NHS Interviews & Lecture Videos

Nevada Historical Society
Admissions Office

775-688-1190 ext. 221

The Nevada Historical Society is making our recorded programs available on many fascinating Nevada topics.

Did you know that you can view all of these fascinating lectures on YouTube? Here is the video link for the Nevada Historical Society.

Television Interviews:

NHS HHH Interview with Denise Wong, KOLO 8

NHS HHH Interview with Rebecca Kitchen, KOLO 8

NHS Photography Interview

Artown History of Reno Interviews


Reno Rodeo celebrates 100 Years

History Gambling Interview C-Span 2019 Cities Tour

Reno 150th Birthday Celebration KTVN Interview

City loses oldest building KOLO Interview

Mysteries at the Museum

Crossword Code and Bushy Bill
Season 7, Episode 13 aired June 19, 2015 (24:43 to 31:58)
A puzzling crossword; a set of traffic signals; a set of leg iron shackles. This episode will tell the story of the Sanitary Sack of Flour and Ruel Gridley from Austin, Nevada.

Monumental Mysteries

Gunpowder Plot, Lost in Yellowstone, Cops Are Robbers
Season 3, Episode 11, aired September 11, 2015 (6:46 to 15:12)
This episode will tell the myth about U.S. senator Key Pittman’s memorial at Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada, and whether he was kept on ice at the Riverside hotel until he was reelected in the 1940 elections. This story was retold in the Green Felt Jungle book by Ed Reid.

Mysteries at the Museum

Season 6, aired 2014
This episode will tell the story of about the Duel that Never Was with Mark Twain before he left the Comstock.

The photo is of McAvoy Lane as Mark Twain holding the NHS Mark Twain pistol frame that survived the 1875 fire in Virginia City.

Newspaper Articles:

Walking among Ghosts of the Silver State  2021 Small Museums Article by Janice Hoke, Reno News & Review

Parades, politicians and pride: How a statehood anniversary morphed into a celebratory affair 2021 article, by Jackie Valley, Nevada Independent

Developer Unearths Original Masonic Lodge Cornerstone, Reveals Time Capsule Contents
2019 article,  Dr. Catherine Magee, Director and Conservator works with Whitney Peak to safely retrieve and conserve the materials.

Tokens of History  2018 AGA Article by Jeri Chadwell, Reno News & Review

AGA Chip Dig  2015 AGA Article by Guy Clifton, RGJ

Sacked: 50 Pounds of Flour worth plenty in Nevada 2015 Article by Susan Skorupa, RGJ * a segment in Mysteries at the Museum

Mark Twain – The Duel that Never Was  2014 Article by Guy Clifton, RGJ * a segment in Mysteries at the Museum

Docent Council Lecture Series:

Nevada Barn Heritage
Jack Hursh, Nevada historian discusses early Northern Nevada barns and ranch sites.

Harolds Club
Neal Cobb, Nevada historian discusses Harolds Club, a Reno casino that was in business from 1935 to 1995.

Adaptive Reuse for Revitalization: Reno’s Downtown Post Office
Bernie Carter, Reno Businessman discusses how their redevelopment group repurposed the historic Frederick DeLongchamps Post Office.

Mountain Men
Larry Walker discusses the fur-trading era in the American West and how an organization he works with, American Mountain Men, researches and teaches the skills and history of these important pathfinders.

In Memory of Jeanne Elizabeth Wier
Lorraine Petersen discusses the Society’s first director, Dr. Jeanne Elizabeth Wier.

Women in the Military
Anne Davis discusses the history of Nevada’s women in the military.

NHS Docent Council History – Old Friends & Memories:  A Look Back
Linda Burke discusses the history of the Nevada Historical Society Docent Council.

The Historic Fourth Ward School Museum
Shery Griffin Grundy discusses the history of the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City.

North America’s “Oldest” Petroglyphs at Winnemucca Lake, Nevada
Dr. Gene Hattori, Curator of Anthropology at the NSM-CC will discuss the unusual petroglyphs at Winnemucca Lake that might have arrived at the end of the Ice Age!

