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Nevada's Historic Buildings

A Cultural Legacy

Ron James, Elizabeth Safford Harvey

Publication Year: 2009

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History

Title Page

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pp. vii


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pp. ix-xi

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pp. xiii-xiv

This work pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers working with the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs to preserve the state’s rich heritage. Each volunteer has made a difference in his or her own way, and all Nevadans owe them a debt of gratitude. We are particularly grateful to those volunteers...

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pp. 1-10

Remnants of Nevada’s architectural heritage are scattered like flecks of gold across the state’s map. Clinging to the sides of windswept mountains or perched beside desert springs, they bear silent witness to the state’s history. When scrutinized, these quiet mementos surviving from earlier times can be...

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Chapter 1. A Territory of Humble Beginnings

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pp. 11-25

Early trappers and explorers crossed what would become Nevada during the 1830s and 1840s. The cliché of the westward movement, as summarized by Frederick Jackson Turner in his renowned frontier thesis, would have farmers follow the pathfinders, from the Atlantic, across the...

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Chapter 2. A State of International Fame

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pp. 26-51

Had it not been for the pivotal events of 1859, the Kiel Ranch adobe, the Foreman-Roberts House, and the Genoa Courthouse would have been harbingers of the region’s future economic development, foretelling of growth in its agricultural and transportation industries. Nevada’s fate...

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Chapter 3. The Other Early Nevada

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pp. 52-78

Nevada’s legendary gold and silver deposits sparked rushes and catapulted Nevada to statehood, but mining was not the only industry playing a role in the state’s early settlement. Ranchers, railroad workers, craftsmen, merchants, innkeepers, homemakers, and many others also helped develop the...

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Chapter 4. A New Century

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pp. 79-123

At the turn of the twentieth century, a new mining boom energized the state. Discoveries in central Nevada generated dozens of rich gold, silver, and copper mines, and two desert metropolises, Tonopah and Goldfield, emerged. In a parallel development, copper mines in eastern Nevada flourished...

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Chapter 5. After the Boom

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pp. 124-144

The 1920s introduced yet another phase of history and economic change in Nevada’s social and cultural life, lasting into the 1930s. This was an era of cultural experimentation and economic challenges, and a new generation of Nevadans followed an established pattern of finding innovative ways...

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Chapter 6. A New Deal

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pp. 145-174

The era of the New Deal constitutes a distinct and exciting phase of Nevada’s history. Responding to the challenges of the 1930s, the federal government worked with Nevadans to stimulate its economy. Key to this collaboration was the launching of construction projects across the state. The most...

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Chapter 7. Inventing the Future

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pp. 175-188

The meaning of the term historic shifts with time. Eventually, modern buildings grow older and, if they survive, are recognized as historic. Futuristic structures of the late 1950s and 1960s were designed with little regard to history, so it is with a bit of irony that they can now be regarded as...

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Chapter 8. Learning from Remnants of the Past

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pp. 189-200

Throughout the course of Nevada history, an unremarkable structure has endured. The simple adobe at the Kiel Ranch may or may not be the oldest building in the state. Between fact and folklore, the past remains vaguely defined. In spite of its age and the formidable obstacles confronting preservationists...


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pp. 201-210


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pp. 211-216


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pp. 217-224

About the Authors

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pp. 225

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780874178067
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874177978

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 94 photos/1 map
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Wilbur S. Shepperson Series in Nevada History