Cottage Memories

This was posted to the comment section of one of my Then and Now articles. It’s from someone who grew up in the Child and Family Services cottages on east Fifth Street. I’m bringing it out to the front page because it’s too good to leave buried.

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.

It’s ironic that the Sunny Acres sign lasted such a long, long, time. We had no idea what it meant – we thought it might have something to do with the driving range next door (on the other side of the bowling alley and motor pool garage), or perhaps the cattle grazing in the fields between us and Snake Hill, where sat the prison.

The front door of Cottage Two lined up directly across the street from J.C. Fremont elementary school, which is now (or was last I visited) a postal annex. 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.

The side door was off our laundry room, and my bedroom was two windows in. I imagine some state worker sits in that room now and wonders what it was like. It may be hard to believe, but it was home, and I have very fond and warm memories of the wonderful times, including our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, that we would share.

I remember the gymnasium well. It had some older, and mostly dangerous, metal playsets, including a giant slide, and a spinning merry-go-round type of equipment that had hanging chains with rings on it. Next door to it was our favorite pastime – the bowling alley!

The Nevada State Childrens Home, and the organization within the State of Nevada, that rescued me as a child is a testament to the good, decent, and loving people of Nevada.

God bless you all – and thank you.

Michael Corrieri


  1. I lived in Cottage 1, my cottage parents were Mr. and Mrs. Head. I realize now that the Head’s were good people and they worked hard for us, even if we didn’t always make it easy for them. I resided there during the early to mid 1970s. I too was moved to Northern Nevada Children’s home from Child Haven in Las Vegas. I was in the NJROTC unit in high school and I got my first “real” job as a busboy at the Ormsby House. I also worked as a guard at the Nevada State Museum through the old C.E.T.A. program for a summer. By the way Child Haven was closed down in the early 2000s due to lack of funding, with all the casinos and money in Vegas? Wow, what’s up with that???

  2. Hey how are you doing I hope you’re doing well and that you are still getting on here just wondering if you have any pictures of all of us or do you now we’re I can get some? I hope to hear from you soon thank you or you can call me at 916 738 1341

  3. My name is johnna barringer (shinn) me and my little brother and sister were all three there from 77 to 80 my little brother was so small he got picked on alot my sister got in to fight with a colored boy in front of cottage 3 it wasn’t to bad of a place

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