Was it an illegitimate ‘Enterprise’? | NevadaAppeal.com

Was it an illegitimate ‘Enterprise’?

Chic DiFrancia
For the Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal This first issue of the Territorial Enterprise published in 1946 by Helen Crawford Dorst, of Virginia City, had a four-page section that contained an architect's drawing of the Mapes Hotel that was under construction in Reno. But there is some debate as to whether Dorst owned the rights to publish the T.E. at the time.

On March 13, 1946, Helen Crawford Dorst, of Virginia City, began publishing a six-page Territorial Enterprise from her temporary office in the V&T R.R. depot in Carson City.

There is some debate as to whether she owned the rights to the T.E. at the time. Only seven issues were published from March 13 to June 12, 1946.

Although the masthead stated the paper was to be published weekly on Wednesday, only the May 29 issue met that deadline, the other six were bi-weekly. The first issue had a four-page second section that contained an architect’s drawing of the Mapes Hotel that was under construction in Reno. It was an informative paper with stories from several towns throughout Nevada, but its main agenda was the promotion of tourism for Virginia City & Carson City. Its sheet size of 22-by-32 inches made it a big newspaper with a small circulation.

In issue Vol. 1, No. 1, Ms. Dorst writes about mechanical problems and an entanglement of red tape she and the paper were involved in and asked her readers to please be patient until she got the situation under control.

In 1946, Wesley L. Davis was owner & publisher of the “Virginia City News.” Davis also owned the rights to the old “Territorial Enterprise” name that became part of the “V.C. News” through a series of sales that began when the old T.E. suspended operations in 1916 and was bought out by its old rival, the “Virginia Evening Chronicle.”

Whether Davis put a halt to Ms. Dorst’s “Enterprise” is unclear at this time. A microfilm search at the Nevada State Library turned up no information in regard to a lawsuit or feud between the parties. More research is planned in the future and hopefully the mystery surrounding Ms. Dorst’s “Enterprise” will be solved.

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The issue of the Dorst “Territorial Enterprise” with this article was in the possession of longtime Virginia City resident Gordon Lane. Lane was proprietor of the Union Brewery for 35 years before retiring in the mid-1980s. Through a mutual friend I learned that Lane will be leaving Nevada probably within the year to live with a family member in California. It was his wish that this newspaper stay in Nevada. On May 7, I paid Gordon a visit at his home in Stagecoach where he graciously turned over ownership of this important piece of Nevada Newspaper history to me.

Gordon’s wish was granted this week when this inaugural issue of the 1946 “Territorial Enterprise” found a permanent home at the Nevada Press Association/Reynolds Press Center located in the old Rinckel Mansion, 101 N. Curry St. in Carson City.