History

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The Disaster at Mazuma

At around 5 p.m., storm clouds formed over the Seven Troughs Range, 30 miles northwest of Lovelock. Light rain sprinkled over the foothills as a confused breeze whipped up dust eddies. In the little mining towns spread along the range—Seven Troughs, Vernon, and Mazuma—people headed home for dinner, thankful for a respite from the July heat.
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Fast Friends

Northern Nevada has been home to a thriving Basque immigrant community for more than a century. In communities like Elko, Winnemucca, and Reno, locals and visitors frequently gather at former boarding houses and 100-year-old restaurants for a family-style meal and a potent Picon Punch cocktail. However, not all of Nevada’s Basque diaspora communities have such a long-lived tradition. 
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The Sagebrush School

In 1861, Samuel Clemens left his home in Missouri to adventure in the American West. In Carson City, he became obsessed with finding gold and spent 11 months galivanting across the desert. When he ran out of money, Clemens moved to Virginia City to be a newspaper reporter for the “Territorial Enterprise.” Three years later, he left Nevada with bright prospects and a brand-new pen name—Mark Twain.
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Snowshoe Thompson

Imagine climbing countless flights of stairs for three consecutive days with little rest and a 90-pound pack on your back. That was essentially the level of rigor Carson Valley legend John A. Thompson—better known to history as “Snowshoe” Thompson—endured on each of his 90-mile expeditions over the Sierra Nevada Mountains for nearly 20 years.  
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Yesterday: Was Garden of Eden Located in Nevada?

In 1924, a group of scientists and reporters announced that Yerington was the cradle of civilization! This story first appeared in our August 1993 issue. BY HARRY A. CHALEKIAN On August 17,1924, readers of the “San Francisco Examiner” received the shocking news with their Sunday morning coffee: The cradle of civilization had been discovered on […]
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Frozen in Time

Everyone knows that museums are filled with exhibits, but what does it look like when the building itself is the exhibit? If you’re looking to do a bit of time travel, we’ve got a few locations around the Silver State to recommend. 
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The Glory of Goldfield

On a fine spring day in the year 1900, a rancher named Jim Butler was wandering the remote hills of south-central Nevada—looking for a stray burro, as the story goes—when he came across an outcrop of black-banded rock. Ever the hobbyist prospector, Butler picked off a few samples and headed back to civilization to get them evaluated. The assayer was shocked to discover that the black bands were pure argentite. Jim Butler had discovered one of history’s richest silver deposits.
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The Laxalt Brothers

From adventurers and gunslingers to writers and thinkers, Nevada’s history was shaped by individuals witah grit and drive. Each issue, we look at one of these notable heroes from the past. Whether born or raised, these aren’t just Nevadans: they’re Legendary Nevadans. 
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Nevada State Prison

For 150 years, the Nevada State Prison—located in Carson City—housed some of the state’s most high-profile offenders. Since shuttering in 2012, community groups have worked to preserve its past. 
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Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge is a sight to behold. Even from the parking lot, visitors can’t help but snap photos of the manor nestled amid pine trees and car-sized boulders. The summer home of a Depression-era millionaire, Thunderbird Lodge is lavish and remote. It is also a place of many secrets that, when revealed, help paint a picture of the mysterious man who built it. 
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Legendary Nevadans: Howard Hughes

Who was Howard Hughes? He is remembered as the billionaire who spent much of his late life in near isolation. His demand for privacy is the stuff of legend. When he stayed in hotel rooms, adjacent rooms were also rented, and blankets were draped over all windows. Even employees rarely—if ever—saw him, and most communication was done by phone.  But above all, Hughes was a shrewd capitalist. To best understand this, look no further than the four years he spent in Las Vegas.  
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The Haunting of Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall is steeped in mystery, history, and tales of the unexplained. While most souls who entered this 125-year-old dormitory eventually moved on with their lives, not all did. Discover the stories of the past, and learn how you can visit one of the state's most famous university buildings.
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Sarah Winnemucca

Sarah Winnemucca was born around 1844, near what is today Lovelock. Her name at birth was Thocmetony, and she was a daughter of the leading family of the Kuyuidika-a—a band of the Paiute people.   Within a year of her birth, Winnemucca’s grandfather encountered John C. Frémont—one of the area’s first white explorers—at what is now Pyramid Lake.
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A Portal Through Time

Some structures are immediately identifiable: The Eiffel Tower, Westminster Abby, and the Space Needle among them. For Nevada ghost town enthusiasts and historians, it’s the façade to the Sutro Tunnel. The tunnel and adjacent ghost town were closed to visitors for decades, yet the portal remained as a reminder of Comstock Lode and Nevada history. In 2021, Friends of Sutro Tunnel acquired the 150-year-old property, and today, visitors are invited to wander back in time to explore this historic site. 
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The Evolution of Nevada’s Flag

Nothing sparks pride in where you reside quite like a flag. However, creating a banner to represent an entire culture or geographic region isn’t easy work. Nevada’s flag is beloved by residents today, but it took four (almost five) versions until the matter was settled. 
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Silent Echo Bay

During its heyday, Echo Bay—located on the Overton Arm of Lake Mead—supported a hotel, a huge marina, a convenience store, and plenty of visitors. Once the playground of some rather colorful types, it is not quite the attraction it once was, although there is still plenty to see and do in this remarkable area.