NHS digital e-newsletter
February & March 2021
Note from the Director
Spring is nigh!

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain; and I hope you and your loved-ones are healthy, safe, and managing as best as possible. A little less than a year ago the NHS started collecting pandemic stories. We encourage you to continue to submit your stories to document our communities’ struggles and strengths.

Historians remain active; our Research Library appointment slots are 95-100% filled each week—keeping Shery and me on our toes! The Virginia Street construction hasn’t deterred our museum visitors either.

Our docents have been tremendous in their support to keep the NHS open and running. They have been working many months to ensure our research, digitization and cataloging computers meet the state’s computer requirements. In case you were unaware—the state of Nevada doesn’t pay for our non-staff computers, computer programs, and computer upgrades. This means all the computers used in our Research Library and used by our docents and volunteers are supported through your and our docents’ generosity. THANK YOU ALL!!!

NHS goes “Ken Burns”—we are working to create online tours, beginning with our most popular tours, the Nevada History tours that augment the 4th grade Nevada History curriculum. Pre-COVID the NHS served our schools’ needs through onsite tours and paid for the school bus transportation. Because this onsite service is currently not possible, we are using staff and docents’ hidden talents and are becoming filmmakers!
As more of our docents and volunteers return, we are looking to open the Gallery to the public an additional day without reservations—we will keep you posted!

The NHS is so proud to serve our state, our citizens and the public; with your support we will continue to serve for another 116 years!


Frances A. Williamson, NHS Bio_W357
This was Nevada NHS Series
The latest topic is about the Nevada's first Suffragist, Mrs. Frances A. Williamson.

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.

TWNS - February 20, 1989.
New Collection News
Generous folks from across the US have increased our photography collections that are now available for everyone to access. 

From New Jersey, we received postcards of Nevada dating from the 1980s to early 2000s. 

From Michigan, we received slides from the 1970s with some rare images inside casinos. 

From South Dakota, we received images from the 1950 Truckee River flood.

From Minnesota, we received images of Las Vegas casinos and entertainers from 1955 from USAF Band member Bob Schneiderman stationed at Nellis Airforce Base.
Bob Schneiderhan and Bandmates USAF Band at Nellis Airforce Base.
NHS Programming Schedule - High Noon
Thursday, March 18, 2021
Speaker, Neil Brooks, Nevada Historian
Lecture Title: 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.

Neil Brooks is a 5th generation Nevadan and was born on September 29, 1932. Neil was raised on the Rewana Farm, home of Model Dairy. Neil attended Anderson, Billinghurst and Reno High School before graduating from UCLA in 1954.

Thursday, April 15 2021
Speaker, Dr. Michael Fischer, Nevada Historian
Lecture Title: The Origin and Evolution of the Basque Hotel: When, Where and Why

Learn more about the origin and evolution of the Basque Hotel in Nevada. Probably most of us have eaten in a Basque restaurant and perhaps sipped a Picon Punch before the meal.

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.

Fischer was raised and educated in Reno public schools and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California. After working in private practice for 31 years, Fischer retired from dentistry and was appointed, serving in both Gov. Gibbons’ and Gov. Sandoval’s cabinet until the Department of Cultural Affairs was formally disbanded. He is now an independent scholar whose interests include the history of Nevada cowboys and ranching, politics, bootlegging, gambling, and crime.

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Speaker, Loren Jahn, Nevada artist and preservationist
Lecture Title: Preserving one of the UNR Gateway District Homes

Learn more about Loren Jahn’s latest Reno preservation project. He is among a small group of people that saved the historic homes from the UNR Gateway area. He will talk about saving the last historic, 1890s Queen Anne cottage from the UNR Gateway District Adopt-A-House program.

Loren Jahn is a Reno native, artist and local preservationist. He specializes in murals and other art forms that depict historic Northern Nevada, particularly its architecture and has worked on several local conservation efforts.

Thursday, June 17, 2021
Speaker, Ramon Seelbach, Balloonist
Lecture Title: Ballooning in and around the Truckee Meadows

Ramon Seelbach bought his new balloon in 1984 and flew it every year for the next 27 years. Most balloons last 6 to 8 years. This slide show covers all aspects of hot air ballooning including races, upkeep and maintenance.

