SESQUICENTENNIAL IN REVIEW
The following links will take you to stories detailing specific events in Fallon to celebrate Nevada’s birthday:
To see the series of sesquicentennial historical articles from the pages of Nevada’s newspapers, go to nevadaappeal.com and type in “Sesquicentennial” in the archive box. The Lahontan Valley News, the Nevada Appeal and Record Courier began printing the historical articles in November 2013.
Fallon became the first community to establish a local commission to honor Nevada in 2014 as the Silver State began celebrating its 150th birthday with a series of events.
Because of its outreach and impact, the LVN’s No. 1 story of 2014 is Nevada’s sesquicentennial and how Fallon emerged as an active player.
Nevada became the 36th state on Oct. 31, 1864, and during the year, many events marked the state’s birthday.
The Fallon committee co-chaired by Michon Mackedon and Valerie Serpa took an active role of sorting through numerous ideas in which Churchill County residents could participate.
Furthermore, the state minted a silver medallion commemorating the sesquicentennial.
Among the highlights of the sesquicentennial are as follows:
A rededication of a U.S. postage stamp honoring the sesquicentennial was held on June 21. Painting has been one of Ron Spears’ greatest passions in life.
As the artist of Nevada’s sesquicentennial postage stamp, the Reno resident and university professor earned a great honor when he was commissioned to design a stamp to portray the uniqueness of the Silver State during its year-long 150th birthday celebration. At the Northern Nevada re-dedication of his stamp at the Old Fallon Post Office, Spears said the two plus years of working on the project was well worth the time, especially when the stamp was officially unveiled last month in Las Vegas.
Before the re-dedication began, Mayor Ken Tedford Jr., Mackedon and Serpa received a communiqué from a Pony Express Rider. Then, attendees moved inside to hear speeches and the reading of a mayoral proclamation.
Later in the day Wells Fargo Bank treated visitors to rides aboard a stagecoach, and the first concert in the park attracted hundreds of music lovers.
A major activity honoring “Hometown Heroes” culminated with a fun run/walk and “fun day” on June 21.
Former Fallon standouts who attended were Josh Mauga, linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs; Aarik Wilson, an Olympian from the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing; professional golfer Scott Smith; Jennifer Hucke, a volleyball player who competed on state and national-winning teams; Jodi Dolan, a softball payer at Ohio State University; and Paige Sauer, who played basketball for the NCAA champions University of Connecticut.
Fallon’s first community-wide reunion in mid-August coincided with Nevada’s sesquicentennial and is one of the marquee events organized locally by the Mayors NV150 Commission.
The reunion invited Fallon graduates, teachers, support personnel and friends of the Greenwave to attend and reminisce about their school days.
From self-guided tours of Lattin Farms and Churchill Vineyards to the Old High School and a Sunday breakfast at the Elks Lodge, the class of 1964, which graduated during Nevada’s centennial year, celebrated the sesquicentennial in style as members toured Enel’s Stillwater Geothermal Plant, Lattin Farms, Churchill Vineyards, the former high school and museum.
The Class of 1964 held their reunion to coincide with Fallon’s community-wide reunion that attracted hundreds of former students, teachers and support personnel to Oats Park for an afternoon of camaraderie and an evening of listening to the Dusty 45s at a free concert-in-the-park.
“There were certainly a lot of people at Oats Park Saturday night for the reunion of the various classes,” said Tedford. “I heard a lot of positive comments.”
Tedford met graduates who traveled miles to be in Fallon for Saturday night’s festivities and also graduates from the early and mid-1940s.
Also at the concert to cap a yearlong marketing campaign, Dixie Hankins won the winning ticket for the Toyota Corolla, the grand prize for the Live Local Fallon program.
October was full of activities.
Nevadans — including thousands in Fallon — assembled at once to sing the state song in attempts to set a world record, which materialized
A special event took place in downtown Fallon at the historic court house. White Pine, Eureka, and Lander counties put together Nevada 150 proclamations to be delivered to the state offices in Carson City.
Churchill County joined the other counties and issued its own proclamation with a ceremony at on the court house steps on the corner of Williams Avenue and Maine Street.
The Mayor’s NV150 Commission capped a year-long celebration of various events in Fallon with the lowering of a time capsule on Oct. 31 followed by an open house at the museum for visitors to see Then and Now projects and to buy autographed books with either Churchill County or Nevada themes.
The time capsule was stuffed with memorabilia — coins, medals, publications, photographs, artwork and other items — and once it was lowered, a cement lid was placed on top of its resting place. The next group of residents will be able to open the vault in 50 years when the state celebrates its 200th birthday.
Local architect Frank Woodliff III designed the special vault for the time capsule.
In addition to the time capsule ceremony, the winners for the Then and Now projects were announced, and a cake commemorating the 150th birthday was ceremonially cut by Tedford and Carl Erquiaga, chairman of the Churchill County Commissioners.
Mackedon and Serpa signed copies of their photo book, “Images of America: Fallon” while Linda Rasmussen and Fernando Rollano signed copies of “A State that Made a Nation Great.” Copies of “Churchill County Memories,” which was compiled by the museum and the Lahontan Valley News in 2009, were also sold.
The shift of activities moved to the Venturacci Park gym that night where attendees saw a square dancing exhibition from the Oasis Squares and then did some dancing themselves in an event sponsored by the Fallon/Churchill Fire Department.
The Nevada Day parade on Saturday plus other events in Carson City concluded the statewide sesquicentennial activities.
Scott Carey, a member of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s sesquicentennial committee, said Fallon did a good job in holding its events.
“The Fallon community was one of our most aggressive ones,” Carey said, adding that the community was a tremendous partner with the state.