Time to remember Nevada

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Nevada Day has always been a time to remember and this year is no different.

The Nevada Day Inc. folks have again put together several days of events to help us remember the Silver State's history.

Eileen Cohen and the Carson City Preservation Coalition will remember the seven blocks of Chinatown at 10 a.m. Friday on the corner of Stewart and Third streets. A deserved remembrance, as in 1880 there was one Chinese inhabitant of Carson City for every five Caucasians. By the 1950s, the community was nearly wiped out and only six inhabitants of Chinese descent were listed by census enumerators. Today, nothing but a few memories and photos remain.

Coin Press No. 1 will again be put to work minting coins with the proceeds going to help us remember and restore the V&T Railroad between Gold Hill and Carson City. Some 350 coins have been sold for $100 each. Another 4,650 more being made in the weeks to follow will be sold for $48. Call 687-7410 to order yours.

I spent my childhood riding my ornery pony aptly named "Princess" and my dad's Arabian "Fannie" up and down the portions of the railroad grade in Gold Hill. Since I've turned 30, I've spent many a day riding my mountain bike on the continuation of that grade between Carson City and Gold Hill. And though I'm not sure how the two uses will meld in the future, reconstruction of the railroad will be a big help to the region's economy, our memories and therefore our future.

Kind of a weird circle, if you ask me. But I stray.

Saturday's parade, drilling contests and Carson Street festivities remind us - mostly of the importance of having fun - and celebrating 139 years of statehood.

For longtime and native Nevadans it's a time to see faces in the crowd you haven't seen in years. It used to be time for a Frosty Cone, but that like many other things is gone too. Dairy Queen comes close, but it's just not the same as a Frosty Cone in the warm October sunshine.

Us old-timers also miss the double trick or treat. Used to be you could take advantage of the treating twice - once at home and again in Carson City. We quit seeking treats at about age 13 when I was growing up, and instead kicked into trick mode. Just a warning - don't run with a backpack full of eggs; they're tough to throw when they're scrambled.

The 1864 Grand Ball will remind attendees not only of the manners, dances and fashions of the 1860s, but of the beauty of Piper's Opera House.

Sunday, we're reminded of Emma Nevada, by the Sparks Little Theater's production "Emma Nevada." Mary McNeill, a sixth-generation Nevadan, plays Emma. Emma Nevada Wixom moved to Austin when she was 3. By age 7, she was singing for miners and the beginnings of her fame began. Emma performed across Europe, America and to a sold-out crowds in Austin and Virginia City.

The Nevada State Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum will open their doors for free on Saturday. If you're new to the area, visiting for the weekend or haven't been through the museums since your sixth-grade-field-trip days, you should stop in.

The gov's house on Mountain Street will also be open for tours. Take a stroll west along Robinson Street through the city's historic district and check out the old homes and the Halloween decorations.

Apart from Halloween and Nevada Day, Oct. 31 marks the 90th anniversary of the Lincoln Highway.

The highway, America's first transcontinental auto route, follows Carson Street/Highway 50 and Interstate 80. On Friday, firefighters along the route will honor those lost during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The idea came about in the midst of a cross-continent trek by Craig Harmon in the Spirit of the Lincoln Way, a 1964 Maxim open-cab, 100-foot ladder truck. Harmon visited 350 fire departments and raised the flag to the top of the ladder and even stopped in Carson City.

On Friday, the remembrance begins at noon in New York with the sounding of the alarm. Remembrances continue across the US marking the times of the tower strikes and ending with the crash of Flight 93. At 8 p.m. eastern time, firefighters are being asked to light a bonfire to create a light around the world in honor of Abraham Lincoln and those lost Sept. 11. For more on this visit online at: www.lincoln-highway-museum.org

For more on Nevada Day visit: www.nevadaday.org. For an online exhibit of photos from past Nevada Day parades, surf by www.nevadaculture.org.

To find some long-lost friends or for an inoculation of Nevada spirit, get out there this weekend and celebrate. The parade starts at 10 a.m. For early risers, about a dozen balloons will launch over the capital city about 7 a.m.

For night owls, catch the RSVP carnival and fireworks. The midway and rides will be going most of the day and fireworks are set for 7:30 p.m.

We need to champion these causes that help us to remember our past. Support their efforts - even if you're not a history buff, remember the history of our area helps to keep us clothed and fed.

Kelli Du Fresne is features editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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