Filed Under Businesses

Zellerbach Paper Company

The expansive building has housed a paper and stationery wholesaler, an art studio and printer, and more.

This area around East 4th Street and Valley Road 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” (later shortened to just "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 brick 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. In 1974, Art and Marilyn Marston bought the building, and Art, who was a renowned artist, moved his studio and printing business, Art Marston Printing, inside. After his death in 1986, a commercial printing and mail service, Valley Print and Mail, operated in the building, which Marilyn Marston leased to a series of tenants through the early 2000s.

Audio

Negotiating the right of way Interviewed in 2012, building owner Marilyn Marston recalls an incident in 1984 when the City of Reno made an unusual request regarding the historic brick structure. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Creator: Laura Wilhelm Date: 2012

Images

Valley Arts
Valley Arts In 2014, Marilyn Marston leased the building to a group of artists, while the exterior remained the same. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
New location
New location The Reno branch of the Zellerbach Paper Company had previously been located just a bit further east, at 730 E. 4th Street, as seen in this newspaper advertisement from 1926. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: October 27, 1926
New building underway
New building underway A newspaper article in May of 1939 described plans for the new "modern" building, which would triple the size of the space then occupied by the Zellerbach Paper Company. Source: Nevada State Journal Date: May 7, 1939
Home Imagineering
Home Imagineering A home remodeling company called Home Imagineering occupied the Zellerbach Paper building in the sixties. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Date: December 16, 1963
Marilyn Marston
Marilyn Marston In 1974, Marilyn Marston and her artist/photographer husband, Art, purchased the building, and Art moved his studio and printing business there. Here she poses with some of his paintings. Creator: Patrick Cummings Date: 2012

Location

420 Valley Road, Reno, NV

Metadata

Alicia Barber and Marilyn Marston, “Zellerbach Paper Company,” Reno Historical, accessed June 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/94.