Ghosts of Carson: Children’s Home Cottages

Cottage #2

Cottage #2 has the central courtyard as well, and it is not as overgrown so it is easier to see things like the flower bed. This one has a sign identifying it as Ruby Station.

I lived in one of those cottages, that was called “Cottage Two”, and my cottage parents were Mr. and Mrs. Rex, whom we called “Mom” and “Dad”. I went there in July of 1968, being transferred up from Child Haven in Las Vegas, after a failed stay at St. Jude’s Ranch. Mr. and Mrs. Rex were older at the time I came, and had spent their entire lives there, dating back to the original orphanage buildings. They were unable to have children, and had come there as a young couple from Texas, signing up for what must have been one of the biggest, and longest term, parenting job in history. Their job as parents never ended – and they always took us little ones with them on their vacations too. –Michael Corrieri

I lived at the children’s home from 1964-1973 Do not tear down cottage two without getting Louis Armstrongs Autograph off the wall in cottage two. it is in the small room between the cottage parents room and the laundry room. All the bigger kids were good to me and taught me baseball and football. Still love it today. Its a place where I can go and always remember my children’s home brother who let a girl play with the boys. Oh yeah you taught me well I taught my three boys how to play. –Martha Reddick

One of the strangest memories I have of that place is one from one of my first days there. Dad Moore was in his office, a tiny room off the front entry to the house we now all lived in together. He was sitting at his desk and so had his back to the doorway where I stood. I had a question, though I do not remember now what it was, but I remember I needed to get his attention. I knew that all my “cottage sisters” called him dad, so I figured I would too. However, as I stood there, needing his attention, I could not say the word “dad.” It was as if while my mouth shaped the word, my stomach knotted and I was unable to use my lungs to speak it. It had never been a part of my vocabulary in that way. I mean, I used the word when talking about other peoples’ fathers, but I had no memory of ever having a man in my life that I had given the label “dad.” I literally choked on the word and stuttered it out that first time. It was so quiet that he did not hear it and I nearly walked away, afraid that I could not muster up enough nerve to say it again. Nevertheless, I stood there, palms sweaty and feeling ready to cry, and I did say it again. I got his attention and asked my question, but I will never forget how hard it was to say that one word. As the weeks went on I grew to love him very much, and gratefully called him dad till the day I left. -Misty VanHavel

We had fabulous flower beds all the way around our home, with a big sunny porch that faced the ball field. Mom (Mrs. Rex) was an osbsesive gardner, and we would drive their little truck out to a sheep ranch every fall, and load up on manure to spread on the garden beds for the following spring. She had one several prizes for these flowers – and we all shared in the glory. –Michael Corrieri

Next Page: Cottage #3

14 comments

  1. I think it is a horrible idea to demolish part of Carson City’s history. So many buildings have been lost to demolition and fire. I can’t believe something can’t be done to renovate these buildings back to some sort of useful purpose for our community. How about asking your readers what they would suggest if we could save them?

  2. Have you seen the book..”my life as a home kid: Nevada State Orphan/Children”s Home” ?The author Bonnie Boice Nichkawa lived there from the age of 3 till she was 18.

  3. This is a much needed home again for children can’t we keep it for children in need again. No matter how but it should be kept for kids. The foster care system in this city needs to be expanded there is so much need how can we use this property to help somebody.

  4. I grew up in Carson City, I had a lot of friends from the home. I Loved them all. we all need a little love and friendship from time to time. I wish I could find some of them Like Kenny Medeiros he was a great friend, who taught me how to walk again after falling off a horse, he got me through a really hard time and I would love to say thank you after all this time. Great People came from this place. I think is should still be open for the children.

  5. I would love it if they could restore them, but the cost is so high to remove the asbestos. It is hard to see them rot and will be sad if they tear them down. So many of us in the community are connected to these cottages. Mine was cottage #4 and am so thankful for the love and care I received!

  6. I agree that these homes should again go towards troubled youth in Carson City!! I grew up here, and I still live here now and i see homeless people with young children all over! Can’t we maybe use these homes for those families if not for the kids in general?? Why do they insist on destroying everything around here?? We dont need more office spaces…there are buildings with space open for rent all over town we need to fill those first!!

  7. The last stop in my time as a ward of the state was cottage 6, with Mom and Dad Gay. They were really good people, who did right by me. I wish I had given them the thanks they deserve.

  8. I’ve got so many memories from here. Met a lot of friends living at the homes when I lived in Carson City. I wish I could reconnect with everyone.

  9. I was in Cottage 5 from 1965-1978. My first cottage parents were the Lennox’s but not for very long. We then were blessed with Ad & Stew Osborne, what amazing people. My sister, Kay, was in cottage 5 as well and my brothers, Dale, Carl & Jay were in cottage e2with the Rex’s then the Smith’s. We had Hattie Becker loved her, hated that vacuum. I remember the Christmas dinner that the Harold’s Club employees did every year, Jack Kogen & Wilber May’s generosity. Two weeks at the 4-H camp every summer. Vacations in August,going to Europe. But mostly I remember the kids. Katy, Peggy, Diane , Gayle, Sandy, Debbie, Chris, Erin, Sarah & Cheryl, Rusty, Eugene, Jimmy, Zephas, and so many others. And some not so fond, Pat Reddick, but mostly I have great memories. I hope when some start to think only bad thoughts that they remember what their lives were like before they ended up at NSCH. Find the good stuff and let the rest go. ( well, except for Pat Reddick😉).

  10. The long building in section 11was the original commissary. The wood building was the new commissary. The old commissary has a side door where we took all our sheets on Saturday to be sent to the prison for cleaning.

  11. My sister worked there when 1 house was used for an emergency shelter for kids thru Volunteers of America. I agree they should not be destroyed wish they could be used for the homeless or someone in need. I wish they could remodel them and use them for a service for people. Not for office building.

  12. The seetest thing in the world to me at that time lived in cottage 7. My father a very predjudiced man even to this day says horrible things about the Native American indians in particular the Piaute Indian. But i really love one her name “Jennifer Zuniga” she was beautiful and soft spoken. There were a few times I tried to let her know , but this blond haired blue eyed kid well just wasnt her type lol. I have told my father about her in the most possitive way I could , but he is old and set in his ways.

  13. I lived in this cottage for 2 years 1972 -1974 directly accross from cottage 7. We used to store our bikes on the patio, and I also remember the year they put in that stinky tennis court. Used to play every hour imaginable in the basketball courts up near the main office, and remember the commissary, the special suckers on the sticks that we used to be treated to. My trips to my best friend Rico james’s home down the road. jumping kids with our bikes and make shift ramps. I believe jumping 6 was the limit for me. the baseball field, and the little playground is gone. I had my first french kiss on that baseball field lol. I forgot her name she was sweet but myself a little scared of the whole thing. Going to the public pool in the summer where I learned how to swim after almost drowning in the Carson City River with the guys looking on stunned because i didnt come back up after falling into a fish hole lol. The trip to San Diego, the Worlds fair in Spokane Wa. The trip I took with Mom and Dad Head to san francisco with their two grand daughters. I missed my brothers and sisters at home but I didnt miss the abuses. If i had had it my way . I have pictures of me outside of Cottage one back in the day. A blonde haired blue eyed kid with leathery skin from all the time spent outside. I have a good memory and i can recall many things about being there, just as if it happened yesterday. Like the time I got caught by motorists fro throwing snowballs at traffic. I in my big old snow boots just couldnt run fast enough to get away lol. But i never told who was with me when we were diing these kid things lol !!!

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