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Stories by author "Alicia Barber": 59

Located in the northwestern portion of Idlewild Park, the California Building is the only remaining architectural element of the Transcontinental Highway Exposition of 1927. Idlewild Park was created for this exposition, which celebrated the…

The story of what is now known as the Truckee Lane Building begins with the construction of the Hughes-Porter building in 1941. This part of town had long been a peaceful residential area filled with churches, including the First United Methodist…

Reno’s longest-running newspaper, the Nevada State Journal, began publication in 1870 in a building located on Virginia Street between First and Second. In 1876, the inaugural year of its rival paper, the Reno Evening Gazette, the Journal moved…

“If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.” The clever motto—part description, part good-natured warning—graces an arched doorway inside Casale's Halfway Club, which has been operating as a restaurant for more than 70 years. “Mama”…

The Sutro Motel, at 1200 East 4th Street, is one of the most picturesque motels along old U.S. 40. It is composed of two Spanish Mission-style structures straddling the east and west sides of Sutro Street, prompting many to guess that they were once…

This area was bustling with activity in the 1930s. After serving as a lumber yard for decades, the entire block was starting to transform from primarily industrial to commercial uses, with four new buildings being constructed on the Fourth Street…

With its machinery still operating at full tilt, Martin Iron Works is one of the industrial pillars of East 4th Street. This is the second location for the business, which was founded by Martin Schwamb in 1939, just around the corner at 300 Morrill…

A sudden increase in construction activity hit Reno in the early 1930s, following the legalization of gambling and the reduction to six weeks of the residency requirement for securing a “Reno divorce.” In 1934, one of the largest projects…

Guido and Bruno Pincolini were already experienced grocers when they opened Pinky’s Market at 535 E. 4th Street in December 1946. The brothers had opened the Reno Public Market on E. 2nd Street in 1934 when they were just teenagers. After World War…

It is not surprising that many businesses along Fourth Street in the heyday of U.S. 40 dealt in some way with automobiles and related supplies. But one in particular brought to Reno some of the most iconic vehicles of the mid-20th century. Allied…

Union Iron Works opened at 555 E. 4th Street in 1935, helmed by seasoned blacksmith Ed Casinella, who had worked for years in the shop of Andrew and John Ginocchio (founders of Reno Iron Works). Casinella specialized in ornamental iron work for many…

The electric streetcar line established between Reno and Sparks in 1904 enabled easy commuting between the two towns and spurred the creation of many new neighborhoods. It also led to the founding of the area’s first family resort, Wieland’s…

On the surface, East 4th Street may not inspire thoughts of fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables, but for decades, the brick building at 575 E. 4th Street played an important role in getting produce straight from farms to local tables. It was…

John Corsiglia had this three-story brick building constructed on his property at Fourth and Peavine (later Evans Avenue) in 1907 for $20,000. A native of Italy, Corsiglia had immigrated to the United States in 1870, reportedly working for a time as…

In 1940, business was booming for the Reno Brewing Company. Founded in 1903 and having survived Prohibition by selling near beer, soda, and other related products, the company was entering the new decade with confidence. In February, plans were…

“Reno need no longer send east for lager,” rejoiced one of the local papers upon the opening of the Reno Brewing Company in 1903. Located on the corner of E. 4th and Spokane Streets, the new company joined a number of existing breweries in Reno…

All eyes turned to Reno on June 21, 1910 with the exciting news that the small city would soon be hosting the heavyweight championship battle between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries. The catch? The fight was just two weeks away. Boxing promoter…

In the early 1900s, the establishment of an electric streetcar system was a clear sign of a city’s growth as well as faith in its potential for future expansion. There was therefore cause for great celebration on Thanksgiving Day, 1904, with the…

The first business to be constructed on this side of the block, Nevada Welding Works literally blazed onto the scene in 1931. Reportedly the first electrically welded building in the state, the original section, considerably set back from Fourth…

The elegant Nevada-California-Oregon (NCO) Railroad Depot was constructed in 1910, replacing an earlier depot that had operated on leased land at the corner of Lake and Plaza Streets. The railroad line it served was founded in Reno in 1880 as the…

The summer of 1931 was an opportune time for constructing a new hotel in Reno. Just months earlier, the Nevada state legislature had both legalized gambling and shortened the required residency period for divorce-seekers to a scant six weeks,…

Still commonly referred to as the Flanigan Warehouse, this expansive brick building brings together Reno’s ranching, industrial, and railroad heritage. It was constructed in 1901-1902 on the eastern outskirts of Reno primarily to store wool and…

The development of the Farris Motel tells a tale of early automobile tourism and entrepreneurialism along East Fourth Street. The entire area was parceled off as the “Kappler’s Addition” to Reno in 1906, two years after streetcar service had…

The 80-unit El Rancho Motel No. 2 was opened in 1954 by Pete Cladianos, Sr. on the former site of the Nevada Packing Company, which had ceased operations in 1947, and burned down in 1950. Its demise opened up a prime location for a motel on the…

In the early 1950s, ads for Harolds Pony Express Lodge directed tourists to “look for the gigantic neon sign.” It would have been hard to miss, towering then, as today, over Prater Way, at the western edge of Sparks. A classic Old West scene, the…

Lumber was big business throughout the Tahoe basin from the time of the Comstock, when thousands of acres of Sierra forest were cut down to construct underground support systems for the mines as well as the towns they founded. Numerous lumber…

Reno in the first decade of the twentieth century was a rapidly modernizing little city with an increasingly cosmopolitan flair. The arrival of well-heeled visitors, many in town from the East Coast to secure a six-month Nevada divorce, prompted the…

Rick's Resort was opened around 1909 by Rick DeBernardi, the son of Swiss immigrants, several miles west of Reno on what was then called the Old Verdi Road. In the summer of 1910, the resort shot to fame as the training quarters for prizefighter Jack…

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