Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Washoe County Court House and Hotel Riverside, Reno, Nevada

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.



La Belette Rouge said...

Love the photo of you two! How great that you reunited with your friend. Really, to state the obvious, the Internet is amazing that way.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Cool. It feels almost supernatural to find ourselves talking to someone we thought of as living in Memory Land. Woah -- speaking of Memory Land, at 7:10, the narrator says, "El Dorado," which caused me to hear the narrator saying the same phrase in the Beatles' Revolution No. 9 ... and I haven't heard THAT in many a year :-)

Nancy said...

Can I join as a little Reno girl, too? :-)

How wonderful to be reunited with an old and dear friend. I love how we can find people who once meant so much, but have disappeared from our lives.

It still amazes me how much Reno has changed since we were growing up. It's sooo different.

Lydia said...

Belette~ Fun to share the photo and the story. You were a little red-headed girl, too - right?

Who Am Us Anyway?~ You are aware, are you not, that you have one of the most unique blog titles in the blogosphere?! Speaking more on Memory Land, from what I've read at your blog you are a treasure-trove of music history and trivia. Like the "El Dorado" line...I didn't know that and maybe can find it at youtube (or elsewhere) to hear.

Nancy~ Of course you are in the little Reno girl club, although a few years behind "Kp" and me. Hey, did you by any chance go to Mt. Rose School where we went? What a joy that it's been preserved; Reno isn't usually good at all about appreciating historical buildings...
Ever have a fresh-squeezed OJ downtown at The Wigwam? :)

Melinda said...

Again, loved Old Postcard Wednesday and you brought back more memories (as usual). I spent a year driving between Truckee and San Francisco one summer. I love that little town (haven't been there for years!).


Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i always love your postcards and havent seen them nearly enough recently. Thanks for sharing all the info - i hid all my kiddie pictures: look more like a girl anyways xx

Terresa said...

My parents went to UNR and my oldest sister was born in Reno before they moved back to Las Vegas.

Reno is a sweet little town. I've visited it only once and thought it was quaint (umm, compared to Las Vegas).

PS: Great vintage post card!!

Lydia said...

Melinda~ Wondering about your Truckee to San Francisco drive now...that would be a long commute. Perhaps it was a relationship that was at the root of the travel. In any case, I love Truckee (named a dog I had in the 70s-80s Truckee).

Pixies~ Wow, so good to have you here and thanks as always for your comments. Funny that you hid your kid pics. I actually destroyed the school shots from seventh grade; they were not to live on!

Terresa~ Thank you for following my blog and for contributing your interesting comments at this post! I went to UNR for some years, but graduated in Oregon at George Fox U. I wonder if your sis spends time ever in Reno since it's her birthplace. Sounds like you were born in Vegas; what a place! My sister's ex husband remarried, moved to Vegas and raised his family there. You'd probably know the business name if I dropped it here, and maybe even know his daughters.
Thank you for seeing the sweetness that exists in Reno. I try to look at it with a tender eye...

Nancy said...

No I went to Florence Drake and Kate Smith. But my oldest daughter went to Kindergarten at Mount Rose - just before the new school was build.

Yes! I loved the Wigwam. Do you remember dragging Main?

Lydia said...

Nancy~ I remember Florence Drake school but not Kate Smith.
Since the original Mount Rose School building is still there, you must mean that your daughter was there while a new school closer to your home(?) was being built. I walked around Mount Rose School and took photos two years ago, and aside from having been TP'd over the weekend it looked the same.
Absolutely I remember dragging Main. Wasn't that just sheer excitement looking into the other cars to see who else was out on the town?

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

El Dorado ...
It's at
6:40 here
... and believe me, if you're under 50 years old, and I totally think you are, I forgive you for not wanting to hear it :-)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

The two photos of you are just lovely! Hugs.

Lydia said...

Who Am Us Anyway?~ I am over 50 but guess what? Tonight I listened to Revolution 9 the whole way through for the first time in my life (and then another vid backwards while I was there at youtube). You might think I was weird, but I had the cassette of the White Album that someone taped for me, and I would FF past that song because I didn't get it. I still don't!
Thanks; you're great for sharing and teaching.

Phivos~ Funny, cute kid pictures of my best friend back then (on the left) and me! Hugs back.

bfk said...

Gee, Lydia, I was enjoying the Nevada State Journal blathering on about the location of the court house, then I got sidetracked with your Third Grade Prize Fight ("Ya shudda seen da utta girl"), then just again with Revolution No. 9. To get it, you NEED to hear backwards. I'll send it to you.

Lydia said...

bfk~ I absolutely love your comments. You always could, and still do, just delight me so.
OK, I see that you have sent Rev9Backwards to me in my email, along with astute commentary. I will pay attention to this during the week. ;)



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