History

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Hard Pressed to Survive

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.
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Railroad Collections

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 […]
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The Founding of Reno

  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 […]
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Sam Davis

’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 […]
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Yesterday: Will James & a Horse Called Happy

BY ANTHONY AMARAL Originally appeared in the May/June 1980 issue. When Will came to Reno he was just another drifting cowboy, broke and out of a job. His future as the author and illustrator of Smoky, the classic story of a cow pony, and 15 other books of the range country had not yet become […]
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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.
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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.
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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 pseudo […]
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Hank Monk, The Incomparable

BY BRANDON WILDING “Hank Monk, the incomparable! The most daring – the most reckless of drivers; and the luckiest. The oddest, the drollest of all the whimsical characters who made Western staging famous the world over… It was a dream come true! I’m quite sure that had anyone asked me which of the two I […]
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Nevada’s Outlaws

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.
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Manhattan Photographs

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 […]
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Historic Sentence Fits the Crime

The hanging of Elizabeth Potts marks Nevada’s only execution of a woman. Photos courtesy of the Northeastern Nevada Museum. “It is a dreadful thing to hang a woman, but not so dreadful as for a woman to be a murderer.” BY BOB SAGAN If “Dubious Achievement Awards” were handed out in 19th-century Nevada, Elizabeth Potts […]
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Splitting Atoms: Nevada’s Atomic History

Atomic testing is remembered as a sensational and sometimes sinister era of the state’s history. BY ERIC CACHINERO On the morning of May 5, 1955, a family nested in their contemporary dream home. A tall redbrick chimney and lovely shutters complemented the whitewashed exterior, which gave an exquisite view of the surrounding desert mountains. The […]
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Historic Las Vegas

Las Vegas History Finds Its Way Home Preserving mid-century neighborhoods strengthens community at large. STORY BY CHRIS LEWIS PHOTOS BY MARK DUNTON “What history?” That’s the common reply when history and Las Vegas are used in the same sentence. It’s a city that places a value on newness; a town that doesn’t hesitate to level a […]
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Little-known Facts of our Official State Emblems

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?
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Five Fools On A Flume

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 […]