Nevada State Journal (Newspaper) - April 26, 1953, Reno, Nevada
SUNDAY, APRIL tt, NEVADA STATE JOURNAL, RENO, NEVADA PAGE SEVEN Last Selective Service Coll Gerlach Named for Man Who First Settled in Area Railroad Plays Large Role in IbExisteMC Totogroph Tokw Of (Continued from Page Five) ONE-ROOM JAIL Emergency Vehicle fled business interests make him a tycoon in this town of 400, says solution to Gerlach's problem lies to completing the paving of Highway 34 to the south and the surfacing of Highway 81 north to the California near Eagtevffle. That he- explains, "we would be on a mala highway from Reno to the Pacific northwest and the Canadian border." As tt Is, Highway 34 into Oer- lach to bypassed by tourists in favor of Highway 395. On Wertern Pcdfle The town owes its existence to the ranches and rangeland that sorround it, and to the Western Pacific which has been operating through Gerlach, from San Fran- cisco to Salt Lake City, since 1910. The name is derived from the Gerlach Land and Livestock Co., a firm founded before the turn of the century by Louis Gerlach of Stockton, Calif., and predecessor of the Holland Land and Live- stock Co. For all practical purposes there is only one street in the town. It runs parallel to the railroad tracks. The land on which the business houses are built is owned by the railroad and leased to the villagers One resident remarked, "The railroad makes itself felt here in more ways than one." He referred to the fact that the townsfolk not only see and hear the many trains that pass each day, they quiver to the driving pistons. Portions of the commun- ity are only two feet above water level and each passing train makes the earth and buildings tremble. Ben Battles, the railroad agent, has two clerks and a telegrapher on his staff, and two section gangs work out of the Gerlach station. No Telephonec! The telegrapher is an important man not only to the railroad but to the community in general, be- His wife is postmistress, cause Gerlach has no telephones lack which no one seems to lament, particularly. While the town owes Its exist- ence to the railroad and cattle, it owes its modicum of prosperity to the U. S. Gypsum Co., whose plant rises like a giant white frosted cake from the desert nearby. Gerlach people refer to the Em- pire site of the gypsum company as "the and they express appreciation for the camp pay This tidy but small Jail holds Ger- lach's few offenders for short periods only. At one time county commissioners complained that everyone in town had a key for its padlocked front door. (Jour- nal photo.) rolla which help swell their town's income. They aie also quick to point out that Gerlach and Empire are im-! portant to Reno's economy, be- cause Reno a lesser ex- are where the people from northern Washoe do their heavy shopping. Mrs. E. C. (Maud) McGinnis, resident of Gerlach since 1910 and its most prominent businesswom- an, recalls that even during the Depression no one there suffered. "When the ranchers and farm- ed were getting little or nothing fdr meat and produce, they would bring it to town for distribution to needy she says, add- ing, "We look out for each other." Among the oldtime residents who know the history of Gerlach first-hand are Mr. and Mrs. Al Jenkins and Ben Bernstein, for- mer ranchers, and Henry Hughes, who retired as constable recently. As is often the case in a small town, several of the business peo- ple have found it advantageous to pyramid their enterprises. Businesses Combined The most noteworthy example of this is J. J. Thrasher, who has an interest in the general store, is a partner in the Gerlach-to- Reno truck line, holds the dis- ,tributorship for an oil company, sells electric power to the resi- dents, and ias ranching interests. The quickest way out of Gerlach in case of emergency is by air- plane, and a small landing strip accommodates such craft. This belongs to a visitor, but 3. i, Thrasher owns one which is now being repaired in Sparks. Mr. Thrasher's plane was stolen some time ago and was recovered, damaged, in Gabbs. (Journal) Until two years ago Thrasher sold his own diesel-generated power to most of the residents. Now, how- ever, he purchases electricity from the Sierra Pacific Power Co. and re-sells it for domestic and busi- ness use. Incidentally, the people buy their water from the railroad. The water is piped in from Granite Mountain, 14 miles away, and there is plenty of it. Justice of the Peare Charles Car- HEY KIDS! FREE MOVIE TOWER THEATRE Every Saturday, a.m. ADMISSION All you need is caps off any of the Mow listed milks for admission. Tho openor top off of Crescent carton. Tho antiro top off of Model, Windmill and Velvet cartons. The caps only off of White Clover and Mt. Rose. FREE FREE FREE Two Westinghouse Radios Each Week A SCHWINN BICYCLE EVERY MONTH Hw