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The Nevada Centennial Commission Final Report of 1964 declares, “It’s unlikely that anyone will soon attempt to repeat the feat of making so gigantic a cake.” On March 21, 2014, a similar party will occur in Carson City at Carson-Tahoe Hospital’s Sage Café. The Nevada 150 signature event is free and open to the public.
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 a city that existed in the 1940s—an era of jet engines and color television—has all but vanished.
It took 19 years and the involvement of four presidents, two governors, seven senators, four congressmen, the Nevada Centennial Committee, and countless Nevada residents working with four different postmaster generals to issue three commemorative centennial stamps recognizing the accomplishments of the Battle Born State.
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 City. The men sought a way to take the rich and countless stories of Nevada’s cultural and natural heritage to the children and the people of the Silver State.
Tonopah photographer Jim Galli has earned quite the reputation for connecting the past to the present via his black-and-white images. But these aren’t digital pictures converted with modern computer software—these are the real deal, taken with a circa 1910 Kodak Cirkut panoramic camera.
In Goodsprings, the action is at the Pioneer Saloon, the last saloon standing—and continuously operating—from the burg’s glory days of the early 1900s. “At its peak in 1916 Goodsprings had 800 residents. Stores, restaurants, churches, a theater, and nine saloons lined Main Street. The Hotel Fayle, advertised as the ‘finest in the West,’ opened with great fanfare.”
Goodman, who had employed Mark Twain and Dan DeQuille, said regretfully, “Isn’t it so singular that Mark Twain should live and Dan DeQuille fade out? If anyone had asked me in 1863 which was to be an immortal name, I should unhesitatingly have said Dan DeQuille.”
While cow thieves were an ever-present problem and called forth such extreme measures as group lynchings and the employment of professional man-hunters, a much more primal challenge faced the stock-growers of the late 19th-century West: extreme weather.
Nevada’s Lost City is both scientific and romantic. Buried beneath the sands of the Mojave Desert was information that archaeologists used to define the western-most settlement of the Ancestral Puebloans. The Lost City is archaeological proof that they lived and thrived in Southern Nevada.
Just prior to 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, 1912, Ed Kalenbauch and Ellsworth Bennett watched a cluster of ominous thunderheads hover over Granite Peak from the door of Kalenbauch’s office at Seven Troughs Coalition Mining Company. They just so happened to comment on the storm’s potency when they saw a wall of water 10 feet high surge down Seven Troughs Canyon.
In 2011, Nevada’s government officials decided to shut down the prison, citing reports that claimed NSP was more expensive to operate than other facilities and that the prison needed structural upgrades that were too costly to justify. Now, the prison is emptied of its charges—what happens to NSP, only the future knows.
Born in 1859, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. came across the plains with his family in 1864 from Galesburg, Illinois and settled near Genoa. Ferris was drawn to the Carson River, and, on hot afternoons, he would climb on his pony and clop down to the water. Local lore maintains that it was the handiwork of William Cradlebaugh that drew Ferris to the riverside.
If you were living in Tonopah in 1908, 1980, 1996, or August 2011, you likely share this in common—you took part in a grand-opening celebration of the Mizpah Hotel. But how can a hotel open four different times?
The cure was divorce and the scene a familiar one in Reno during the 1930s. In March 1931, the Nevada Legislature shocked the nation when it not only legalized gambling in the state, but reduced the residency requirement for divorce from three months to six weeks.
In the year 1900 a recalcitrant burro—affectionately dubbed the desert canary because of his braying propensities—which had strayed away from a prospector’s campsite during the night, was the indirect cause of another flash of gold excitement in the Tonopah area, which followed the decline of the Comstock by almost 20 years.
Nevada may never have produced a more brilliant or complex woman than Sarah Winnemucca. Part saint, part sinner, part missionary, part camp follower, she was the epitome of the good-bad heroine.
Wovoka’s life spanned years of freedom and oppression for the Native American tribes of Nevada and the Western United States. He urged his people to live in peace in their new circumstances, but never abandoned his hope for a return to the old ways.
Dwindling down from a peak of more than a million sheep in 1910, Nevada’s sheep empires have vanished, and only a handful of outfits remain to tend less than 200,000 sheep on private land and the diminishing public domain.
Kennecott Copper Corporation and Consolidated Coppermines Company, two famous names in Nevada’s mining register, have been identified with the Ely district for decades, mining ore from deep pits and producing blister copper in enormous volume.
High up in the mountains, 35 miles southwest of Las Vegas, is found one of the places most significant to Nevada’s early history. This is the old Potosi Mine, the first lode mine ever worked in the state.