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Then & Now: Through the Lens

 

Time Has Both Serious and Subtle Effects on Nevada.

THEN: NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY; NOW: ERIC CACHINERO

THEN: NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY; NOW: ERIC CACHINERO

BY NEVADA MAGAZINE | March/April 2015
PHOTOGRAPHERS: ERIC CACHINERO, NANCY GOOD, GREG MCKAY, MEGG MUELLER

Take a second to look out the closest window to you. What do you see? Swaying trees? A busy street? A sagebrush scene? There’s a chance that whatever you’re seeing out that window looks much different than it did 80, 100, or even 150 years ago. But, like many meticulously preserved aspects of the Silver State, there’s a chance it may not look too different. Just take a look at the photo of the 1897 Nevada Legislature and staff on the steps of the Nevada State Capitol above; more than 100 years and not much—other than the people—has changed.

To explore some of these differences, we visited various locations across the state to compare what they looked like then, to what they look like now. So let’s travel Nevada in both time and space, and see just how many things have changed, and how many have stayed the same.

 


 CALIENTE RAILROAD DEPOT

FRANK SCOTT COLLECTION

FRANK SCOTT COLLECTION

THEN
The Caliente Railroad Depot was constructed by the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad in 1923, and acted as the railroad’s division point between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Eventually, diesel locomotives would replace steam, and the depot was no longer needed.

NOW
The depot is now Caliente’s civic center, and holds the town’s government office, museum, and library. Freight trains still pass on the tracks alongside the depot, though the last passenger service ended in the 1990s.

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

 


BELMONT COURTHOUSE

MRS. DELLA DODSON COLLECTION

MRS. DELLA DODSON COLLECTION

THEN
Constructed in 1875-76, the Belmont Courthouse served as the Nye County courthouse until 1905, when the county seat was moved to Tonopah. By 1900, silver was drying up in the area, causing mines to close, and the town began to dwindle.

NOW
Thanks to recent efforts by Friends of the Belmont Courthouse—the group dedicated to preserving this Nevada landmark—the courthouse looks remarkably similar to what it did in its prime. On a trip in summer 2014, photographer Greg McKay and a group of ghost town enthusiasts recreated this shot in front of the courthouse.

GREG MCKAY

GREG MCKAY

 


 COLORADO RIVER

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

THEN
At the foot of Eldorado Canyon in southern Nevada during the late 1800s, steamboats could often be seen making their way up the Colorado River.

NOW
The area has now become a popular destination for aquatic activities, cliff jumping, and fishing.

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

 


 RHYOLITE BOTTLE HOUSE

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

NEVADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

THEN
From 1905-06, prospector Tom T. Kelly built the famous bottle house in Rhyolite, using approximately 30,000 (50,000 by some accounts) bottles that were scavenged from the town’s saloons.

NOW
The bottle house was restored in 1925 by Paramount Pictures for a silent film called “The Air Mail,” and again in 2005. Today, it is owned and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

 


 GOLDFIELD

NORTHEASTERN NEVADA MUSEUM

NORTHEASTERN NEVADA MUSEUM

THEN
The Esmeralda County Courthouse and Goldfield Fire Station No. 1 were both constructed in 1907.

NOW
Though Goldfield is sometimes considered a ghost town, small shops line the streets and show promising commerce. The courthouse remains in service to this day, and the fire station was operational until June 2002.

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

 


TONOPAH

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO LIBRARY

THEN
After gold was discovered in Tonopah in the 1900s, construction of buildings including the Mizpah Hotel and Nye County Courthouse followed. The new courthouse—built in 1905—is in the far left of the photo.

NOW
 The Tonopah Historic Mining Park and the Central Nevada Museum are just a few of the many historical treasures in the town.

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

 


HISTORIC BOULDER THEATRE

LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU COLLECTION

LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU COLLECTION

THEN
The Boulder Theatre was constructed in 1933 by Fox Theatres. At the time, it was the only air-conditioned building in town, and many Hoover Dam workers would pay 25 cents to enjoy a few hours of sleep in a cool room.

NOW
The theatre closed briefly in the mid-1990s, before being renovated by its current owners, Desi and Amy Arnaz. Today, the theatre hosts events including a film festival, Chautauqua, and ballet performances.

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

 


 EUREKA OPERA HOUSE

EUREKA SENTINEL MUSEUM

EUREKA SENTINEL MUSEUM

THEN
In August 1879, the great Main Street fire in Eureka destroyed a building called the Odd Fellows Hall. In its place, the Eureka Opera House was constructed, and, in 1880, it was used for the first time for the New Year’s Eve Costume Ball.

NOW
The opera house offers space to hold meetings, conventions, retreats, and more. The grand hall auditorium occasionally hosts theater performances and musical acts.

ERIC CACHINERO

ERIC CACHINERO

 


WINNEMUCCA

NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

THEN
In “The WPA Guide to 1930s Nevada,” it reads, “Winnemucca stages an annual rodeo (first week in September) for which bucking horses and wild range steers are brought in and to which riders come from long distances, attracted by generous cash prizes.”

NOW
Some aspects of Winnemucca remain the same as they did in earlier days. Visitors today can enjoy restaurants, museums, parks, a golf course, and more.

MEGG MUELLER

MEGG MUELLER

 


 

 HELEN STEWART RANCH

university of las vegas library

university of las vegas library

THEN
Helen J. Stewart—known as the first lady of Las Vegas—operated a ranch in the Las Vegas Valley with the help of her father and others. The ranch sold goods to miners in the surrounding areas, and served as a waystation for travelers.

NOW
The area is now the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park, and looks fairly different than it did more than 100 years ago.

NANCY GOOD

NANCY GOOD

 


Click here to read about the experiences and challenges of recreating these photos.

 

 

Has one comment to “Then & Now: Through the Lens”

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  1. Great job. Nancy Good is one of Nevada’s finest artists. I have been following her work from afar over the past 6 years. Keep it up, Nevada.

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