Dtteib Tfiii Show NO Berth to BY__ DISTRIBUTORS OF BETTER MILK OM eMrt eeily eeMali your daily MtritiMel requirement. ter is involved in more than one business, too. He not only admin- isters the law in the community, iut operates the general store and partnership with Thrasher, and jwns the Alan Theater, which is iperated by Mr. and Mrs. Dan Davis. Lawrence L. Herron is in charge if the Washoe county road depart- ment facilities at Gerlach, and he and his wife run the town's hotel in the side. Mrs. McGinnis, with her brother, Claud Kelly, "run cattle" in the area, although their ranching inter- ests are conducted by a foreman. Maud MOGinnis, a sturdy, person- able woman of 61, is a registered nurse who has never devoted full time to that work, but in a town where there is no doctor, her ad- vice and help in medical matters are often A Columnist In 1932, Nevada State Journal columnist Earl H. Leaf visited Ger- ach. When he returned to Reno, he wrote: "The largest city in Washoe county, outside of Reno and Sparks, las neither physician, hospital nor drug store. The folks up there in Gerlach take care of their own and if an accident or an illness over- takes one of them, they hasten to call Mrs. Maud McGinnis, wife of the general store proprietor and mother for all the ranchers, miners and townfolk, for she knows a great deal in a practical way about the human ills and aches. "When a person dies, 'Parson Joe' Melody preaches the sermon. 'Par- son you understand, isn't an ordained preacher, but he takes the place of one in Gerlach and some of his Sunday sermons, they say, are masterpieces of homely elocution. Judge Mont Hutchison marries folks in Gerlach and 'Parson Joe' bunes them." This piece, preserved in Mr. Leaf's pamphlet publication, "Loose is treasured by Mrs. Mc- Ginnis, the only one of the three persons mentioned who is still living. A civic enterprise of importance to Gerlach is its not springs. The springs attracted the attention of no less a person than Gen. John Charles Fremont on his second ex- pedition to the Northwest in 1844. It was on that trip that Fremont took samples of the spring water and also "discovered" the mammoth body of water south of Gerlach, which he named Pyramid Lake. The springs, with their warm and cold pools and mud baths, are free to all comers. Dressing rooms were built some time ago by Grady Strong post of the American Le- gion but they are now badly in need of repair. The country around Gerlach is famed for its deer and sagehen, and hunters account for a large portion of the visitors each year. Boot Hill) Too Near the hot springs north of town is an interesting landmark, Boot Hill cemetery. It is said there isn't a six-foot grave in the ceme- tery because of the boiling water that lies not far from the surface. Local legend has it that only three of the occupants of Boot Hill died without their boots two adults and an infant. Like many another Boot Hill in the west, the cemetery's wooden markers have been ravaged by time. Only on the single marble headstone in the cemetery is a name or date still discernible. Gerlach has virtually abandoned its Boot Hill in favor of removing departed residents to Reno ceme- teries. Maud McGinnis recalli that be- for the McGinnis general store burned down In 1929 it was the scene of numerous funerals. The town then as now had no clergy- men. so the ritet were performed by the late "Preacher Joe" Melody. those Mrs. McGinnis ttyi, "the men nailed together the coffins. Everyone was given a decent burial." On three occasions she used pieces of her wedding dress to line the casRets. Saturday Nlgkte Bosy Gerlach la a "Saturday night town." On weekdays the tavern owners reportedly take up the slack "by selling to each other. Claud Kelly looks around the cafe-saloon-dance hall-casino run by his sister and brother-in-law and fondly remembers the big pok- er games of gold was the coin of the gamblers. He recalls when the poker pots ran as high M In gold." There Is very little crime in the Gerlach-Empire area, Gerlach's jaU to seldom used, possibly be- cause it wasn't built to be. A one- room, dapboard-covered affair, tt once caused considerable eonatern- ation among the Washoe county commissioners when it was die- covered that almost everyone in the little community had a key for its front door padlock. The Jail is manned by Deputy Sheriff Thomas J. (Cisco) Aschen- brenner. Gerlach's fire department is manned by "almost everybody in town." The department has no chief, but boasts a pumper capable of spraying water at 600-pounds pressure. Although there is plenty of water on tap to combat fires hi Gerlach, the presence a volun- teer fire department hasn't yet had any effect on high insurance rates. Mr. Thrasher believes, however, that the rates will drop when the town can afford a full-time