NHS This was Nevada Series Articles


NHS This was Nevada Series

This was Nevada series was created by NHS staff beginning in 1975. The series was very popular and was carried in several local newspapers in the state. The subject matter related to Nevada subjects ranging from people, places and things.  Early authors to the series began with NHS Director, John Townley, History Curator Phil Earl, Manuscripts Curator Guy Rocha and an occasional guest writer or two wrote the articles. By late 1981, Phil Earl took over the series completely until his retirement in 1999.

Article Inventory List – coming soon


Clara Dunham Crowell

Clara Dunham Crowell – Nevada’s First Woman Sheriff

Although the involvement of women in law enforcement is becoming increasingly common today, this was not the case a half-century ago when Clara Dunham Crowell became Sheriff of Lander County, the first woman in the state to hold such a position. The daughter of a pioneer Austin family, she was educated in the local schools and worked as a waitress before marrying George D. Crowell, a rancher who later ran a stage-line before being elected Sheriff.

Clara Dunham Crowell_Nevada’s First Woman Sheriff


Edna Catlin Baker


First Woman Elected in Nevada: The Election of 1916

In 1913, for the first time, the Nevada Legislature passed for voter approval a constitutional amendment giving women the right of suffrage. This followed passage of the amendment through the 1911 legislative session, and some stormy controversies over whether women were either fit to vote or might be degraded by exercising the franchise.
First Woman Elected in Nevada #157



Mrs. Frances A. Williamson

Frances A. Williamson


Frances A. Williamson: Pioneering Nevada Suffragist

Born Frances A. Slaven in Canada in 1842, she came to Austin, Nevada in 1863 to teach school. Within two years, she had moved up to the principalship of the school. On June 28, 1868, she married John R. Williamson, a former Lander County Sheriff who was the proprietor of a hardware store in Austin at the time of the marriage.
Frances A. Williamson #722




Goldfield Fire Department, 1908.

The Beer that Saved Goldfield

In terms of fire protection, the early history of Nevada’s 20th century mining camps is not unlike that of Reno and the Comstock Lode. The initial water supply developed in the camps minimally served the needs of residents and businesses and took care of the mines and mills, but fire protection had a low priority.

The Beer that saved Goldfield #534


Panoramic View of Pioche with mines in background.

Great Fire of Pioche, 1871

Although Pioche had a reputation as one of Nevada’s toughest towns during the boom days of the early 1870s, the community shared many of the problems of other settlements on the mining frontier. Among these was an inadequate water system and a consequent problem with fire.

Great Pioche Fire of 1871 #890



View of the Carson City Mint, 1875.

Carson City’s Big Quake, 1887

At 2:45 in the morning, June 3, 1887, a rolling, thundering earthquake spread across western Nevada. Although probably centered somewhere south of Carson City, it was felt in Genoa, Washoe Valley, Steamboat Springs, and on north, but it caused the most damage at the capital and stirred the most people from their beds.

Carson City Earthquake #234




Dan DeQuille – The Stones of Paharanagat

We take up the story of Dan DeQuille the venerable scribe of the Territorial Enterprise, and his tale of the Traveling Stones of Pahranagat.
The original story appeared in the Enterprise on October 26, 1867, as a filler when homicide took a holiday, no new strikes were reported from the mines and the stock market was static. The scene was remote Pahranagat Valley in southern Nevada.
According to DeQuille, a prospector had found a large number of heavy stones which possessed some rather peculiar characteristics.

Dan DeQuille – The Traveling Stones of Pahranagat




James P. Beckwourth

James P. Beckwourth: Black Pioneer

Born on April 26, 1798 at Fredericksburg, Virginia, the son of an Irish-born plantation overseer and a black female slave, Beckwourth moved west with his father when still in his teens to take up land near the forks of the Missouri and the Mississippi a few miles below present-day St. Charles, Missouri.

James P Beckwourth #623





A Merry Christmas postcard.

Christmas in Candelaria

In the mining camp of Candelaria, now erased from the face of the earth by a modern mining operation, the Christmas holidays were eagerly anticipated in 1880. The town was a mere four years of age at that time but was prosperous and booming with some 250 men employed in the mines. Christmas in Candelaria




Single Men’s Protective Association illustration, Harold’s Club.

Single Men’s Protective Association

Proper, marriageable women were usually in short supply in the early days of most Nevada mining camps, but this imbalance in the sexes was usually rectified to some extent if a camp made the transition to a settled community.

Single Men’s Protective Association #567





Stray Dog Mine, Manhattan, NV.

The Saga of Stray Dog Bob

Among the many memorable dogs which have played a part in Nevada’s history is Stray Dog Bob, once a resident of the mining camp of Manhattan. When Bob showed up on Manhattan’s streets in the summer of 1905, he created no more excitement than any other cur which happened through town.
The Saga of Stray Dog Bob #564