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Clever slogans promote Nevada towns

Perhaps the best known community slogan in Nevada is Reno’s “Biggest Little City in the World,” adopted in the 1920s.
PHOTO BY RICH MORENO |

Over the years, many Nevada communities have adopted colorful slogans to help set them apart from other places. Undoubtedly the most famous is Reno’s “Biggest Little City in the World” slogan, which has appeared on several different archways spanning Virginia Street since 1929.

While the art of civic sloganeering seems to have dried up in recent years, the following are some of the more interesting slogans used to promote those communities.

“Cattle Kingdom in the Copper Hills” — This descriptive phrase was used to promote the Western Nevada city of Yerington for several decades. It said everything you needed to know about Yerington, namely that it was a cattle-raising area that also had a thriving copper mining industry.

A classic billboard, which carried the slogan, stood at the entrance to the town from the 1960s to the early 1990s, when it was, sadly, destroyed in a rainstorm and not replaced.

“America’s Valley of the Nile” — The Northern Nevada community of Lovelock used this unusual claim during the 1930s. It meant that the Lovelock, despite sitting in the desert, was an agricultural mecca—ala the real Valley of the Nile in Egypt. Additionally, one of the area’s largest ranches was the Nile Ranch—so it was intended as a kind of play on words.

“Rose City of the Silver State” — Caliente in Eastern Nevada began using this nickname after World War II when residents planted Rose bushes throughout the town to honor fallen veterans. A Rose Memorial Park was established, which is still maintained by the town.

“Gateway to Hoover Dam” — Just as Reno had its famed arch, in the mid-1930s, Las Vegas’ Fremont Street was home of an arch that carried this proud claim. The name said it all.

“City of Destiny” — Las Vegas has always reinvented itself and from 1937 to 1938, this slogan found its way into the city’s promotional efforts. It meant that Las Vegas was a city on the move—progressive, growing and dynamic.

“Still A Frontier Town” — In the late 1940s, Las Vegas embraced this term, which appeared on postcards and advertisements. The slogan reinforced the modern-yet-western image the city had adopted, which was best seen at resorts such as the western-themed New Frontier and El Rancho.

“Chicago of the West” — In the early part of the 20th century, the tiny Southeastern Nevada community of Beatty was frequently referred to by this name in newspaper reports because, as the gateway to the booming mining town of Rhyolite, it was served by three railroads.

“Pittsburgh of the West” — In the 1880s, the Central Nevada mining town of Eureka was graced with this description because of the presence of many smoke-belching mills processing the area’s lead and silver ore.

While today the term might seem derogatory, it was a point of pride in the late 19th century, implying that Eureka was a busy, successful industrial community, much like Pittsburgh.

“Loneliest Town on the Loneliest Road” — Showing that the fine art of inventing slogans isn’t completely gone, in the 1980s, Eureka adopted this phrase to capitalize on its location on U.S. 50, which is known “the Loneliest Road in America.” The slogan appears on billboards outside of the town and in promotional advertising. It appears to have worked since the town hasn’t seemed as lonely as it was once.

Rich Moreno covers the places and people that make Nevada special.