Paul McFarlane—Fleischmann Planetarium turns 60

Paul McFarlane
  • Date: Sunday, September 10, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

In November, Reno's Gateway to the Stars, the Fleischmann Planetarium, turns 60 years old. Come discover how a scientist and musician, a visionary architect, a top-notch engineer, construction company, and a curator with an imagination that stretched to the very edge of the cosmos created a unique historic institution and idea. Their vision was not only to open a planetarium, but to create something that had never existed before: an Atmospherium, a place which could present the daytime sky as well as the nighttime sky.

Paul McFarlane is the current director of the planetarium. He's taught K-College students for over 30 years, created interdisciplinary space programs and worked as a writer and director of film and media projects. He's trained at the Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and has represented Nevada at Honeywell Educators at Space Academy. For several years he and his wife Jenny operated the first Challenger Center in Nevada, taking thousands of students and teachers on NASA-based simulated missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Matthew Makley—Sacred Waters, Secular Waters: A History of the Reclamation Act (1902), Pyramid Lake, and the Truckee River

Matthew Makley
  • Date: Sunday, October 8, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

The sacred centrality of water for Indigenous communities in the American West has not been enough to protect that water in American courts. As the twentieth century unfolded, Native communities had to find secular and legally sound ways to protect sacred waters. Nowhere is this clearer than on the Northern Paiute Reservation at Pyramid Lake. This talk will focus briefly on the Reclamation Act of 1902 which set in motion the "Newlands Project." It will then describe the ways the Tribe fought, using the legal system, to reclaim and protect its sacred waters.

Matthew S. Makley, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the History Department at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is the author of The Small Shall be Strong: A History of Lake Tahoe's Washoe Indians (2018), which won an American Library Association award for "Outstanding Academic Titles." Born and raised at Lake Tahoe, Makley has lived in Golden, Colorado since 2007.

Michael Fischer—The History of the Picon Punch

Michael Fisher
  • Date: Sunday, November 12
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

The Picon Punch is a popular adult beverage in northern Nevada bars and Basque restaurants. Find out about its main Ingredient and the building in which it was first served in Nevada. Trace the "Nevada Drink's" main ingredient from North Africa, where it was used as an anti-malarial, to downtown Reno, and across the state. Integral now to the Basque Culture, it wasn't always so. This program dispels some incorrect information and brings new information to the fore!

Michael Fischer, D.D.S., is a former dentist and UNR graduate with years of culture affairs service. Fischer served as Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, on the Western Folklife Center board, the Douglas County Historical Society, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, and the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society. Vice President of the Nevada Agricultural Foundation, he portrays agricultural pioneer H. F. Dangberg, Sr. and Governor John Sparks in Chautauqua performances.

Short Annual Meeting

Karen Burns—How to preserve the costumes and entertainment: When Hollywood Came to Reno!

Karen Burns
  • Date: May 7, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

When the world-famous MGM Hello Hollywood, Hello! show opened in 1978: it was billed as The Biggest Show in the World, on The Biggest Stage in the World appearing in The Biggest Little City in the World, Reno, Nevada — it was a BIG deal! Karen Burns was a professional dancer appearing in many shows, most notably: Hello, Hollywood, Hello! Karen had the unpreceded opportunity to purchase "a piece of history" of over 1,250 of the original spectacular costumes from this show. These costumes help to “Tell the Stories of Art, Culture and Entertainment”, when Reno, Nevada was once one of the Entertainment Capitals of the World!

Karen Burns has been a Nevada resident for over 60 years. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno with a Bachelor of Arts in English, German and Physical Education with Dance Distinction; plus maintaining a current State of Nevada Educational License for teaching school. Karen is currently the producer/director/owner of Karen Burns Productions LLC, an entertainment company. Karen is also a writer, speaker/lecturer, wife and mother.

Midtown merchants: Larry DeVincenzi, Christian and Kasey Christensen, Eric and Monique Baron—Surviving Midtown: A Panel Discussion

A site of contruction on Virginia Street in Midtown
  • Date: April 2, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

The owners of three businesses discuss the challenges of keeping their businesses going during major street construction and redesign on South Virginia Street, followed by the Covid pandemic, which forced business owners to change how they operated facing restrictions, construction barriers and customer health and safety concerns.

Larry DeVincenzi and his family came up with the idea for Rum Sugar Lime during a family vacation in Mexico. The idea was to introduce Reno to an upscale, tropical bar experience.

Christian and Kasey Christensen opened Süp restaurant in Midtown in August 2007. With their combined 40 years of restaurant service and ownership, they focus on healthy homemade recipes made daily from scratch.

