History of Nevada Diversity

Daughters of Charity

The Daughters of Charity, also known as the Sisters of Charity, served the mining town of Virginia City from 1864 to 1897. They present a fascinating example of how religious women and traditional religious institutions adapted to life in remote Western towns. Led by Sister Frederica, Sisters Xavier and Mary Elizabeth traveled to the Comstock in 1864 under the directive to open a school and hospital in Virginia City.

Cyril S. Wengert

Cyril S. Wengert was a prominent banker, public utility manager, and civic leader who helped to turn Las Vegas from a town into a city. A second-generation German American, Wengert moved to Las Vegas with his family when he was seventeen, and began working for his father as an ice wagon driver in 1907.


Distinctive, prehistoric stone crescent tools are found from Washington state to Southern California and from the Coast Range to Southern Arizona. By far, however, they are most commonly found in the Great Basin, where they are usually associated with playas. The function of these crescent-shaped, chipped stone artifacts has eluded archaeologists for several generations. There is a range of shapes and sizes, but they are part of a continuum and may be a single functional type. Great Basin crescents are distinguishable from other crescent-shaped artifacts (e.g.

Coyote Willow

The Coyote Willow (scientific name Salix exigua) is a hearty tree commonly found throughout Nevada and is also known as Sandbar Willow. It has been used for many years by the Great Basin Indians, specifically the Washoe, Paiute, and Shoshone. It was extremely important as a part of their culture for both material goods and medicinal uses.

Cornish Immigrants

Cornwall, England's western-most county, is one of six Celtic nations that include Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and France's Brittany, each sources of immigrants to Nevada. As early as the Bronze Age, Cornwall's tin mines won fame, but failure of Cornish mining in the 1830s inspired immigration to other centers of mineral production. About 100,000 Cornish left a county that had a population of almost 370,000 in 1861.

Contemporary Great Basin Basketmakers

For the native people of the Great Basin, weaving carries both historical and contemporary significance. In their past, the Shoshone, Paiute, and Washoe people practiced a way of life based in part on the seasonal harvest of wild plant resources, and weaving provided most of their tools used to harvest, prepare, and store these foods. As Euro-American people moved west into the lands of the Great Basin Indian people, ways of life were forced to change. Although native people adopted many Euro-American goods, weaving baskets endured as a symbol of native identity and artistic expression.

Communal Antelope Drives

Pronghorn (antelope) were among the most important big game animals hunted by Nevada's indigenous people. Individuals or small groups of hunters would pursue them during the summer months. In the spring and fall, when the animals congregated into larger herds, individual families would come together for communal pronghorn drives. The drive usually required the services of an antelope shaman who directed activities and was believed to have special powers that let him "charm" the animals into a trap.

Claudine B. Williams

Claudine Williams of Las Vegas was a trailblazer for women when men controlled Nevada's business world. She was the first woman in the state to head a major casino and the first to chair a financial institution. In later life, she became a leading community philanthropist with education and child welfare at the top of her list.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have had a presence in Nevada for more than 150 years. They were the first people of European descent to establish a settlement in Nevada. Soon after the Mormons located in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, their leader and prophet, Brigham Young, laid claim to a vast section of the interior west. The church designated this region as the “State of Deseret.” However, when Congress created Utah Territory in 1850, it ignored much of the Mormons’ claim.


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