. Calhoun, recognized that the state’s wide-open spaces prevented many Nevada schoolchildren from visiting the museum in Carson […]

Tonopah: Then & Now

May – June 2013

Tonopah: Then & Now Photographer Jim Galli walks a mile in F. W. Sheelor’s shoes—literally and figuratively. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN Tonopah photographer Jim Galli has earned quite the reputation for connecting the past to the present via his black-andwhite images. But these aren’t digital pictures converted with modern computer software—these are the real deal, […]

Pioneer Saloon

March – April 2013

Pioneer Saloon Goodsprings’ famous watering hole celebrates its centennial in 2013. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN Turn back the clock a century, and Goodsprings was where residents of Las Vegas went for their entertainment and shopping needs, not the other way around. It’s hard to imagine visiting Goodsprings—located about 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas— today, […]

The Quaints of DeQuille

January – February 2013

The Quaints of DeQuille Mark Twain became famous, but fellow Territorial Enterprise reporter Dan DeQuille could spin a yarn with the best of them. By Eric Bryan Reaching a daily circulation of more than 15,000 copies, Virginia City’s Territorial Enterprise was at one time the largest newspaper west of the Mississippi River. Readers of this […]

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