As of this writing, on Friday, September 11, at about 1:30 in the afternoon Central Daylight Time, the finer details of President Donald Trump’s scheduled rally in Reno, Nevada, are not known, other than there is going to be one. Time and location are not available, so this is going to pop up in the morning and we can all meet here when it really happens.
Ever wonder how close this is to the truth?
So how did this desert gambling oasis pop up? A little history from wiki:
Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area. As early as the mid 1850s, a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a relatively fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began.
Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, and a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush, and thousands of emigrants left their homes, bound for the West, hoping to find a fortune.
To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that served travelers soon grew near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community by adding a grist mill, kiln, and livery stable to the hotel and eating house. He renamed it “Lake’s Crossing”. Most of what is present-day western Nevada was formed as the Nevada Territory from part of Utah Territory in 1861.
By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California, eventually connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake’s Crossing. In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County, and Lake’s Crossing became the county’s largest town. Lake had earned himself the title “founder of Reno”. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno officially came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain.
In 1871, Reno became the county seat of the newly expanded Washoe County, replacing the county seat in Washoe City. However, political power in Nevada remained with the mining communities, first Virginia City and later Tonopah and Goldfield.
The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Reno in 1872 provided a boost to the new city’s economy. In the following decades, Reno continued to grow and prosper as a business and agricultural center and became the principal settlement on the transcontinental railroad between Sacramento and Salt Lake City. As the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada’s centers of political and business activity shifted to the nonmining communities, especially Reno and Las Vegas, and today, the former mining metropoles stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the state yielded 6.9% of the world’s supply in 2005 world gold production.
Gold, huh. No wonder the Democrats are hanging on to Nevada for dear life.
But, wait! There’s more:
Reno took a leap when the state of Nevada legalized open gambling on March 19, 1931, along with the passage of even more liberal divorce laws than places such as Hot Springs, Arkansas, offered. No other state offered what Nevada had in the 1930s, and casinos such as the Bank Club and Palace were popular. The new Nevada divorce laws, passed around 1927, allowed people to divorce after six weeks of residency instead of six months. People wishing to divorce stayed in hotels, houses, and/or dude ranches. Most divorcees left Nevada when their divorces were finalized, while some stayed.
Within a few years, the Bank Club, owned by George Wingfield, Bill Graham, and Jim McKay, was the state’s largest employer and the largest casino in the world. Wingfield owned most of the buildings in town that housed gaming and took a percentage of the profits, along with his rent.
Ernie Pyle once wrote in one of his columns, “All the people you saw on the streets in Reno were obviously there to get divorces.” In Ayn Rand‘s novel The Fountainhead, published in 1943, the New York-based female protagonist tells a friend, “I am going to Reno,” which is taken as a different way of saying “I am going to divorce my husband.” Among others, Belgian-French writer Georges Simenon, at the time living in the U.S., came to Reno in 1950 to divorce his first wife.
Truthfully, the closest this writer has ever been to Reno is probably Tahoe/State Line, Nevada, which was also the last and only casino she ever patronized. The place gave me a headache.
UPDATE: The rally will be at Minden-Tahoe Airport, about 40 miles away from Reno. So, here’s some Tahoe info:
Lake Tahoe (/ˈtɑːhoʊ/; Washo: dáʔaw, ‘the lake’) is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. Lying at 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it straddles the state line between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and at 122,160,280 acre⋅ft (150.7 km3) trails only the five Great Lakes as the largest by volume in the United States. Its depth is 1,645 ft (501 m), making it the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake in Oregon (1,949 ft or 594 m).
The lake was formed about two million years ago as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin, with the modern extent being shaped during the ice ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe. More than 75% of the lake’s watershed is national forest land, being the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the United States Forest Service.
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to winter sports, summer outdoor recreation, and scenery enjoyed throughout the year. Snow and ski resorts are a significant part of the area’s economy and reputation. The Nevada side also offers several lakeside casino resorts, with highways providing year-round access to the entire area.
Truly, it is a beautiful area to visit.
I’ll add live links to this post during the late afternoon as they become available.
In the meantime, please post tweets and videos below of what’s going on in Nevada, and any travel stories you may have of the place.