This lovely spacious home was built circa 1910 and though alterations have been made over the years to accommodate its use as student housing, the downstairs rooms of the home retain their original character. The architectural style is a bit difficult to assess, but it is likely a Craftsman, considering its wide roof overhanging the generous porch with its solid columns.
This was the longtime home of Olla Mack. Olla’s husband Winfred, a well-known bacteriologist, veterinarian and professor at Cornell University in New York, accepted a position at the University of Nevada and the Macks moved to Reno the end of 1906. Mack suffered from tuberculosis and believed the dry climate would be better for his health. The Macks lived on 6th Street, then moved to the Lake Street house. Dr. Mack continued to distinguish himself and became the Nevada State Veterinarian. Olla participated in many women’s groups and hosted numerous local social events in her beautiful home at the base of the campus.
In 1918, Winfred passed away, still in his forties. While recovering from the death of her husband, Olla was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For the next few years she continued with her activities until the disease progressed to the point that she could no longer easily get around.
In order to support herself and remain in her home, Olla became the community’s main contact for magazine subscriptions. Bedridden for the last 20 years of her life, Olla worked the phone, calling all of her Reno contacts who were more than happy to help her by ordering magazines. For several years, Reader’s Digest awarded Olla a prize for being a top saleswoman of their publication. Olla Mack died in 1958. She left an estate of over $50,000, much of which went to medical charities. The university purchased the home in 2005 and for the past ten years, has been renting it out to students.