chief to keep an eye on the fire situation. For women, the principal social outlets are the Parent-Teachers As- sociation and the Women's Club. There was a tune when the schoo was short of pupils, but now it is overcrowded, educating children from both Gerlach and. Empire in grades one through 12. Principal is Oliver Baquier. New Uons Club Gerlach has no town government but the newly formed Empire-Ger lach Lions Club, 52 members strong bids to take the place of one. The organization was sponsored by the South Reno Lions Club, and wil receive its charter May 2. Tha date promises to be one of the gay est since the Western Pacific Rail road went through in 1910. Fou: dollars a plate is the tab for charter banquet, a price steep, by Gerlach standards. Before the Lions Club came intc being, Mr. Thrasher said, civic problems that arose in Ger lach were effectively handled at in formal conferences among the bus! Officers of the Empire-Gerlach Club are Elsworth Buffaloe, Em pire, president; J. T. Joffee, Em pire, secretary-treasurer; J. Thrasher, Gerlach, first vice pres: dent; J. E. Murdoch, Empire, sec ond vice president; Charles Carter Gerlach, third vice president Thomas J. Aschenbrenner, Gerlach lion tamer, and Lawrence Mellot Empire, tail twister. The directors are E. C. McGinnis, Cleo V. Box and L. L. Herren, all of Gerlach and D. R. Raker, Empire. Rodeo June 14 The Lions Club has a big even coming up June 14, when it wi present the community's third an nual rodeo, an amateur show tha townsfolk believe will draw con testants from "all over the coun try." The rodeo was originated by th Gerlach American Legion post, an was handled last year by the town' volunteer fire department. Vying for queen of the rodeo ai five local women, three of them married and two of them single Justice of the Peace Charles Carte said the contest wasn't limited to 700-Pound Bear Takes Own Picture (Continued from Page Six) morning of April 2L The barrels were upset and the contents were Irewn on the ground. Atwater observed 12-inch paw prints on the ground. He had really scored! He hurried to the dark- en and there oh the celluloid was the Jmage of "Old all seven feet of him. Thare is a question as to which was more bear when t looked into the flash from the camera, or Atwater when he looked at the film. As ean be seen by pho- tograph, the bear cleared the top of the barrels, which rose to a height of six feet The photograph amazed At- water's who bad no idea a bear that size roamed the valley. Atwater said "OM Granddad" probably was ont of the bears the California Park Commission re- leased in various parts ttf the Si- erra about seven years ago. Museum Visitors' Home Towns Have Some Odd Names Register Book Shows People Come From All Over A check on the guest register book at the Nevada State Museum from the first of the year has shown a widespread representation of cit- ies and towns throughout the coun- try serving as home to its many visitors. Picking entries at random from those listed, one is impressed by the diversity of place names, in- cluding such communities as Mas- coutch, HI.; Red Wing, Micji.; Reeds Beach, N. J.; Floral Park, N. Y.; Choucilla, Calif.; Thief River Falls, Minn.; Pagosa Springs, Colo.; High Point, N. C.; Red Bank, N. J.; Tim- monville, S. C.; Spearfish, S. D.; Tobyhanny, Devil's Lake, N. D.; St. Cloud, Minn.; Shawnut, Ala.j Fort Defiance, Ariz.; Damas- cus, Va.; Moundsville, W. Va.; Chessville, Miss.; Sault Ste Marie, Mich., and Bangor, Me. Numbered among the museum's foreign visitors were travelers from Helsinki, Finland; Cairo, Egypt; Mexico City} London ahd England; Lausanne, Switzerland; Bennelwen, Haita, Israel; Copenhagen, Denmark; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Norway; Cardigan- shire, Wales; Pishawar, Pakistan; Ossigen, Switzerland; Biarritz, France; Bogota, Colombia; Alami- nos, Philippines; Sydney, Australia; Rangoon, Burma; Madras, India, and an increasing number from various parts of Canada. Comments in the register book ranged from "enjoyable, good, great, interesting, fine, wonderful, splendid, fascinating, impressive" to "Gives me a new perspective of the "One of the best mu- seums I've "A treat to a trav- and "Nevada may well be proud of this collection." Tests Sefcedu Applications Must Be Mailed Before May II Brig. Gen. James X May, state director of selective- service, yes- terday announced the last Selective Service college qualification test to be given school year win be on May 21. It will be primarily for students prevented by illness or other emergencies from taking the test last April 23, but he empha- sized that this did not bar any qual- ified student from taking the test if Us application'is mailed before the deadline and postmarked not later than midnight May U. General May stressed that stu- dents who