Truckee River Watershed—Historic Pollutants
Carrie Jensen, Landscape Architect with Urban Ecology Solutions will discuss historic pollutants of the Truckee River Watershed.

General Jesse Lee Reno
Sam Macaluso will discuss the history of the General and why Reno was named after him.

Holiday Snippets

Zomboo checking in at the NHS Library
Local television celebrity, Zomboo worked with the NHS to promote our Haunted Nevada Series from 2010-2013. His television series is called Zomboo’s House of Horror Movies. A hosted horror movie show with Frank Leto as “Zomboo” and “Frank, The Floating Head” presenting movies on KOLO-TV Channel 8 Reno, Nevada from 2000, and is currently on going.

History of the NHS:

100 Years of History: The Story of the Nevada Historical Society

For the past 100 years, the Nevada Historical Society in Reno has been working hard to preserve the history of our state. Now, the Society is celebrating its Centennial Year with a special exhibition and tribute to the woman responsible for saving much of Nevada’s history.

You will meet founding director Jeanne Elizabeth Wier, whose vision inspired the creation of the Society in 1904.  You’ll share her joys and heartaches as the dream became reality and took a firm hold. In the video, you will see artifacts and special treasures collected over the past century, as well as a wealth of historic photographs and archival material. Video from 2004.

NHS Lecture Videos

High Noon: Shootout with Neal Cobb

Bartley Ranch

Neal Cobb is joined by Loren Jahn to watch and discuss an unaired episode of Home is Nevada that explored the structures at Bartley Ranch.

The Reno You Know

Neal Cobb is joined by Garrett Barmore to talk about historic Virginia City, which at its height was the most populous city between San Francisco and St. Louis.

Home is Nevada: Animal Ark

A special viewing of Home Is Nevada, a show developed for possible programming on a major network, in which hosts Neal Cobb and Dick Stoddard get a behind-the-scenes tour at Animal Ark Wildlife Sanctuary.

World War II and Nevada

Neal Cobb is joined by Chuck Weller as he relates stories of the Reno Army Air Base, a Japanese balloon bomb shot down over Reno, the gift to Admiral Halsey of a saddle from the war bond buyers of Washoe County, and more.

People of the Comstock

Neal Cobb is joined by Garrett Barmore to talk about historic Virginia City, which at its height was the most populous city between San Francisco and St. Louis.

Celebrating Nevada 1864 to 2023

Neal Cobb is joined by Brooke Santina tells us about the history of the Nevada Day Parade and shows old parade program covers and black-and-white photos of the floats from the days when showgirls from the casinos rode on them.

Eilley Orrum: Riches to Rags at Bowers Mansion

Neal Cobb is joined by Sandie La Nae tells the story of Eilley Orrum’s life. Orrum was the epitome of a pioneer in the mid-1800s. Her life was filled with adventure, travel, riches, poverty, happiness, and disappointment.

Our Journey Through Time at the Newlands Mansion

Neal Cobb is joined by historic preservationists Melinda and Dan Gustin, who discuss their work on the Newlands Mansion, a national historic landmark that they purchased in 1984.

The History of a Historical Society

Neal Cobb is joined by Dennis Little from the Douglas County Historical Society presents a tour of the Courthouse Museum in Genoa and the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center in Gardnerville where he will share the history of these buildings and the organization.

Sparks Then & Now Revisited

In 2005, the City of Sparks celebrated its 100th birthday. To show how the city had changed over its first hundred years, a Sparks Then and Now presentation was developed by Neal Cobb, Jerry Fenwick, Karen Dolan, and Scott Carey. This presentation revisits that program and takes a look at how things have changed in this past decade-and-a-half.

The Great Fire of Virginia City, October 1875

Joe L. Curtis discusses the 1875 Virginia City fire, which destroyed most of the city at the very apex of its mining boom.

