January-February 2018

HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS ISSUE

I mentioned last issue we were devoting space in all our 2018 issues to covering the iron horses that used to (and, in some cases, still do) roam the state. Our first look at the railroads in Nevada starts on page 22; Mark Bassett, president of Nevada Northern Railway, kicks the year off with a look at the special events in Ely each year. Nevada would not be the state it is today without the hard work and culture of the Chinese pioneers; one story of their past can be found on page 30. More history follows on page 36, where the story of the Donovan Mill in Silver City is told. This Comstock mill has an international importance that few know. All that history can make a body thirsty, so on page 42, we’ll whet your whistle with a story about the Mill Street Still and Brew, Nevada’s latest craft libation creator. There’s also a story about the history of trains in Nevada, and how important railroads were at the advent of our state. Take a look at our feature on page 70.

What’s Inside

Laying the Tracks for Nevada's Future

The Great Seal of the State of Nevada dates from Nevada’s constitutional convention of 1863-1864. Among symbols representing agriculture, mining and other industries, is a train. In December 1863, the convention committee responsible for the seal described the train on the seal as “approaching, very slowly.” This was an understatement to say the least, and the statement may even have been a joke. At the time, the Central Pacific—the railroad closest to Nevada and the one that would eventually connect Nevada with the world—had barely 10 miles of track on the ground. ... read more

Nevada Northern Railway is a Real Trip

PLAN YOUR VACATION BACK IN TIME Nevada Northern Railway is a real trip. BY MARK S. BASSETT Nevada is home to many distinct opportunities, but there’s one that sets itself apart from the other myriad reasons to visit. In the small eastern town of Ely, you can take a vacation back in time. The Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark ... read more

The Rise and Fall of Reno’s Chinatown

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. ... read more

Shaping History at Donovan Mill

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. ... read more

Still On Mill is the Real Deal

Nevada's newest brewery-distillery blends perfect cocktail of science and talent. STORY BY MEGG MUELLER PHOTOS BY ERIC CACHINERO Homebrew operations generally start from a love of beer, and a desire to concoct new flavors from whatever the kitchen might hold. Take that to the next step, and you might find yourself brewing 350 gallons of beer e ... read more

Lincoln Union Club

African Americans on The Comstock fought for equality. BY ERIC CACHINERO Blood and silver soaked the earth in the mid 1860s. Seemingly just as quickly as the blood from Civil War battles was spilled in the eastern United States during the conflict’s culmination, silver was scooped from the recently formed Comstock district. This bizarre pseud ... read more

Yesterday: The Big Bang Theory

From the Dunes to the Mapes, Nevada hotels have discovered a dynamite method of urban renewal. In Nevada, demolishing old hotels to replace with something bigger and better has become a common practice. In Las Vegas, the trend start ... read more

Carson City Daytrip

Day Trippin' in the Carson Valley One day in a place where a year isn’t enough. BY MEGG MUELLER Winter vacations in northern Nevada often consist of 1) go to Lake Tahoe to ski, and 2) take in a show and toss some dice in Reno. That’s fun, but now what? Just south of Nevada’s capital, the Carson Valley has its arms wide open with poss ... read more

Buck Weaver

Buck Weaver Question: What is your connection to Nevada? Buck Weaver: I was born and raised in Fallon. I went into the service and then came back and ran the Nevada Youth Ranch with my wife. We cared for 32 boys there, and I met Paul Laxalt there. He heard about the boys ranch and had two boys that needed help. They were boys from Carson City w ... read more

Infinity Highway Opens

Infinity Highway Opens USA Parkway links two major highways and opens a chapter of Nevada history. BY DALE BEESMER In 1928, some $9,000 in cash, $8,000 in gold, and $20,000 in bonds and traveler checks were robbed from a bank in Virginia City. The two thieves fled east and down the Clark Road toward the town of Ramsey, and reputedly buried ... read more

Nevada Railroads

Trails to Rails, Roads, and Skyways The railroad comes to Nevada In the pioneer days, men dreamed of railroads that would cross the continent. These dreams haunted men until they became realities, and so the railroads came to contribute their share in the building of the West. Laying rails over endless miles of undeveloped country was a gigan ... read more

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