Filed Under Residences

Moffitt House (site)

Roberts House / Bradshaw House

Constructed sometime between 1890-1910, the two-story house at 843 N. Lake Street was a rare, significant example of the Free Classic Queen Anne style in Reno. Defining features of this house included its prominent round porch, which was supported by a series of Tuscan columns. Also notable was the semi-hexagonal bay projecting from the first story to the right of the porch, and a pair of round windows on the projecting front gable.

This was the early home of David and Lucinda Moffitt, who had moved from Reno after establishing their home in Plumas County, California in the 1860s. A son had apparently committed suicide in California before the family's move to Nevada. By 1910, Lucinda was widowed and living here with her three surviving children: Elizabeth, Clarence, and Frank (known by his middle name, Floyd).

Clarence left home and Elizabeth died in 1923, and while Floyd was in San Francisco to purchase his wedding clothes in 1924, their mother Lucinda committed suicide, using wire to lash herself to her bed which she saturated in kerosene and set afire. The house was saved, but she was not. The damage was confined to the bed.

In 1929 or 1930 this became the home of then-Mayor Edwin E. Roberts and his new wife, Sadie Tomamichael. Roberts was re-elected Mayor in 1931, but died in 1933 of complications from diabetes, one day before his 64th birthday. His widow Sadie stayed in the house until 1939.

By 1941 the Bradshaw family had moved into the house: Thomas J. Bradshaw Jr., his wife Grace, and their children. Thomas was one of 10 children who grew up in a ranching family in the Fernley area. His family owned the Oasis Ice Cream and Confectionary Shop in Fernley before they moved to Reno, where their children were born.

In 1941, Thomas was appointed Deputy County Quarantine officer, working with the plant division of the Dept. of Agriculture, for $100 a month. The Bradshaw children, Lois, Thomas, and Charles Kenneth, known as Ken, all attended the University of Nevada. Lois graduated in 1944. The boys left school to fight in the war. Young Tom enlisted in the Air Corps in 1943 and was wounded over Germany in his first mission in 1944, earning a purple heart. Ken was a sophomore in Engineering in 1944 when he joined the Navy. He returned to the university as a veteran and got a degree in mathematics in 1955.

The Bradshaws remained in the house until the 1970s. The house served for a long time as a two-unit rental, with a small duplex (the former garage) and a three-unit apartment house in the rear. It was demolished by the University of Nevada, Reno to make way for a seven-story parking garage.

Images

Moffitt House, 2016
Moffitt House, 2016 The house's unique Free Classic style comes through in the round porch with Tuscan columns, pedimented front gable, and overall Classical detailing. Creator: Emily Rogers Date: 2016
Mayor E. E. Roberts (left) shaking hands with Governor Balzar.
Mayor E. E. Roberts (left) shaking hands with Governor Balzar. Edwin E. Roberts was a colorful and popular mayor (1923-1933), an outspoken advocate for legalized gambling and a strong opponent of prohibition. He served for 3 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911-1919 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Senate (1920 and 1926) and for Governor in 1930, losing to Balzar. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: ca. 1932
Lois Bradshaw
Lois Bradshaw Lois Bradshaw was a journalism major and a popular student at the University of Nevada. She was the president of the Fine Arts Club, a member of the Publications Board, Kappa Alpha Theta, Cap and Scroll. Source: Artemisia Yearbook. Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1944
Ken and Tom Bradshaw
Ken and Tom Bradshaw Adjacent photos of the Bradshaw brothers, Ken and Tom, on the Sigma Nu fraternity page in the Artemisia Yearbook of 1943. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1943
Backyard rentals
Backyard rentals The building on the left has three apartments, the smaller building on the right is a duplex. Source: Resource Assessment, City of Reno Historical Resources Commission Creator: ZoAnn Campana Date: 2016

Location

843 N. Lake Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

The Reno Historical Team, “Moffitt House (site),” Reno Historical, accessed July 19, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/148.