Rocketdyne Nevada Field Laboratory

Dick Dreiling shares the little-known story of how the Reno-Sparks area contributed to the space race and the landing on the moon.

Camels in the Comstock Nevada
Eric Moody, historian and publisher, examines the use of camels in early Nevada freighting, focusing chiefly on their involvement in the commerce that sprang up between Virginia City and Austin, Nevada.

When Hollywood Came to Reno: Behind the Scenes & Seams
Karen Burns, producer, Karen Burns was a professional dancer who appeared in many shows, most notably Hello, Hollywood, Hello! Since then, she has purchased more than 1,250 of the original costumes from this spectacular show.

Vintage Fake News
Frank X. Mullen, Jr., journalist and author, will discuss vintage fake news.

Promoting the Significance of North Central Nevada History within a Museum and Community
Dana Toth, Executive Director Humboldt Museum will discuss history, community, and the efforts to unite the two in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Dempsey in Nevada
Guy Clifton, journalist and author, will talk about Jack Dempsey’s time in the silver state.

Northern Nevada’s Hebrew Cemeteries
Sharon Honig-Bear, historian, looks at the early days of the Jewish presence in Northern Nevada and the establishment of cemeteries for their population. We will look at sites in Virginia City, Carson City and Reno.

Nevada Northern Railway National Historic Landmark: Steamin’ 35 years
Railroads once connected just about every town in Nevada. Today, the Nevada Northern Railway is the sole survivor from this glorious period of Nevada’s history. Join the railroad’s president Mark Bassett as he explains the ups and downs of operating a 19th century railroad in the 21st century.

Verdi History Center and the Verdi Public School Restoration Project
Nancy Benson and Bud Mosconi from the Verdi History Center join Neal to talk about the organzation’s work.

Where to Hear About Nevada History
Carol Coleman, HRPS President will introduce us to a variety of historic resources and places in Nevada.

The Donovan Mill
Steven Saylor, Executive Director for the Comstock Foundation discusses the history of the Donovan Mill in Silver City, Nevada. It was established in 1860 and was the longest running stamp mill on the Comstock and is the largest historic stamp mill in the nation.

Erin Breen: Erin’s Isle and Beyond
Erin Breen tells us about her decades working in broadcast and print media.

Baby Face Nelson in Nevada
Michael Fischer, Nevada historian discusses the bank robber Baby Face Nelson and his time spent here in Nevada.

Nevada Mining from Silver and Gold to Copper and Lithium
Paul Franklin, Mining Historian will talk about 170 years of mining development in Nevada.

Reno in the 1950s and 1960’s 
Neal Cobb, local historian will give an engaging program with photos and stories depicting what life was like in Reno, 1950s-60s. He will be using images from his Modern Photo photography collection.

Friends of Nevada Wilderness and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
Pat Bruce will give a short history on the Friends of Nevada Wilderness organization. He will give a detailed discussion about what kind of work the organization does for Nevada and their work on the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.

History of the Word War II USO Canteen Ladies of North Platte, Nebraska
Larry Kirk shares the story of the volunteers who served more than six million service men and women during World War II in North Platte, Nebraska. The North Platte Canteen remains the single biggest movement of volunteerism in the United States to date.

Nevada’s Times in Rhymes
Jerry Aaron joins Neal to talk about his latest book called Nevada’s Times in Rhymes is directed toward young people to provide an understanding of Nevada’s past and present. The book takes the reader on a fun filled path of learning via rhymes. It begins with the Great Basin’s prehistoric times and moves onward to modern day.

Finding and Restoring Part of the Reno Fire Department’s Past
Jon Wagner joins Neal to tell and show amazing images about the restoration of a 1917 American LaFrance ladder truck formerly owned by the Reno Fire Department.

19th and 20th Century Painters of Nevada
Gallery owner, appraiser, and publisher Jack Bacon presents this overview of the major painters of Nevada of the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on the first comprehensive biographical dictionary on the subject ever published, this presentation covers artists from the early days of western exploration and the Latimer School of the early 20th century.

