From Ely to Las Vegas and back, communities will celebrate Nevada Archaeological Awareness and Historic Preservation Week with a score of activities, including walking tours, lectures and exhibits.
Here's a summary of local events this weekend:
Comstock Historic Preservation Weekend begins at the Fourth Ward School, where two new exhibits open in the changing gallery at 10 a.m. today. Admittance fees are $2 for adults, $1 for children 6-12. Children under 6 are free with an adult.
-- The story of the Fourth Ward School has been researched and compiled by the school's scholar-in-residence, Susan James. This exhibit will become a permanent feature for the school and traveling format will soon bring the exhibit to schools and other entites around Nevada.
-- During the restoration of the E.L. Weigand room last year, a tangle of artifacts were found beneath the floorboards, including papers, ink nibs, erasers, chalk, maps, and block letters made of cardboard with juniper branches sewn into them. A page from the school's past, those artifacts have become an exhibit.
-- Dinner in the E.L. Wiegand Great Hall is starts at 7 p.m. this evening and features McAvoy Lane as Mark Twain. The event has filled up, but those wanting to see McAvoy Lane are invited at 8 p.m., the charge is $8.
-- A living history showcase of characters will visit Fourth Ward classrooms from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, including school teachers, children, a doctor, miner and stockbroker.
-- Chataquan Michel Fischer will portray pioneer cattle king John Sparks in the E.L. Weigand Great Hall Saturday from 3-4 p.m.
-- A commentary on the Fourth Ward School will be presented by Susan James, with annotations by living history characters and John Sparks, in the Hall from 4-5 p.m.
-- The Comstock Children's Chorus, directed by local musician Squeek Lavake, will perform at 1 p.m. Sunday, followed by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Awards, presented by Historic Preservation Officer Ron James. -- the Historic Costume Fashion Contest follows at 2 p.m. and the Silver Tea, a Preservation Weekend tradition, rounds off the festivities from 3-4 p.m.
-- Saturday is International Museum Day and in honor of that event, Carson City's Nevada State Museum will waive the price of admission. The largest in the state, it features an underground mine exhibit and an Imperial Mastadon, a behemoth from the Pleistocene Age. Located at 600 N. Carson St., the museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
-- A ride on a steam train ride costs $2.50 for adults, $1 for children 6 to 11 at the Nevada Railroad Museum Saturday. The museum features landscaped grounds and several important historic pieces of rolling stock from the Virginia & Truckee, the railroad that hauled passengers and freight to and from Virginia City's famous Comstock Lode.
The Dayton Historic Society will focus on the historic community's railroad history at the Dayton Museum Saturday.
-- Bernie Allen, a member of the Friends of the Carson City Railroad Museum, will present a lecture at 1 p.m. on the history of the Carson & Colorado narrow gauge railroad.
-- Longtime Dayton resident and railroad buff Afton Frederick will give tours of the sites where railroad lines ran through Dayton, Sutro and the Carson Valley at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
-- Nevada State Museum Curator of History Bob Nylen will display a historic gold nugget found in Gold Canyon by pioneer John Orr at the Dayton Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 14.5-gram nugget was recently donated to the Mmuseum by Orr's family.