How to live on nothing a year, and other information from the papers of July 1878 |

How to live on nothing a year, and other information from the papers of July 1878

Trent Dolan
Special to the Appeal

Anyone who has lived in Nevada for any period of time knows that what goes up must come down.

The following article was reprinted in the Morning Appeal from the Tuscarora Times-Review:

The other day, a party of gentlemen were discussing the author of Lacont’s famous problem “how to live on nothing a year” – when a well-known Tuscarora sport chipped in as follows: “Gentlemen, I can probably throw some light on that subject, for I know how the little old fidadlio can be did. Last spring when I landed in Tuscarora, I hadn’t narry cent, and me and my part rented a one-horse dugout above town … and then we commenced rustling for grub and household furniture. I hipped a bar of soap for a starter. Pard nipped a towel from a neighboring clothes line and then the nipping became general. We now have a first-class room up town and possess a full assortment of furniture and other articles of luxury and comfort … The great problem of how to live on nothing for a year is easily solved, gentlemen, is all on the nip. If you don’t believe my racket ask the first mining superintendent you meet.” Satisfactory.

Adolph sutro denied

Adolph Sutro was a man of vision. Having driven a tunnel beneath the Comstock Lode, he had envisioned draining the hot water from the mines allowing even more gold to be extracted from the honeycomb of shafts under Virginia City.

Last week we left you with the opening of the tunnel at the Savage Mine. Now Sutro wished to go through his tunnel, and through the Savage and exit at Virginia City. He asked Colonel Gilette, superintendent, if he could be granted permission. Gilette telegraphed the president of the mine. He was denied.

Mr. Sutro disliked to disappoint the friends who were to accompany him, he concluded to start and take the chances of getting through. Arriving at the point of connection between the tunnel and mine, he and his friends passed through and after seems little delay, up the incline and shaft to the surface, and thence by private conveyance back to Sutro, over the grade.

After years upon years of arduous toil and patience and after many years of abuse, the order of General Williams not to allow him through the Savage Mine and the subsequent discharge of the man who ran the giraffe tender that took them to the surface was hardly what anyone expected from a gentleman of his standing.

Mr Sutro exonerates Colonel Gilette from all blame in the matter, pronouncing him, as he truly is, “a perfect gentleman.”

The situation at McDermitt

The post commander at McDermitt, realizing that the military force there was weak, had issued orders that any soldiers leaving their quarters should be armed. According to newspaper accounts, the Indians there were Piutes, and no one would be the wiser if hostiles entered the area unless friendlies made notice of their arrival. The intelligent Indians there knew the garrison was weak, where the ammunition was kept and that information could be easily given to anyone wanting it. Settlers took the attitude that any Indians found north of McDermitt were to be treated as hostile.

The folly of our treatment of these wild men is so apparent as to excite amazement. It seems totally inexplicable save upon the most mortifying of theories – that of chronic corruption in the system itself.

The Turnverin Picnic

The Carson Turners were to join the Virginia and Gold Hill Turners in a picnic to be held at Treadway’s Orchard on Aug. 4. This would be “one of the most thoroughly enjoyable events ever in these parts.”

Somehow it is a part of their training to enjoy themselves heartily and rationally. No sprees; no excesses; but solid, healthful enjoyment. It will be a thing.

It takes the Germans to have a merry time.

Proposed race on Lake Tahoe

The Territorial Enterprise reported a race proposed between Dr. Kirby, county physician and a boat owned by John McKenney of Lake Tahoe. The “Fleeter” is a 23-foot sailboat made in New York and brought to this coast by Cape Horn. The race was to cover a distance of some 144 miles from Emerald Bay, Yank’s, Glenbrook, Hot Springs and Tahoe, then back to McKinney’s, the starting point. Each boat would carry the owner, a helper, and a referee. Boats had to touch each ending point and sign in.

A Shoshone Medium

The Tuscarora Times-Review found a Shoshone medicine man who was a spiritual medium in the “raw material.” He was described as follows:

There is a sort of sub Shoshone chief encamped with his people near Tuscarora, who would prove a perfect bonanza to the spiritualistic fraternity of Boston or San Francisco. Captain Bob is the English cognomen of this remarkable savage. Bob is an old resident of Elko County; has always been friendly to the white soldiers; is more than ordinarily intelligent, and speaks English tolerably well. Bob is a genuine spiritual medium, and firmly believes that he holds daily communion with the Great Spirit. Like Peter the Hermit, Bob believes himself inspired, and that God has ordained him to evangelize and save the wicked members of his tribe from everlasting burnings. On Thursday evening last some citizens of this place concluded to humor this strange being in his desire to preach to the sinful denizens of the town. Lamps were placed upon the balcony of the C.O.D. saloon, and after being introduced to a large multitude who had gathered on the street, he stood up in a devout attitude, evidently praying to the Great Spirit for the anticipated spiritual inspiration. Presently in broken English the savage began a strange recital of his interviews with the Diety … At intervals the Indian would stop his harangue and suddenly sit down. The Indian spoke in the Bannock and Piute tongues, and concluded by uttering the Bannock war-whoop.

It is to be hoped that our spiritualistic friends may give some explanation of the strange phenomenon.

More next week.

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