Ballooning in and around the Truckee Meadows
Ramon will talk about why he got into ballooning and show amazing ballooning images in and around the Truckee Meadows

High Noon: Shootout with Neal Cobb videos continued

UP House – Preserving one of the UNR Gateway Homes
Artist and preservationist Loren Jahn will discuss the recent efforts to save a Queen Anne cottage that was threatened by the UNR Gateway District expansion.

The Origin and Evolution of the Basque Hotel: When, Where and Why
Michael Fischer discusses the origin and evolution of the Basque Hotel in Nevada. Most of these restaurants were hotels serving the boarders meals family style long before they started serving meals to the public as restaurants. This program shows the necessity for these hotels, their evolution from a basic boarding house to a retirement home and why the properties were a welcome respite for the lonely Basque herder who often did not speak English and had only a rudimentary education.

The History of Model Dairy
Neil Brooks’ grandfather C.W. Brooks founded Model Dairy with Holstein cows and two milkers. Neil’s presentation will focus on the history of Model Dairy from 1906 to 1977 and will feature pictures and stories from throughout the years.

The Chamber of Commerce – Behind the Arch
Joyce Cox discusses the history of the Chamber of Commerce and how Reno and northern Nevada were advertised and promoted from the 1920s through the 1970s. Publicists used booklets, pamphlets, billboards, slogans along with television and radio commercials and even special events to promote Reno. Slogans such as “The Metropolis of 100,000 Square Miles of Opportunity” in the 1920s to “Think Reno . . . Always Good Thinking” in the 1960s and 70s and of course “The Biggest Little City” made Reno known around the world.

The Pony Express
Sam Macaluso discusses the Pony Express. Established just over 160 years ago, the horseback delivery service ran from Missouri to California and included 29 relay stations across Nevada.

The Blackrock Desert: The history & Applegate Trail
Jim Bonar discusses the history of the Black Rock Desert: who lived there, who were the first non-native settlers and what is happening there today.

My Lives as a Chautauqua Performer
Frank X. Mullen, Jr. discusses his life as a Chautauqua performer. Mullen has depicted historical figures including Henry VIII, Babe Ruth, Benedict Arnold, Edward R. Murrow, and Albert Einstein.

NHS American Gaming Archives Programs

Lady Jessie
Jessie began working as a roulette dealer at Harolds Club in the late 1930s, married Fred Beck, who operated keno at Harolds, and in 1971, she purchased the Riverside Hotel and Casino which she owned until 1978. Jessie was a huge supporter of the Navy and would spend thousands of hours and dollars doing favors for servicemen in Vietnam and all over the world. In 2019, PBS Sacramento produced a documentary called “Lady Jessie, A Vietnam Story.” Host Neal Cobb and Jessie’s grandson, CJ Risley, will introduce the documentary.

NHS Radio and Podcast Interviews

KOH 780 Radio: History of Prostitution

Nevada Outlook Reporter Daniela Sonnino sit down with Shery Hayes-Zorn from the Nevada Historical Society to discuss the history of Prostitution in Nevada and Dr. Diana Ahmad’s upcoming lecture on Prostitution in Nevada.
0:12 – 10:09 History of Prostitution Discussion

IndyMatters Podcast: Origins of Nevada Day

Nevada Independent Report Jackie Valley and host Joey Lovato sit down with Shery Hayes-Zorn from the Nevada Historical Society to talk about the origins of Nevada Day.
1:00 – 10:39 Nevada Day origins

IndyMatters Podcast: Nevada State Symbols

Nevada Independent host Joey visits with Shery Hayes-Zorn from the Nevada Historical Society to learn more about the significance behind many Nevada state symbols.
18:10 – 29:29 Nevada State Symbols

NHS Collection Stories

Miss Wakayama
Learn about the fascinating history of Nevada’s Japanese Friendship Doll at the Nevada Historical Society with Educational Docent, Betsy Morse.

