History of Nevada Diversity

Reno Jewry

Reno's early Jewish community played an important role in the development of Northern Nevada's largest city, creating an economic, religious, and intellectual legacy that continues into the twenty-first century. In 1868, Jewish merchants were among those who purchased lots when the Central Pacific Railroad auctioned off land along its right-of-way for the creation of Reno.

Reno and the African American Divorce Trade: Two Case Studies

From 1906 until the late 1960s, Reno, Nevada was known as the "Divorce Capital of the World." Before the modern age of no-fault divorce, legal dissolution of marriage could take years, or it was simply not allowed. Early in the twentieth century, a number of states competed for the nation's migratory divorce trade and the economic opportunities found in offering relatively quick divorces. Lenient divorce laws were usually centered on a residency requirement and allowable grounds for divorce.

Pyramid Lake War

The Pyramid Lake War of 1860 was the single greatest confrontation between American Indians and whites in Nevada's history. It was caused by the onrush of thousands of settlers to the Washoe country, lured by reports of valuable silver and gold deposits on the Comstock, combined with the lack of any effective organized government in the area. By the spring of 1860, the often unruly influx of Euro-Americans approximately equaled the Northern Paiute population in the area, impinging on their scarce resources and food supply.

Pueblo Grande de Nevada: Lost City

Beginning about 300 BC, a native culture developed and flourished for over 1000 years in the Moapa Valley of Southern Nevada. This culture's development paralleled the well-known Puebloan cultures of the Southwest in the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. It was related to neighboring Southwest cultures by its technology and agricultural lifestyle. It may or may not have shared language and kinship. The modern Hopi culture in Arizona claims all of these people as their ancestors. In the Hopi language these "ancient ones" are known as Hisatsinom.

Preston and Lund

Preston and Lund are small communities in southwestern White Pine County established by Latter-day Saints in 1897 and 1898, respectively. Situated west of the Egan Range in the White River Valley, they are relatively isolated from other communities in White Pine, Lincoln, and Nye counties. Ranching and livestock raising have been the traditional economic activities. 

Prehistoric Trade at Lost City

Many artifacts found in the Lost City sites at Pueblo Grande de Nevada in the southern part of the state were transported long distances by prehistoric people. Members of the Anasazi community may have traveled seasonally or traded with other travelers for "exotic" items. Some of the non-local goods found at the Lost City are shell beads from California coastal areas, obsidian from Utah or central Nevada, turquoise from California, and pottery from Anasazi groups in what is now Arizona and Utah.

Philipp Deidesheimer

Philipp Deidesheimer, the Comstock inventor of the square-set timber system, made deep hardrock mining a possibility throughout the world, thereby becoming a respected mining engineer. Deidesheimer was born to Jewish parents in Darmstadt, Hesse in 1832 before German unification. He attended the prestigious Freiburg School of Mines. At nineteen, the young mining engineer traveled to the California gold fields to work for several years. Eventually, he addressed one of the Comstock's most critical needs.

Peter Ranne of the Jedediah Strong Smith Party

Peter Ranne was the first known man of African descent to enter the boundaries of the modern state of Nevada. As a member of Jedediah Smith's traveling party, Ranne took part in the Smith party's 1826-27 trailblazing journey through the region that would become Nevada.

Patrick Manogue

Father Patrick Manogue is one of the most widely celebrated figures of the Comstock. Born in Ireland in 1831, Manogue immigrated to the United States at seventeen and began his studies of priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary of Chicago. Unable to continue financing his education, he left the seminary and joined the California Gold Rush. He labored in the mines of Moore's Flat for two years when he met Archbishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany, who persuaded Manogue to continue his studies at the seminary of Saint Sulpice in Paris, France.


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