A Brief History of Reno-Sparks Nevada

Lake's Crossing was the first name for the Reno  area. It was a camping place for the travelers passing  through. It was in May of 1868 that it became a city  when the railway agent held an auction of real estate.  There were 100 houses within a month.  The actual name came in honor of a Union officer of the Civil
War, General Jesse Lee Reno.

In 1859, Charles Fuller built a log bridge across  the Truckee River and charged a fee to those who  passed over it on their way to Virginia City and the  gold recently discovered there. Fuller also provided  gold-seekers with a place to rest, purchase a meal,  and exchange information with other prospectors.

In 1861, Myron Lake purchased Fuller's bridge, with  the money from the tolls, bought more land, and  constructed a gristmill, livery stable, and kiln. When  the Central Pacific Railroad reached Nevada from  Sacramento in 1868, Lake made sure that his crossing  was included in its path by deeding a portion of his  land to Charles Crocker (an organizer of the Central  Pacific Railroad Company), who promised to build a  depot at Lake's Crossing. On May 13, 1868, the town  site of Reno was officially established. Lake's remaining  land was divided into lots and auctioned off to  businessmen and homebuilders.

At the turn of the century, Nevada Senator Francis  Newlands played a prominent role in the passage  of the Reclamation Act of 1902. The Newlands  Reclamation Project diverted Truckee River water to  farmland east of Reno prompting the growth of the  town of Fallon.

The residence of Francis Newlands, built in 1889, is  one of five National Historic Landmarks in Nevada.  Because Nevada's economy was tied to the  mining industry and its inevitable ups and downs,  the state had to find other means of economic  support during the down times. Reno earned the  title "Sin City" because it hosted several legal  brothels, was the scene of illegal underground  gambling, and offered quick and easy divorces.

Nystrom House, built in 1875 for Washoe County  Clerk John Shoemaker, is also significant for its  role as a boardinghouse during Reno's divorce  trade in the 1920's. The Riverside Hotel, designed  by Frederick DeLongchamps, was built in 1927  specifically for divorce-seekers and boasted an  international reputation.

In 1927, in celebration of the completion of the  Lincoln Highway (Highway 50) and the Victory  Highway (Highway 40), the state of California  built the California Building as a gift for the  Transcontinental Exposition, held at Idlewild Park.

The Mapes Hotel was built in 1947 and opened  for business on December 17 of that year. It was  the first high-rise built to combine a hotel and  casino, providing the prototype for modern hotel/  casinos. 

This brief history of Reno highlights only a few  of the many treasures that make up the unique  history of "The Biggest Little City in the World."

Reno is located at the western border of Nevada  - in a valley known as the Truckee Meadows - about  20 miles easy of the Sierra Nevada mountains and  Lake Tahoe, the second largest alpine lake in the  world. The Truckee River passes between Reno and  its sister city, Sparks. Low humidity and sunny skies are prevalent
throughout the year.

The History of Sparks (nickname Rail City)

There may not be another city in the land that came  to life in quite the unique way  Sparks did. It's the  custom-made town by the Southern  Pacific Railroad. 

In 1902, there was nothing but swampland and ranches four miles east of Reno.
When the Southern Pacific succeeded Central  Pacific as the new owner of the main line across  Northern Nevada, one of the first decisions made  was to straighten the road and cut a few miles off  the distance. The new route bypassed Wadsworth,  which for 40 years had ruled the roundhouse and  maintenance shops of Central Pacific.  Southern Pacific made a startling offer to its  Wadsworth employees; a tract of land would be  laid out next to the roundhouse, and the railroad  would give everyone clear deed to a lot 50' X  140' in size, and to add to the miracle, the railroad  offered to pack up every house in Wadsworth and  ship it to the new town, free of charge. Sometime  during the summer of 1903 a drawing was held the  employees names in one hat, lot numbers in  another- and everyone got what they got. Sixty seven  lots changed title that day, at a price of  $1 per lot.



Best Regards, Kelly 

refer friend
phone: 775-219-6413