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Preservation grants awarded to Nevada projects

Staff reports

The federal Institute of Museums and Library Services has awarded grants to two Nevada historic preservation projects including the excavations of several Comstock saloons.

“The saloon is a great American icon that has shaped our view of the West,” said Historic Preservation Officer Ron James.

His office has been working with the University of Nevada, Reno and the Comstock Archaeology Center since 1993 to excavate four saloons in Virginia City. They have uncovered a large cache of artifacts including the world’s oldest known Tabasco sauce bottle, which was recovered form the Boston Saloon in 2002. The Boston was a saloon which catered to African Americans on the Comstock and operated from 1864 until 1875.

In addition to the Boston, the sites include John Piper’s Old Corner Bar and an Irish saloon.

The grant to help set up an exhibit featuring artifacts from the Virginia City saloons is for $97,000.

In addition, the federal agency granted $250,000 to install exhibit related equipment at the historic Las Vegas Post Office and Courthouse building. The structure has been listed on the state and national Register of Historic Places. It opened in 1933 and played a significant role in the history of Las Vegas. The structure is considered one of the best preserved and most important examples of Depression-era architecture in Las Vegas.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., helped the state get both grants. He said both represent “significant steps in preserving Nevada’s history and promoting our state’s cultural heritage.”