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 frontage.
On the block’s west side, facing what was then called “Surprise Valley Road,” Harry E. Stewart (who served twice as Reno’s mayor, in terms separated by 20 years) had run the Nevada Transfer and Warehouse Company for years. In 1939, he constructed a building next door to his warehouse for the Reno branch of the Zellerbach Paper Company, a wholesaler of paper, stationery, and notions with headquarters in San Francisco.
The new building at 420 Valley Road had an office and sample room and 12,000 square feet of floor space. A spur track from the Southern Pacific Railroad extended just north of the property, making it easy to load and unload shipments.
The paper company remained at this location through the 1940s. In the sixties, Home Imagineering offered complete home remodeling services from there, and Art Martson moved his printing business into the building in 1974. A commercial printing and mail service followed. The spacious brick building is now owned by Marilyn Marston.