Filed Under Residences

Atcheson House (site)

Folsom House

In August of 1895, Lewis D. Folsom purchased a lot in the center of the 800 block of Center Street for $450. Here he built the stylish two-story, eight-room home once located at 829, with its typical Queen Anne adornments such as spindle trim above the porch and windows, and elegant turret with its fish scale roof. Born in Maine, Folsom had come to Nevada in 1874 and opened a store in Gold Hill. He met Mary Keville, who had come west from Massachusetts and the two married in Dayton. Ten years later they moved to Reno, where with a partner named Gallatin, Folsom bought out Jerry Schooling’s grocery business.

The house was designed and built by architect George E. Holesworth, who that same year was appointed supervising architect for the University. It featured the latest conveniences including a modern range, gas and electric lights in every room, and a dumb waiter comprised of shelves that could be raised or lowered to the cellar at the push of a finger. The foundation was made of stone from a quarry north of Reno owned by Robert L. Fulton. The house's completion was such a notable event that the newspaper raved in December of 1895, "in point of architectural beauty and modern convenience it is doubtful if there is another residence in town that can equal it." Lewis died in 1918 but Mary Folsom remained in the Center Street home she loved for many more years.

Around 1943, the home was purchased by Katie Atcheson. and was later passed down to her son Merle and his wife Mary, a talented and much-in-demand pianist. Their son Fred, a local attorney, occupied the house and continues to live there to this day. He divided the home into apartments and rented to university students. He sold the property to the University of Nevada, Reno in early 2016.

The University had the Atcheson House demolished in June 2020 to make way for a future College of Business building.


A remarkable early photograph
A remarkable early photograph One of the earliest known photographs of North Center Street shows the house, then owned by the Folsoms, with the houses of Virginia Street to the rear and a couple, likely the Folsoms, on the porch. Source: Fred Atcheson Date: ca. 1900
"One of the prettiest homes in Reno"
"One of the prettiest homes in Reno" Upon its completion in December of 1895, Lewis D. Folsom's beautiful new house earned its own newspaper article praising its unparalleled combination of architectural beauty and modern conveniences. Following the excerpt included here, the article goes on to praise the architect and builder, George Holesworth. Source: Daily Nevada State Journal Date: December 31, 1895
View from University entrance, 1913
View from University entrance, 1913 A photograph appearing in the University of Nevada yearbook, Artemisia, in 1913 provides a remarkable view of Center Street looking south from the University entrance gates. The turret of the Atcheson House is visible on the right. Source: University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno Date: 1913
Fred Atcheson
Fred Atcheson Fred Atcheson stands outside the house at 829 North Center Street, which his grandparents purchased around 1943. Creator: Alicia Barber
The Atcheson House
The Atcheson House This photograph from the northeast shows the front porch of the Atcheson house on North Center Street in 1995. Source: Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries Date: 1995
Springtime at 829 Center
Springtime at 829 Center Professional photographer Emily Rogers documented the houses on Lake Street and North Center Street in the contested University Gateway area. Creator: Emily Rogers Date: 2016


829 North Center Street, Reno, NV


Deb Hinman, “Atcheson House (site),” Reno Historical, accessed April 12, 2024,