The Nevada Appeal has two articles about the history of Carson City today. Sue Ballew looks at the story of Billie Lynch, a black man who was a personal messenger to President Lincoln, and was in Ford’s Theater on the night he was shot. Abraham Curry later brought him to Carson City where he worked as a porter at the U.S. Mint on Carson Street. And Chris Bayer continues his story about Major Ormsby, from his moving to the new city of Carson to his death scarcely a year later.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
So newspapers live and die by their advertising. And they have to strike a balance. They want to put out big ads that bring in a lot of revenue, but they also need to keep the ads subtle so readers will actually want to read the paper. As time has gone on they’ve come up with new forms of advertising, like inserts, and even extended ads to the plastic bag the paper comes in. You especially see this around the holidays, like the day after Thanksgiving, the bag will be coated in ads. But today the Nevada Appeal pulled a new one, one I’ve never seen before.
General Mills must have done a huge ad buy, because my newspaper this morning came with two boxes of cereal! Tucked away into a pouch on the outside of the bag were sample size boxes of Fiber One and Multi-Grain Cheerios. I don’t think everybody got them, because the paper at my office was just sitting on the front porch unwrapped. But at my house, the paper was in the box at the curb, complete with breakfast.
Now, as a one-time thing, this is a real novelty. It certainly got my attention, and although I’ll probably never buy the cereals at the store there’s a good chance I’ll toss them into a bowl with some milk later on. So it was an interesting stunt, and maybe a few people around town will go out and buy a box of Fiber One because of it. But what happens if this becomes common? Today it’s cereal, but if it catches on will we have to look forward to other free samples in our newspaper bag? Toothpaste? Shampoo? Perfume? Diapers? When does it start to piss us off so much that we consider canceling our subscription? And what about the waste? How many of these boxes will just be tossed in the trash, unopened, which represents a waste both of the food that will go uneaten and the cardboard that won’t be recycled? This could be a bad precedent, so I urge everyone not to go out and buy a box of Fiber One today. Even if you normally buy it, try something else this time. We sure don’t want to encourage this kind of behavior.
Also, I would have loved to be there this morning when the delivery drivers arrived to pick up their bundle of papers.
Update: We have the Sunflower Group to thank for this.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tonight on the History Channel (or, just “History” as it’s called now) there will be a show featuring the story of the bombing of Harvey’s casino at Lake Tahoe in 1980. The program is called “Shockwave”, and it’s airing at 10pm. The Harvey’s bombing happened when a disgruntled gambler managed to sneak a large bomb into the casino. He then tried to extort money in exchange for instructions on how to disarm the bomb. The extortion didn’t go through, and the bomb went off while authorities were trying to disarm it themselves. The blast ripped through the casino and restaurants, which had been evacuated, and caused heavy damage. But the casino was repaired and reopened, and the extortionist was caught and died in prison.
Harvey’s will be one of five stories covered in the episode, along with, according to the TV listings, “A Stealth fighter crashes into a neighborhood; a hot air balloon that looks like Smokey Bear gets snagged on an electrified radio tower, trapping two boys; a motorcycle daredevil crashes; stunt skier tumbles.”
Photo by Flickr user Gigi Elmes
Gigi Elmes on Flickr has posted this picture of an uncovered billboard in upstate New York. It seems that at one time there was a “Carson City and Indian Village” in the Catskills. It probably was some kind of schlocky Old West town where you overpaid to watch a gunfight and drink sarsaparilla in the saloon. The Catskills were full of these places, as evidenced by this 1993 article in the New York Times. Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, Secret Caverns, Catskill Game Farm, and the ubiquitous Mystery Spot.
Carson City undoubtedly is closed now, since I can find very little about it on the web. But I did find this postcard of the place, presumably in its prime. A grim row of buildings in a dusty clearing in the forest, a couple of buckaroos and a horse. Not really selling the place very well.
Update: I tracked down a little more info, but not much. This article says Carson City was owned by Arthur Gillette, who sold it in 1979. It was closed in “the mid- or late-1990s”.
This is a place that most kids-especially boys-will absolutely adore. Carson City is one of the largest reproductions of an old Western town in the country, and a day here is packed with action and fun. Skilled actors and actresses reenact a full slate of jailbreaks, gunfights, bank robberies, and saloon fights. There are also cancan dancers, roping demonstrations, trick horse riding, magic shows, and Native American dancing. Take a stagecoach or a train ride. but watch out for robbers (yes, that masked man was Jesse James!). The actors are all in period costume, and the settings remind you of an old “Gunrsmoke” set. There’s noise and action aplenty, and even a carriage museum with sleighs and horse-drawn vehicles on display. Stop in at the gift shop, where Western goods are sold, or have a hot dog at the Chuckwagon snackbar (you may bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal at the restaurant next door). Parents should note that they can make arrangements for birthday parties or other special events at Carson City. And although the entrance fee may seem rather steep, remember that the continual entertainment and live shows will keep the kids amused all day. Please note: Parents who are concerned about exposing their children to guns and gunfights may not enjoy this site.
The site was sold at some point for $750,000. It is now being developed into a residential neighborhood called “Carson City Homes“. Searching for “Carson City, NY” on Google Maps brings up the approximate location.
Update 2: User CV2200A put up this video of an Indian dance performance at Carson City.
Update 3: Two videos of the gunfighting, from YouTube user Francise05.