Carson City 1865: 'Snaix' for pets and news of Indian wars

The Carson Daily Appeal appears in the files of the Nevada State Library in May 1865. A lively and informative paper, the Appeal has stiff competition and is riding the wave of history. President Lincoln has been assassinated. Jeff Davis is about to be apprehended and burned in effigy on Carson Street. They're talking about amnesty for southern prisoners.

In our own corner of the world, Virginia City is taking off, there's a war brewing with the Indians in Paradise Valley and we have competition between fire engine companies.

What better way to explain Carson City's History, than through the words of the Appeal writers of the day:

May 17, 1865


Some Pai-Utes have a couple of snakes to dispose of as pets for women and children at Gold Hill. Both small, in the two to three foot range. Both varmints have their eye teeth out and no doubt will make very pleasant play things. R. H. Stretch, Esq., while surveying for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad north of Carson found a rattlesnake six feet, 11 inches long and had 24 rattles in his tail. No doubt this "snaix" is the oldest settler in Washoe. The snake seems in good spirits and consumes a frog a day at dinner and one or two tumble bugs for breakfast and dinner. Mr. S. designs to send him to the International Exhibition in Paris as a specimens of varmints from Nevada.

Arms for the Humboldt

Governor Blaisdel has sent a stand of 55 guns with equipment a few days since to Humboldt for Judge Dunne for distribution among the citizens. The Indians in a fair Way to receive a well merited chastisement.

May 20, 1865

Emigrant train

An emigrant train, numbering five wagons, passed through our town yesterday. They are from Humboldt, where they have been passing the winter. The animals appeared to be in very fine condition.

Engine trial

The members of the Warren and Curry Engine Companies will have a friendly trial of the relative sucking and squirting quantities of their machines at half past two this afternoon on Carson Street.


Adjutant General's Office. General Cradlebaugh has removed his office from its old locality in the north wing of the pavilion to a more eligible position and better neighborhood. He is now opposite us, having very judiciously selected a location immediately opposite the Appeal office.

Rent of pews

We are informed that a handsome sum has recently been realized by the Presbyterian society in this city for the support of the minister by the rent of the pews. They rated from $4 to $8 per month " a few went for less. Applicants bid for the choice. This does away with the necessity of soliciting contributions from the audiences for the minister. Seats reserved for strangers.

A whole flag wanted

The flag that flies from the tall staff on Carson street is out of keeping of the times. It might have done some months ago to float over a "Constitutional Democrat" constituency, but is not exactly "the cheese" for these days of restored peace. The rebellious winds have torn it in such a manner that is divided into three parts. The upper portion is divided, a little scrap in the upper corner serving to represent New Jersey and Delaware, the main body being emblematical of the States that voted for Mr. Lincoln and the lower portion, flying independently, showing seven states and a few significant stripes of "red, white and red." That flag needs a thorough reconstruction.

War talk with the Indians.

Gov. Blasdel and Colonel McDermitt are going to Nye County net week to the Cortez region for the purpose of a war talk with chiefs of the tribes that have been making trouble in the Humboldt region.

May 24, 1865

Fire talk

It is a good deal of accomplishment to "blow fire talk" according to Hoyle. Maybe we don't know how. We didn't succeed very well, however, in our last attempt. The fact is, we never were thoroughly graduated in the school of the mash-sheen. We did once enter the University, dedicated to the reeling and running of hose; but being deficient in the necessary elementary education embraced in the primary lessons on butte, nozzles and spanners, we failed to pass such an examination as was requisite to secure us a diploma. We distinctly remember ruining two or three suits of clothes while we belonged to that hose company; having a big greasy pair of knuckles stuck under our nose, when on one occasion, we made claim to hold the pipe; and we also remember having it intimated that our resignation was accepted with marked alacrity by our "brother firemen." Well, it seems that we made a botch of ear time of the other day in relation to the trial between our rival engines, the Warren and Curry. Our attention has been called to the fact (which we never knew before) that one machine can't "wash" another through and inch and a quarter hose ....

May 25, 1865

A new rule of the Supreme Court

Mr. Alfred Helm, Clerk of the Supreme Court, kindly furnished us with the following additional rule adopted by the Supreme Bench.

Rule 3. The calendar of each term shall consist only of those causes in which the transcript shall have been filed three days before the commencement of the regular term. Provided, First, that a cause of consent of parties may be heard at any regular or adjourned term of the Court when such hearing will not derange the regular order of business.

Second. When an appeal has been perfected and the statement settled twenty days before the commencement of any regular term, the respondent may on notice to appellant move at any time during the regular or an adjourned term to place the cause on the calendar and when placed on the calendar it will be set for trial at some convenient day for the Court and parties, but the Court will not hear the case the day it is placed on the calendar except by consent of both parties.

Third. Appeals from orders granting or denying a change of venue or any other interlocutory order made before trial will be heard at any regular or adjourned term upon three days notice being given by either appellant or respondent when the parties live within twenty miles of Carson. An additional days notice will be required for each forty miles or fraction of forty miles from Carson.

May 26, 1865


One of our printers keeps a great big hummocks of a Newfoundland pup. The dog is bigger than he is and more mean than a Virginia boarder sees in a week. "Where did you get that big 'beef terrier'?" asked an inquisitorial citizen of our type. "Raised him," said the Disciple of Franklin. "What kind of a dog is he?" was the next question. "Setter," replied print. "What breed of Setter, I'd like to know?" "Type Setter" was the conclusive jointer. An epileptic fit seized the interrogator when he got the point.


A telegram from Colonel McDermitt to Governor Blasdel yesterday says: "Captain Wells had a fight with the Indians, 500 strong and well fortified. He was unable to rout them and wants a field howitzer sent to him."

Is there such a thing in the state? If there is, we hope it will be sent to the Captain, with a full supply of powder, canister, grape, chain and everything else that will kill a red skin for we think the Captain "is on it" if he only had the tools to work with successfully. Where are the filed howitzers? Send them along for heaven's sake.

Ladies strawberry festival

A raiding party of ladies made a sudden dash into our editorial camp yesterday, and took us prisoner before we had time to escape. We had to surrender to superior numbers and were compelled to accept their terms.

Upon inquiry we learned that they were a detachment of "the Church party" " not a part of the Mexican faction known by that distinctive title " but a Carson Episcopal Church party. They addressed as through a fair spokeswoman and stated the object of their expeditions to be the enforcement of the publication of any time at our hands to the effect they were going to hold a "Strawberry Festival" at the Pavilion.

- Trent Dolan is the son of Bill Dolan, who wrote a column for the Nevada Appeal from 1947 until his death in 2006.


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