New Yorker collects Carson City ornaments | Teri’s Notebook
For the Nevada Appeal
Amanda Hammon Lonsberry posted a photo of her Christmas tree on her Facebook page with the caption, “Look, the prison is right next to the holy family.”
On her tree in Mount Morris, N.Y., it doesn’t make any sense. But for those of us in Carson City, it makes perfect sense.
Since 2002, the city, through the Downtown Redevelopment Citizens Committee, has created an ornament as a way to highlight unique historic and unique buildings.
An Austin native, Lonsberry covered the ornaments while working as the city government reporter at the Nevada Appeal.
She moved away before they actually came to fruition, but her friend, Kelli Du Fresne, also from the Appeal, sent her the first one.
“I was so tickled because I’d written about it,” Lonsberry said. “Every year since then, she has devotedly sent me one.”
Last year’s silver ornament depicted the Nevada State Prison, which operated from 1862-2012 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
After getting married, moving across the country and five kids later, Lonsberry keeps up the tradition.
“I love it. The kids love it,” she said. “I always say, ‘Who wants to put mommy’s town on the tree.’ I’m pretty sure I’m the only person east of the Mississippi who has a complete set.”
This year’s ornament is the Brougher-Bath Mansion, is a historic house at 204 W. Spear St.
It was built in 1903 by Wilson Brougher, a mining tycoon who owned the Arlington Hotel next door.
In 1936, the house was sold to Ernest Bath, Carson City’s postmaster. At that time the post office was located in the Laxalt Building.
According to Carsonpedia, “Ernest Bath liked to sit on the balcony of his house so he could watch the clock tower at the post office and make sure the time was correct.”
Past years’ ornaments have been the Central School, Laxalt Building, Nevada State Mint, St. Peter’s Church, Bliss Mansion, Capitol, St. Teresa of Avila Church, Governor’s Mansion, St. Charles Hotel, V&T Depot, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church and the Civic Auditorium, now the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada.
Ornaments may be purchased at the Purple Avocado, 904 N. Curry St.
In all my years, I have never gone to Drive-thru, Living Nativity presented by the First United Methodist Church. I hope to attend tonight.
Nearly 200 people of all ages are involved in the telling of the story, along with live donkeys, cows and sheep.
“In our world of uncertainty, this message of hope and abiding love is our gift to the community,” the church said through a press release.
No fees are charged, though canned food is collected for those in need.
The Living Nativity will be 6:30-8 p.m. tonight and Sunday. Enter at Division and King streets, west of Carson Street. For more information go to http://www.carson1umc.org or call the church at 882-1436.