Sonny Boy – The Talking Dog
MSNC 141 Collection. Correspondence and papers (1947-1959) pertaining to a pedigreed Boston Terrier dog in Reno, Nevada, having the ability to talk. Contained are correspondence, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, autograph books, phonograph recordings, and a movie strip testifying to the phenomenon. Listen to the interview about this amazing dog!

Interview about Sonny Boy
Song about Sonny Boy

Artown History Lectures – July 2021

The Humboldt: A River by Any Other Name, the naming of Humboldt River

In 1845, John C. Fremont christened this river the Humboldt River in honor of the acclaimed naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt. But, did you ever wonder what this river may have been called previous to that? What did the first trappers and explorers of the Great Basin call this river? In this presentation, you will hear a few stories about those trappers and explorers, the names they gave to the river, and even a little controversy surrounding the Humboldt.

The Psychedelic, Sex and Blue Jean Machine: Northern Nevada’s contributions to popular culture

Northern Nevada was the birthplace and inspiration for many inventions that influence our lives. Global pop culture owes much to Nevada’s innovative spirit including blue jeans and the San Francisco sound of the 1960s. Catherine Magee, Director of the Nevada Historical Society, will take you on a trip to explore some intriguing aspects of Nevada’s history.

Early Settlers in Northern Nevada

Nevada was once part of the Utah Territory, an incorporated territory that existed from 1850 to 1896. Learn how Congress separated the territory into individual states during that time. Hear about Kit Carson and John Fremont, the Gadsden Purchase, and the Mormon trading posts in the Carson Valley. Photos and stories describe events and life in the towns of Genoa, Dayton, Carson City and Virginia City during the decade of the 1850s.

Firsts and Lasts in Nevada, the Notorious

Hear stories about some of Nevada’s bad men and women and their outcomes — things like the first train robbery, first woman hung in Nevada, last vigilante hanging in Nevada and the firsts and lasts of an episode in Jarbidge, Nevada, are some of the stories you will hear.

Artown History Lectures – July 2020

Early Reno
Based on the Images of America book, “Early Reno,” written by Nevada Historical Society docents Carol Coleman and Dave Kennedy, this presentation makes use of Nevada Historical Society archived photos of Reno businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and other significant elements of life in Reno starting in 1868.

Senator Stewart 
From poverty to making and losing fortunes, he never lost his thirst for knowledge and his interest in Nevada’s growth. Starting in 1859, William M. Stewart led the battle for Nevada statehood. Known as the Father of American Mining Law and author of the 15th Constitutional Amendment, Stewart brought international recognition to our young state and his death was noted throughout the United States and in foreign nations.

Washoe County
Joyce Cox discusses early Washoe County history and images included in her book Washoe County, part of the Images of America series.

Early Reno
Based on the Images of America book, “Early Reno,” written by Nevada Historical Society docents Carol Coleman and Dave Kennedy, this presentation makes use of Nevada Historical Society archived photos of Reno businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and other significant elements of life in Reno starting in 1868.

Gaming as a Microcosm of American History 
Marc Ullom discusses the history of gaming and shows us some of the historical artifacts in the Nevada Historical Society archives.

Mining: Then & Now
Historian and storyteller Sam Macaluso tells the story of mining in Nevada through the ages, from the deposits of obsidian, opalite, chalcedony, agate, jasper, and quartz that were utilized by the early inhabitants of Nevada to fashion arrowheads, spear points, and various tools, to gold mining in the 1850s, to the open-pit mining of today.

Gambling: It’s Older Than You Think
People have participated in forms of gambling for millennia. Even Ancient Egyptians played games they made wagers on. This talk will discuss the background and history of gambling across cultures and continents.

Before Reno & Sparks
Early settlers in the Truckee Meadows knew nothing of Reno or Sparks. Instead, they lived in communities like Eastman Mill and Brown’s Crossing — villages whose names no longer appear on modern maps. This talk offers a quick look at some of these forgotten places.