Eric and Monique Baron of the Melting Pot World Emporium in Midtown got their start vending fashion and lifestyle items at outdoor West Coast music and arts festivals. They’ve traveled to many countries to source unique products for the shop.

Michael Branch—Raising Wild

Michael Branch
  • Date: March 12, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

Local author and educator Michael Branch gives a lively presentation featuring his books, including Raising Wild: Dispatches from a Home in the Wilderness and On the Trail of the Jackalope.

Michael P. Branch is a professor of literature and environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he teaches creative nonfiction, American literature, environmental studies, and film studies. An award-winning writer and humorist, Michael is a recipient of the Silver Pen award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Anne Simone with ZoAnn Campana—The Life and Works of Frederic J. DeLongchamps

Anne Simone
ZoAnn Campana
  • Date: February 12, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

This video program by Anne Simone and ZoAnn Campana highlights the work of Frederic J. DeLongchamps, who had a long career as an architect in Reno and the surrounding area. He designed seven county courthouses, six of which are still in use.

Ann Simone moved to Reno in 1998 and immediately joined HRPS and became a Walking Tour guide three years later, focusing her research on the architects who designed our historic buildings, including Frederic DeLongchamps, Edward Parsons and Russell Mills.

ZoAnn Campana is a professional architectural historian, and is responsible for the Newlands Historic District being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. She researched more 600 properties in the process.

View Anne's Presentation — The Life and Works of Frederic DeLongchamps: Reno, Sparks and Washoe County

View ZoAnn's Presentation — The Life and Works of Frederic DeLongchamps: Beyond Washoe County

Matthew Makley—Sacred Waters, Secular Waters: A A History of the Reclamation Act (1902), Pyramid Lake, and the Truckee River

Matthew Makley
  • Date: CANCELED
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

With the possibility of more snowy weather, poor parking availability due to snow berms along Center Street and side streets, and with heavy snow and icy roads lingering in many residential areas, we have elected to cancel this Sunday's program by Matthew Makley. We hope to reschedule Matt for next January when he comes back for a visit to Reno from Colorado.

Thank you for understanding. We'll see you in February!

Veronica Fraser—Mrs. Mackay and the Bonanza King: A Chautauqua Presentation

Veronica Fraser
  • Date: Sunday, November 13, 2022
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

Born in New York City in 1843, Louise Mackay spoke four languages and became known for her quick wit, generosity and charm, and was a hostess of international fame in Paris and London. But her focus was always on her husband John Mackay, her children and extended family. Louise and John met in 1866 and they were married in Virginia City. John's physical stamina and knowledge of Nevada's Comstock Lode, and his wise choices in partners, paid off when they hit the silver bonanza that made the mining district famous.

Veronica Fraser has been active in community theater for more than 30 years in three states. Shortly before the COVID 19 pandemic began, she enrolled in a class at OLLI called, "Be a Chautauquan." She had just finished reading "The Bonanza King" by Gregory Crouch, and about a hundred years of Nevada history opened for her along with a connection to Louise and John Mackay.

Scott Carey—The Great Truckee River

Scott Carey
  • Date: Sunday, October 9, 2022
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

The Truckee River has provided the water needed for life along its banks and has literally shaped our region. Scott will discuss the significance of the river to the Native American people of the Great Basin who have lived along the Truckee River since time immemorial. He will also discuss the historic Truckee River floods of 1955 and 1997 and their impact on the entire region.

Scott Carey grew up in Sparks, attended local public schools and used the Governor Kenny Guinn Memorial Scholarship to graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. Scott is a lifetime member and volunteer of the Sparks Heritage Museum, and since 2009 has served on the museum's Board of Trustees.

Debbie Hinman—Exploring the El Reno Apartment Homes

Debbie Hinman
  • Date: Sunday, September 11, 2022
  • Time: 12:00 Noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

The El Reno Apartment Homes are examples of the work of architect Paul Revere Williams. In 1936, Williams built a demonstration house made of steel for the Architects Building Materials exhibition in Los Angeles. A year later, Reno builder Roland Giroux had 15 of the homes shipped to Reno and assembled at 1307 S. Virginia St. Ten years later, the units were sold off individually and moved to other spaces; twelve of the units still exit. Debbie will present an overview of the homes and some history of them and their occupants.

Debbie Hinman is a Reno native and a University of Nevada, Reno graduate. For the past 20 years, she has been involved with Historic Reno Preservation Society as a tour guide, and as a researcher and writer for the HRPS publication FootPrints. She is vice president and interim president of the HRPS Board of Directors, and chairs the City of Reno Historical Resources Commission.