have a certificate of ad< mission for tht April 23 test which they failed to use on tht assigned date must submit new applications if they wish to take tht May 21 test A student may obtain a new appli- cation from any selective service local board. "It is necessary to obtain the application from the student's own local General May said. The application blank should be sent in as soon as pusible to the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N. J.. administrators of the test who, in turn, will mall the admission certificate direct to the student. Who An Eligible To be eligible to take the Selec- tive Service college qualification test an applicant on the testing date (1) must be- a Selective Service registrant who intends to request deferment as a student; (2) must be satisfactorily pursuing a full- time college course, undergraduate or graduate, leading to a degree (3) must not previously have taken the test The criteria for consideration for deferment as a student at the pres- ent time are either a score of 70 or better on the Selective Service college qualification test, or class standing among the male members in the upper half of the freshman class, upper two-thirds of the sophomore class, or upper three fourths of the junior class. Seniors accepted for admission to a gradu ate school satisfy the criteria i they are among the upper half o the male members of their, senlo class or if they make a score of 75 or better. s Tftese criteria are guides for th local boards. -The local boards are not under compulsion to follow them, but arty local toard classifi cation subject to appeajv Th appeal must be filed in writing wjt' notice of I-A classification. Whistles, Bells and Sirens Echo Throughout Reno Due to Goings-On of 40 and 8 Here Whistles, bells and sirens echoed throughout Reno yes- as members of the American Legion and the 40 and legan festivities of a safari and tri-state wreck. All-in-all there were more than 800 delegates and their wives on hand for the celebration. Several Voitures of the 40 and 8 arrived in rubber-tired trains, much to the delight of the many Reno children who vera privileged to climb aboard for noisy tours about the city. ievadans Asked To Trade Keel Nevada representative! will at- end the First North Conference 09 Apprenticeship single girls or to any one age group "The more the he ex- plained. Married entrants in the rodeo queen contest are Shirley Holland and Theresa Sapp "of Gerlach, and Donna Cooper of Empire. The sin- gle girls are Luella Maestas and Lorraine Eueda, both of Gerlach. The Oregon Cavemen and amused local citizens as, clad hi bear skins, they roamed the streets performing any number of zany stunts. First activity, following registra- tion yesterday, was a department commander's luncheon at the Gold- en Hotel, which was attended by Legionnaires and 40 and 8 mem- bers. Legion auxiliary members at- tended a luncheon and fashion show at the Mapes HoteL OoetY Parade At 5 o'clock the 40 and 8 staged a "Goofs' and at 6 p. m., Lukov of Fresno, Calif, sous chef chemln de fer of the 40 and 8, was honored by a banquet at the Trocadero room of the Hotel El i nM jpnez, At p. m., Legion Safari mem- bers staged a torchlight procession, winding through the downtown area. The 40 and 8 continued its pro- gram at o'clock with a prome- nade and wreck at the State Build- ing auditorium. Volture 268 of Sacramento was in charge of the wreck ceremonies. Safari host is the Harry J-. Mac- Sherry Reno Post No. 10 of the American Legion. Reno Voiture 254 of the 40 and 8 hosted the tri- state wreck, which was attended by members from Nevada, Califor- nia and Oregon. Final event will be this morning when members of the' Legion and auxiliary and the 40 and 8 dele. gates will attend a breakfast at the Hotel Golden. ust 2-8 at San Diego. Governor Charles LONG BILL CONCORD, N. H. The longest bill in years has been filed by James C. majority leader of the state senate. Senate bill 14, which relates to commer- cial codes, runs 340 pages. TRUSS? COMEW and Itt our cialtst fit perfectly. Russell been Invited to Join governors of 10 other western states who will be flown to the meeting by the state of California. Nevada has been asked to tlclpate at the conference in panel discussions dealing with apprentice training and standards in the ng, building and construction trades industries. Purpose of the conclave is en- couragement o f apprenticeship programs nationally to solve the current critical shortage of skilled abor. Management of labor rep- resentatives in the western states and territories of the United States, as well as from Candda and Mexico, are invited to attend the ence. Nevada's State Apprenticeship Council in Carson City made an- nouncement of the conference this week. 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