Every town has its quirky little secret spots. There are always the famous attractions that everyone knows about and visits; in Carson that would be the Capitol and the Museum and everything downtown. Then there are the little out of the way places that mostly only locals know about, that bring a smile every time you pass by. In Carson City that was definitely Fort Carson. This house, at the corner of Arrowhead and Emerson Streets in the north part of town, has always had an eclectic variety of decorations in the yard. It’s perhaps most famous for the Lady Godiva statue, watching over traffic at the corner, but over the years more and more decorations have been added. A moon rover, a rowboat, a UFO. And the house itself was remodeled, looking less and less like an ordinary suburban house, and more like an Old West town. A sign advertising the Bates Motel went up some time ago, followed by another one proclaiming the place as Fort Carson. The back half of an airplane protruded from the side of the house. Every inch of the place was covered with something, and there was always more being added. It didn’t go unnoticed. The house with Lady Godiva was known by many people around town, and if you were giving out of towners a driving tour of Carson City, you’d probably end up cruising by. It also had a page on RoadsideAmerica.com, which celebrates weird and unique places like this all over the country.
The house was the home and brainchild of Rudy Romo, owner of R&S Heating & Appliance. He did work at Incline Village, and that’s where many of the items came from. Lady Godiva was formerly on display at the King’s Castle casino in Incline Village, and was disposed of when that hotel rebranded as the Hyatt Regency. Rudy got a bunch of leftover fire hydrants from the city when they redid their water lines. He also got decorations from the Ponderosa Ranch up there when they closed. The Nevada Appeal did a feature on him and his house at least twice, once in 2001 and once in 2007. This house has always been a joy to drive by and look at all the stuff. Sometimes I’d deliberately detour onto Arrowhead if I wasn’t in a hurry, just to see it. All these photos are from 2014 when I decided to focus on getting some pictures of the place. And below are a couple from 2006, before the bulk of the renovations. I feel like I’ve probably taken more over the years. If I come across more I’ll add them to this post.
Sadly, Rudy Romo died in August 2022 in a motorcycle accident. The house has passed on to his family. And without his creative spirit to guide things, they didn’t continue with the yard display. They have been having estate sales, selling off the artwork, and I believe the house itself will be sold too. I went down last week to see what it looks like now, and the place looks so barren. The Old West additions to the house are almost all that’s left.
With Rudy’s passing comes the end of an era. In years to come we can reminisce about the house on the corner and tell newcomers what they missed out on. But the legacy of Rudy and his art will live on. The pieces of yard art that were sold might turn up where you least expect them, decorating yards around town. I know that the Lady Godiva statue was acquired by the Downtown Vintage Market, and will be on display at the market at the corner of Stewart and Spear (seen below). If I can find any other pieces, I’ll let you know.
Wow I had no idea. May he Rest in Peace. I will miss driving by this home ever so slowly, forgiving something I hadn’t seen before, with each pass.
So sorry to hear this.
Thank you for doing this story.
*noticing something I hadn’t seen…
So sorry to here this ! I loved going by and seeing all the fun things he had on display. I always used to think about what a great time he had displaying everything.
I loved driving by the house with the seniors from the Carson Plaza. They loved looking for different things we made a game of it. It will surely be missed but thank you for the good Times.
My condolences to the family. So sad to hear Mr. Romo passed away last year. I love seeing his home every time I passed by and have shown it to family who have visited me over the years. I especially remember seeing Lady Godiva in her prime time. The Bates Motel brought back memories. Thank you Mr. Romo for sharing your imagination to us over the years. May he RIP.
What a moving, well written and accurate article you wrote about Fort Carson. I am the widow, Lisa Romo, of Rudy Romo. I miss him greatly and enjoyed our home and adventures of life. We married in Cancun 10 years ago and never missed a summer there. He loved the sun and just the joy of life. He was a Vietnam War Vet and loved people. It’s funny how our home now is barren, but so full of life when we were there. When I married him in 2012, his home was a regular white sided ranch. I believe I, as a teacher and artist, was his muse and encouraged his art. He never would admit of being an artist, but whenever I found a visitor outside admiring the Fun House I would ask them if they wanted to meet the artist. They always did and everyone left feeling inspired. He always inspired me, loved me, and was my best friend. I’m sorry I had to leave our home. I did not want to, nor did I wish for the Estate sale. I can’t drive by anymore but it will be for sale at the end of the month and hopefully someone will put the fun, love, and faith. back into the western spirit of our old home.
My sincerest condolences to you & the Romo family.
I always enjoyed the eccentric decor & watched for new editions regularly. I’ve lived here in Carson City for 45 yrs & could’ve sworn that decor was always there, lol. I, for one, will miss that creative landscaping. ????
It was such an interesting and eclectic place, but I have to say when the political propaganda began showing up I lost interest. It demeaned the art, however, I will miss riding by on my Harley. In fact I almost missed my turn last Saturday 🙁
I was at the sale, it was packed, steady flow of people.
Mrs Romo, please accept our sincere condolences. Your home always put a smile on our faces as we’ve driven past over the years. Thank you for your post
Thank you for the story. And my deepest condolences to you Mrs. Romo. I will miss driving by and seeing Lady Godiva the most.
Have driven past this house so many times,my children grew up watching as artifacts showed, moved and disappeared! Sad to watch everything change as our regulars and elders pass away. Bless his wife and family.