Berry House

North House / Nelson House

The two-story Queen Anne-style house at 839 N. Center Street, built around 1900, was home to four families and a university professor during the 1900s, before becoming a rental in 1999. The Norths were the first occupants. A newspaper article in October 1897 reported that "Judge Junius M. North, formerly of Eureka, died in Reno ... he had a family of girls and boys attending the university and public schools and was living here to give them school advantages." According to census records for 1900, his widow and four daughters lived in the house on Center Street: Mary was a teacher, Amelia and Ruby were to graduate from the university in 1900 and become teachers, and Angelina was a high school student.

Sometime between 1907 and 1910, C.O. Murphy and his wife Margaret and their three children became the new occupants after they moved from Nebraska to Reno, where he found work as a quartz miner. In 1913 or 1914, Nels Bernard Nelson, a Norwegian clerk, and his wife Grace bought the house and lived there with members of an extended family, including his father and her mother, until his death in 1935. Grace continued to live in the house with some of their children and the family of her daughter Evalyn's (Haynes) until 1940.

In 1940 and 1941 the house was occupied by Oral E. Clark, professor of Military Science and Tactics at the university. In 1942 William and Frances Berry and their teenaged sons bought the house. Frances died in 1993 and Bill remained in the house until 1998, shortly before his death. Bill Berry, a reporter at the Nevada State Journal, was known nationally for his coverage of celebrity divorces as a "stringer" and for his coverage of winter sports.  Later in his life he gained recognition for his long career as a ski historian who co-founded the U.S. Ski History Hall of Fame and the Skisport Museum at Boreal, California; and authored the book Lost Sierra: Gold, Ghosts & Skis: The Legendary Days of Skiing in the California Mining Camps.

In 1999, Fred Atcheson, who owned the house next door at 829 N. Center Street bought Bill Berry's house and turned it into apartments for students and other renters. He sold it to the University of Nevada, Reno in December 2015.

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839 N. Center Street, Reno, NV