Silver tailings: How Winnemucca got the Name

It might seem strange to honor an Indian chief who not only didn’t particularly like the white man and who had claimed the Paiute’s ancestral lands but also was known to attack them on occasion. However, Frank Baud, considered one of the city’s founders, had a fondness for the old chief and wanted to honor … Continue reading Silver tailings: How Winnemucca got the Name


Bohemian Rhapsody

As I rolled over -- waking from a short nap -- I heard these words rolling around in my noggin, like a bad dream. They're from 'Queen' and their song, "Bohemian Rhapsody." I see a little silhouetto of a man Scaramouch, scaramouch - will you do the fandango Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me Gallileo, gallileo, gallileo, … Continue reading Bohemian Rhapsody

And Nearly Six Decades Later

It was 57 years ago, September 24th, that my parents, Margery Ann Olivera and Thomas Junior Darby married one another in a civil ceremony in Reno, Nevada. The newlyweds spend a honeymoon night at the Mapes Hotel, dining and dancing, before he had to report back for duty at Requa Air Force Station, Klamath, California. The … Continue reading And Nearly Six Decades Later

Grand Marshals, Fireworks and Festivities

The selection of grand marshal is typically an honor bestowed on community members who have participated in good deeds in Del Norte County. The grand marshal usually has a list of accomplishments and associations. One such grand marshal was Sam Lopez, a member of the How-on-quet Tribe of Smith River. He celebrated his 86th birthday in … Continue reading Grand Marshals, Fireworks and Festivities

Silver Tailings: The Lynching of Luis Ortiz

It was half-past midnight September 18th, 1891 when a group of 75 hooded and well armed men dropped Luis Ortiz to his death from Reno's Virginia Street Bridge. By all accounts, he went to his Maker without a whimper. Before his death, Ortiz was run out-of-town. He was also not welcomed in parts of north-eastern California as … Continue reading Silver Tailings: The Lynching of Luis Ortiz

Research is Only the Beginning

This is generally how I start, when it comes to writing a historical article about California or Nevada -- research. I love tying where I live to where I grew up. For example, Bret Harte was a journalist who cut his ‘reporters teeth’ in the Comstock’s Virginia City, along with the likes of Mark Twain … Continue reading Research is Only the Beginning

Dow’s North of Mad River

"Will you please take that over to the neighbor's tomorrow?" my wife asked as I sat the kitchen counter eating dinner. "Sure," I responded, as shoveled another bite of spaghetti into my mouth. She had checked the mail and found a newsletter addressed to our neighbors in our box.  Having gotten home late, she didn't … Continue reading Dow’s North of Mad River

Silver Tailings: Goldfield Continues to Survive

Despite the fierce labor disputes and strikes that threatened the town’s existence in the years 1906-1908, Goldfield was able to wrest the county seat from Hawthorne in 1907, when both towns were still located in the same county. Five banks, a like number of newspapers, two mining stock exchanges and three railroads served the 20,000 … Continue reading Silver Tailings: Goldfield Continues to Survive

The Great Lava Bed Wars: Great Treaty of Council Grove

Rounds of hostilities continued in the area until 1864, with warriors of the Klamath and the Yahooskin, a band of Shoshone, also attacking settlers and migrants in their turns. That year the United States and over 1000 Indians, mostly Klamath—signed a treaty, by which the Indians ceded millions of acres of lands and the US … Continue reading The Great Lava Bed Wars: Great Treaty of Council Grove

Silver Tailings: Roy Frisch’s Last Walk Home

Roy Frisch had jus' been to see "Gallant Lady,' a movie about an unwed mother who gives up a baby for adoption and hopes to get it back when the adoptive mother dies. The Majestic Theater was only the four blocks from his home at 247 Court Street, but he never made it. Frisch's disappearance, … Continue reading Silver Tailings: Roy Frisch’s Last Walk Home

Behind Consolidation of Reno and Salt Lake’s Fire Centers

The Western Great Basin Coordination and Eastern Great Basin Centers will merged into a new facility in Salt Lake City. The Bureau of Land Management says the move will save money and improve response times. The centers, in Reno and Salt Lake City, are responsible for mobilizing resources for wild land fire, prescribed fire and … Continue reading Behind Consolidation of Reno and Salt Lake’s Fire Centers

Silver Tailings: Washoe Goes to War

The U.S. didn't join the war effort immediately when fighting broke out in 1914. However, President Woodrow Wilson asked each state to send their National Guard for service on the Mexican border in 1916. Since Nevada’s state guard had disbanded in 1906, the only military organizations available were the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit at the University of … Continue reading Silver Tailings: Washoe Goes to War

Silver Tailings: Remembering the Old Century Theater

It was perhaps one of the best movie theaters in Reno at one time, but by the time it closed, the ‘Century,’ was jus’ another multiplex. At one point, the toilets were out of service and port-a-potties were rented for movie-goers to use. It had also undergone several name changes in the 32 years it was in … Continue reading Silver Tailings: Remembering the Old Century Theater