It's hard to believe that when the Washoe County Court House was built in 1872 it was "outside of the original plat of Reno on the south side of the (Truckee) river," despite open opposition to the County Commissioners' decision to place it there. In fact, during the site selection process the Nevada State Journal wrote:
In making a permanent location for the courthouse, the County Commissioners should not be influenced by the selfish interests of this or that man. Reno is a permanent and growing town, and the courthouse should be located with a view to the future. It should not be too near the river, for the noise and confusion of the rushing waters, whenever the river is at a high stage, is a very serious objection. It should not be on or near the business streets of the town, where the noise and clatter of the surrounding business would seriously interfere with court affairs. It should be located sufficiently near the business portion of the town, on a plat of ground large enough for plenty of room on all sides of the building, so that the surroundings can be adorned with shade trees and ornamental shrubbery. [Source: Washoe County Clerk's Office]
The trees in the drawing are obscuring the lovely dome of the Court House, which can be seen in some nice inside shots at the Court House Web Photo Gallery.
Last August, I featured a beautiful, much-older postcard of this area of Reno showing a vintage Riverside Hotel. You can view the postcard and read some history of The Riverside at that post: Reno, Nevada, Along Virginia Street.
The video below is actually a very good nine-minute drive through downtown Reno, where, evidently, "the noise and clatter of the surrounding business [that] would seriously interfere with court affairs" is no longer a concern. The concerns of the citizens back in the early 1870s for Reno's future are like specks of dust long ago paved over.
In this video at the 1.24 minute point you will see on the left the Court House and what remains of The Riverside. These views are shown and explained by the narrator up to the 2.50 min. mark. By the 3.44 min. mark you'll be driving over the Truckee River and the rest of the drive gives you a sense of the downtown casino area.
This post is dedicated to my childhood friend, "Kp," with whom I've recently been "techy reunited" via Facebook. She emailed me last week saying she enjoys these old postcards, so I think she deserves one that will bring back some personal memories of the town where we grew up together. She, now living in the Southwest, and I, here in the Pacific Northwest, might take a few minutes for a mental journey back to the place where we were best friends all through fifth grade. "Kp" reminded me that we were separated into different sixth grade classes, a memory that brought back the sadness. Years later we graduated in the same high school class and then lost all contact until late 2009. When her birthday card to me arrived in the mail a month ago I swear I recognized her handwriting instantly, even before reading the return address.
Back in third grade it was really exciting when our thumbnail class photos were placed next to one another in the full-class photo sheet. Exciting then, and handy now because it was easy to scan. "Kp" is the darling little red-headed girl on the left. I'm the one with the butterfly stitches bandaged on my forehead and scuffs on my chin. Honestly, I wasn't much of a tomboy as a girl.....but I made exceptions when it came to fighting for love! I wonder if "Kp" remembers which boy inspired my tussle with that girl named Debby who moved a few months later up to Virginia City, of all places.
My mother was horrified by this photo but I absolutely adored it. After the "incident" and while she was at work, I cut my bangs to show off the bandage installed by the school nurse, and the following morning - the day of the photo shoot - my head hurt too much for my mother to work with my hair. All these years later, these shots remain my favorite school pictures of both "Kp" and me.......two little Reno girls.