Ramon has been flying balloons for more than 30 years, both locally and throughout the western United States. Although his balloon, “Up Early,” is no longer airworthy, he still uses it as a “walk in a balloon” at the Great Reno Balloon Race as well as at other venues locally. Learn the basics of ballooning and enjoy many of his adventures in balloons including a collection of over 200 special shape balloons from around the world.

Ramon Seelbach is a commercial hot air balloon pilot with more than 30 years’ experience. He is retired from active flying now but is still active in the ballooning community.
High Scalers - workers on the Boulder Dam, NHS Photo CL NO#
NHSQ - 'Q' Article
Blacks & the Boulder Dam Project

In the years 1930 and 1931, the United States moved ever deeper into the throes of the worst depression its history.

Local labor groups were concerned about job protection for Las Vegans. Crafts in the city were unionized...

NHSQ - Fall 1981, pages 255-260.
NHS Program Lectures Available
Did you know that many of our lectures are available on our website?
Did you miss one of our live programs? Don't worry, you can watch these great programs anytime.

Just click on the image above to view the available programs!
James P. Beckwourth, NHS Bio_B No#
This was Nevada NHS Series
The latest topic is about the history of the black explorer, James P, Beckwourth.

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 Mississippi a few miles below present-day St. Charles, Missouri.

TWNS, April 6, 1987.
Historic Collection Highlights
by Shery Hayes-Zorn
Miss Lizzie Baymer posing with her bicycle in Eureka, Nevada. NHS Bio_B506
Lizzie's first race in San Francisco, 1879
Drawings of velocipedes, 1887. Brockhaus’ Conversations-Lexikon image
Agricultural Park, Sacramento, CA, 1880.
Funeral services announcement
The Society received a scrapbook, copy and original photo of female bicycle racer Lizzie Baymer from Detroit, Michigan.

In the various write ups, Lizzie was described as beautiful and graceful. "A handsome young lady about 18 years of age, with black hair, large brown, dreamy eyes, clear complexion and well-cut features," and listed her weight as 143 pounds and being 5 feet 6 inches tall.

To draw in crowds, write-ups about Lizzie's performance mentioned the costumes she wore in detail. Racy at the time, she wore capes, body suits, vests, bloomers, or shorts with stockings would be a draw. Women's fashion norms determined that a glimpse of an ankle was scandalous.

Lizzie was a pupil of Fred T. Merrill's bicycle school in San Francisco. She received a gold medal with an inscription "Lizzie Baymer, the Champion Lady Bicycle-rider of California November 19,1879." This was her first race. Her racing exhibitions took place from 1879-1881 in California and Nevada.

She participated in many exhibitions of racing bicyclists, walkers verses bicyclists, and the best demonstration was racing against a horse wearing a harness and trotting for two hours.

"The Noiseless Stead" race was to be an exhibition of skill as she rode a 50-inch English bicycle. Miss Baymer has been declared as the most skillful female bicycler on the Pacific Coast, County and Champion of the World being listed among her accomplishments. It was mentioned that she won many medallions and trophies.

One male critic of this race went into detail about how Lizzie didn't know how to hold her hands on the bicycle while complimenting her power of endurance during the hot August heat.

In one exhibition write up, the article brought up that before the race, Lizzie would demonstrate that she could carry her velocipede on her shoulders around racing track. They mentioned that the bicycle was being "the weight of a young boy of 80 lbs."

Racing a bicycle on an indoor track could be risky. One race that was held at the Hunt's hall in Eureka mentions there wasn't a very large audience. During her race as she made a quick turn near the music stand, the front wheel hit something on the floor, and she went headfirst over the bicycle. She only sustained a bruised arm but was still planning on heading to Grass Valley the next day for an exhibition ride there.

She and her family moved to Bessemer from Rockland, Michigan in 1887.
A marriage announcement in the newspapers in 1898 mentions she married Mr. J.W. Clancy, a former pioneer businessman from Bessemer, Michigan. He was working in Priest River, Idaho and they would settle there. Mr. Clancy had three adult children from a previous marriage.
Her husband was into mining and owned a group of mines called Elizabeth in Thompson Falls, Montana. Mr. Clancy died in 1911 and Elizabeth (Lizzie) returned to Michigan. She spent time wintering in Florida the last three years of her life, dying while in Florida in January 1927. Lizzie was buried in Bessemer, Michigan.
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