On May 29, visitors to Carson City’s annual Wild West Tour will be able to take part in a rally for the right to vote – or not to vote – under the banner “No idiots, traitors or felons! Men who didn’t pay the $4 poll tax, oh, and women”. Participants will get to witness an election when a vote was simply written on an average slip of paper and passed into a voting box.
Better yet, visitors can join Nevada’s Silver Party and see if Hannah Clapp can persuade them to the cause of rights for women and education. Clapp is perhaps best known for outsmarting the men of the Territorial Legislature by signing her name, “H. Clapp” on job estimates to win construction jobs then reserved for “men only.”
Outrageous politics of the late-1800s and early-1900s will be the order of the day while traveling visitors and locals relive Nevada’s colorful history as guided tours lead to the very doorsteps of historic homes and buildings where the state’s early governing took place.
Visitors will be able to stroll sidewalks shaded by centuries-old cottonwood trees and stop to play a game of croquet with the dynamic William Stewart on the lawn of the Stewart Nye house. The 1860s lawyer was one of the strongest leaders in bringing order out of chaos during the early political years. Stewart was highly trusted by mine owners gaining him the title “father of American mining law”. For 40 years he conducted Nevada’s destiny first as a territorial legislator, then as a U.S. Senator. Many other clever characters from Carson City lore saunter by on this lovely spring day. Thankfully, guides are well versed in ‘historic slang’ to keep at bay even the most aggressive lobbyist on the street. Keep an eye out for Nevada gunfighters hired to keep the peace, often by the discharge of a six-shooter.
The 1.5-mile tour begins at the Nevada State Museum, 600 North Carson Street, and departs every half hour starting at 9:30 a.m. The last tour leaves at 2:30 p.m. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 687-7410. Adult tickets are $10, seniors and children 12 and under are admitted for $8. Children under 6 are free.