Newsletter - Winter/Spring 2000

Winter/Spring 2000

  • Lights, Camera, Laughter by Wayne Melton (Photos)
  • National Trust Celebrates 50th Anniversary
  • How About a Microbrewed Reno? by Sharon Adler Walbridge
  • Reinventing the Biggest Little City in the World by Mercedes de la Garza (photos)
  • Walking Tours a Bold Success by Leanne Stone
  • Oral History Workshop Part of HRPS Educational Series by Cindy Ainsworth
  • Century Ends with Reno History Class by Pat Ferraro Klas

Monthly Programs

  • February 2020
  • March 2020
  • April 2020

Jim Bonar: Lincoln Highway 101 — The First Transcontinental Highway Across America

  • Date: Sunday, February 2, 2020 (first Sunday)
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Reno Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno

Jim BonarThe Lincoln Highway was the First Transcontinental Highway Across the United States — what was it, when was it, and where did it go? This presentation features a lecture and slide show on the development and history of the Lincoln Highway, including how the highway crossed the US. This is part of our local history of Nevada, as the Lincoln Highway passed through Reno, Sparks, Carson City, around Lake Tahoe, and across Donner Summit. Do you know when you are traveling it around town?

Jim Bonar is a former high school teacher, having finished his career as a math teacher at Sparks High School. His retirement interests (in addition to skiing, hiking, woodworking and off-road extreme jeeping to name a few) is the preservation of historical trails, roads, and Western history. He became interested in "roads" as a young child in Green River, Wyoming while watching the traffic pass through town on Highway 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway. In the early 1990s, the Lincoln Highway Association was formed, and Jim became a charter member, and at this time is the Association's national Board member for Nevada. He has been giving presentations about western historical events around the west for some years, since retiring, and always enjoys passing on his enchantment of how the west was settled.


Samantha Szesciorka, Assistant Curator, Wilbur D. May Center: Wilbur D. May

  • Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 (third Wednesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

Samantha SzesciorkaBorn on December 28, 1898, Wilbur May was the third son of David May, founder of The May Department Stores Company. Wilbur was a rancher, pilot, artist, philanthropist, and world traveler who lived in Reno from 1936 until his death on January 20, 1982. The museum's collection derives from over 40 trips Wilbur made around the world, and include T'ang Dynasty pottery, African masks, statues and artwork, Inuit scrimshaws, Egyptian scarab figures, Greek icons, wildlife dioramas and a shrunken head from South America. Also featured is a re-creation of the living room, bedroom, tack room, and big game trophy room from Wilbur's 2,600-acre (1,100 ha) Double Diamond Ranch in South Reno.

Samantha Szesciorka is the Assistant Curator at the Wilbur D. May Center and the Editor in Chief at Sagebrush Rider.

Dr. Christine Johnson, Collection Manager, Nevada Historical Society: Nevada State Board on Geographic Names—How Do the Mountains Get their Names?

  • Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020 (first Sunday)
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Reno Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno

Christine JohnsonDid you know that Nevada is considered to be the most mountainous state in the country? With more than 300 named ranges, Nevada's topography contains thousands of peaks, valleys, mounts, buttes, bluffs, cutoffs, mountains, points, and more. The Nevada State Board on Geographic Names has been in place since 1985, working to advise the U.S. Board on new name suggestions, research current names of features, and weigh in on controversies when presented. This talk will provide a history of the board, operational procedures, provide a look at why and how features get named, and highlight a few interesting and noteworthy features on the Nevada landscape.

Dr. Christine Johnson is the Collection Manager at the Nevada Historical Society and adjunct faculty in the departments of Anthropology and Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno.


Jerry Wagner: ALSOS — The Hunt for Hitler’s A-Bomb

  • Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (third Wednesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

Jerry WagnerGerman scientists split the atom in 1938; by all accounts their nuclear program is 2–3 years ahead of any other country. As war breaks out in Europe, Einstein writes to Roosevelt warning him about the development of a Nazi atomic bomb and imploring the president to begin a similar effort. Even as victories mount, General Eisenhower fears the German will deploy radioactive bombs against advancing Allied troops. In 1943, as part of the Manhattan Project, a clandestine group of scientists and military personnel, ALSOS, are tasked with finding and capturing German nuclear scientists and their labs before Hitler can change the outcome of the war. Unforgettable and unlikely characters, poignant moments, suspense and even comedy characterize this piece of history. And a special twist: the Reno connection?

Jerry Wagner moved to Reno with his wife seven years ago after living in a small mountain town in western Panama. He retired in 2003 from a 40–year career of managing a variety of environmental programs at the federal, state and territorial levels. In Reno, the Wagners volunteer with a number of organizations and events, are active gardeners and have a small vineyard from which they produce three varieties of wine. Jerry's interest in the WWII ALSOS operation stemmed from reading a book about the Hotel Ritz in Paris and it became a minor obsession after discovering the Reno connection to the story.

Sharon Honig-Bear: A Taste for History

  • Date: Sunday, April 5, 2020 (first Sunday)
  • Time: 12:30 PM
  • Location: Reno Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street, Reno

Sharon Honig-BearCome savor a visual history of local food, drink and the industries that surround them! "Edible Traditions" columnist Sharon Honig-Bear has fashioned a presentation based on her past four years of columns in Edible Reno Tahoe magazine. There are new images that were never published in the magazine. Discover unknown stories like sugar beet production in Fallon, Chicken Soup Hot Springs in Washoe Valley and the turkey farms near where Park Lane once stood. The presentation is fast-moving and full of surprises about your backyard—the food that was once enjoyed in the area.

Sharon Honig-Bear is a long-time board member and tour leader for Historic Reno Preservation Society. In addition, she was a restaurant columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal and is now a columnist for Edible Reno Tahoe magazine.


Debbie Hinman: Alice's Journey

  • Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 (third Wednesday)
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

Debbie HinmanIn 1909, intrepid 22-year-old Alice Ramsey made history as the first female cross-country motorist, driving a Maxwell DA from New York to San Francisco in 59 days. Coming through Reno in August, she stayed overnight in the Riverside Hotel. Hear about her amazing journey in a time before interstate highways and before most women had even considered learning to drive.

Debbie Hinman is a Reno native and UNR graduate. Active with HRPS since 2004, she is a researcher and writer for HRPS's quarterly publication, FootPrints, a walking tour guide and a board member. She is also a member of the City of Reno Historical Resources Commission. She credits Pat Klos' early HRPS walking tours with sparking her interest in local history.

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Upcoming Events

19 Feb
HRPS Program - Wilbur D. May
Date 02/19/2020 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
1 Mar
HRPS Program - Nevada State Board on Geographic Names
Date 03/01/2020 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
18 Mar
HRPS Program - ALSOS: The Hunt for Hitler's A-Bomb
Date 03/18/2020 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm
5 Apr
HRPS Program - A Taste for History
Date 04/05/2020 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
15 Apr
HRPS Program - Alice's Journey
Date 04/15/2020 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm