NHS digital e-newsletter - December 2020
Holiday Edition
NHS is Closed for December
Due to increased COVID numbers, the Nevada Historical Society will be closed to the public from December 1, 2020 through January 5, 2021.

The staff will be working onsite to answer all of your online research requests, take orders over the phone and provide safe, curb-side service for your holiday purchases from our museum store.

Please visit our website to submit your online research questions! You can find the specific department under the Requests Tab.
Nan Drury Summerfield
Lester Douglas Summerfield
Collection News
The art collection has two new pieces for the permanent art collection by renown artist, Hans Meyer-Kassel.

Lester Summerfield was born in Carson City on January 5, 1888. His family was living in Reno by the 1900 census. Lester attended Stanford and became a lawyer. He served as the Washoe County District Attorney between 1918 to 1930. 

Summerfield was hired by philanthropist Max C. Fleischmann to serve as his legal advisor upon Max's move to Nevada in 1935. After Fleischmann’s death, Summerfield was named chairman of the board to distribute Fleischmann’s $90 million fortune. Lester served on the board of the Max Fleischmann foundation from March 23, 1951 until his death on November 7, 1966.

More research is needed to help fill in the gaps and to learn about Nan Drury Summerfield.
Note from the Director
Happy Holidays to All!

The year is coming to a close and what an event-filled year it has been! Staff moving onto wonderful opportunities, almost hiring a new Librarian/Archivist, COVID devasting our health and economic security, NOT moving into a much need larger facility, limited operating hours—and through all of this your generosity and support to the NHS illuminate the positive and resilient spirit of our community. Thank you!


Museum Store
It's that time of the year to find that special gift for your history lover!

Are you looking for a unique Reno ornament? NHS has created the Reno Arch series. You can see both arches pictured on the left.

Looking for some fun Nevada mineral specimens donated by the Brumbaugh estate? We have several small turquoise samples from Tonopah, $5 per bag.
This was Nevada NHS Series
Christmas in Candelaria article

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. 

In previous years, Christmas had been an individual family matter, but community leaders in 1880 figured that it was time to put on a public celebration, invite people in from surrounding communities and "do it up right."

The ladies of Candelaria took over the planning shortly after Thanksgiving and invited their sisters in Belleville, Columbus, Metallic City, Pickhandle Gulch and Marietta to join them. Arrangements were made to rent Capitol Hall in Candelaria and put on a community Christmas tree where parents could bring their gifts.

Lehman Cave with R.H. Sargent posing in right corner. NHS Photo, WP-01186.
NHSQ - 'Q' Article
The latest topic is about the dedication of Lehman Caves National Monument written by Cada C. Boak.

Thrilling Experience in Exploring Nevada's Highest Mountain was the headline appearing above an interview with the writer, in the Tonopah Times, August 19, 1922.

After Mrs. Boak and I returned from our summer's auto outing trip which took us into eastern Nevada and southern Utah.

The headliner little knew how aptly the words "thrilling experience" defined the entire trip. There was the thrill of peril, the thrill of adventure, the thrill of conquest, the thrill of accomplishment, and that undefinable thrill one experiences upon beholding the marvels, the wonders, and the beauties of nature.

Article - Lehman Cave Dedication: Ascent and Perilous Descent

NHSQ - Summer 1973, pages 101-112.
Betsy Morse in front of the Oxen Yoke.
Education Docents - Virtual Tours
Helping meet the need of Nevada teachers during this unusual time, our NHS educational docents are working on converting their amazing in person school tour talks into online tours for kids across Nevada.

By creating online tours, the Nevada History tours will be another way to augment the 4th grade Nevada History curriculum. A hope is that we will be able to reach the many elementary schools in the area that have never attended our free school tours.

Betsy Morse has been filmed giving her early Pioneers school tour talk. She spent time onsite last month, selecting interesting NHS photographs and will be doing a Zoom recording next.

In January, Shery and her son Izaac, a Senior from AACT will be working with Pam, Linda and Larry to work on filming the Mountain Men tour.
Don't forget to register for these wonderful talks!!

The link below directs you to
the main WCLS website page for virtual lectures.

High Noon: Shootout with Neal Cobb is a wonderful history series that delves into fascinating Nevada topics with local experts. Neal is lining up more speakers for 2021!!
Jim Bonar, Speaker
Sam Macaluso, Speaker
NHS Programming Update
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 Noon
High Noon: Jim Bonar
Title: The Black Rock Desert: A tour through the history & Applegate trail

You've heard of the Black Rock Desert, but have you been to it? Most impressions people get are from Burning Man, but there is so much more to this incredible place. Let's explore the northern end of Nevada. What's the history, who lived there, the first whites?

Jim Bonar will detail some of the events of the past and give you information about what's going on today. See the wonders found in the wonderful Black Rock Desert.

Thursday, January 21, 2021 Noon
High Noon: Sam Macaluso
Title: Pony Express in Nevada

April 3, 2020 marks the 160th anniversary of one of the more romantic eras in the west, The Pony Express. 

The freighting group of Russell, Majors and Waddell undertook the great adventure of having mail couriers travel 2,000 miles in 10 days. What about the Pony Express in Nevada? There were 29 relay stations in Nevada which were situated 20-35 miles apart. The Nevada portion of the route was 420 miles long and follows approximately where highway US 50 exists now (through the center of the state).  Riders were paid $100 per month and station keepers got $125 per month. Riders carried the mail in a mochila (lightweight leather cover put over a horse's saddle). It had 4 lockable canisters that kept the mail safe until it reached its destination. The price of postage was high. 

Sam Macaluso will talk about Nevada’s role of the Pony Express.
Curator Notes
Happy holidays everyone!

Our first High Noon: Shootout with Neal Cobb Zoom program was very successful and we want to thank Frank Mullen for such an informative & entertaining program. Neal has started lining up our next speakers for February through May 2021. You definitely will want to mark you calendars and sign up for these wonderful programs.

I have really enjoyed taking on the responsibilities of the NHS Research Library. The research requests keep coming and it has given me a great opportunity to learn and research our extensive collection holdings at NHS.

Some of the topics include prostitution, Mr. Noteware, the first Secretary of State, Senator McCarran, several Nevada ghost towns and suffrage.

I have been working on a detailed title, author and issue list for our NHSQ's to put on our website. This project has been very enjoyable as I continue to find interesting tidbits about our organization, names of former staff and learn about how our valuable resources were created and the collections. Great information to add to our NHS History Timeline.

I want to thank Frank Wheeler for working on clipping articles from our newspapers to expand one of our number one resources, our historic clipping files and updating our historic index book catalog.
From the NHS time vault: Shery Hayes-Zorn, Curator of Museum Artifacts is seen posing with Zomboo to help NHS celebrate all things NHS Haunted Nevada series, 2010.
I want to thank Judith Ullom for typing up the titles of over 1400 articles written for our This was Nevada series that I am posting select articles on our website.

I will be posting the detailed list soon. She will be helping retype and format the articles but we could use the help of another volunteer on this project.

Most of the articles were written by our former Curator of History, Phil Earl. These articles are invaluable resource on the numerous topics covering people, places and things about Nevada.

As I was working on this newsletter, it hit me that I will be celebrating my 19th work anniversary at the Society. I have been very fortunate to have worked several positions here. What I love about working at NHS is working with amazing collections, always learning something new and helping people.

My thoughts are with our wonderful docents and supportive members during this holiday season.

Nevada's Oldest Cultural Institution
Nevada Historical Society
1650 N. Virginia Street
Reno, NV. 89503

NHS is part of the Dept. Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Div. of Museums & History