Sniveler’s Inn Then and Now

One thing that happened as Carson City grew was that houses were pushed out of the area around downtown and replaced by businesses. Sometimes this meant that the houses were actually torn down and stores and offices built on their land. But sometimes businesses just moved into the houses. Many old houses on the West Side are now occupied by businesses. Adele’s was probably one of the most famous examples of this, an old house on Carson Street that was used as a restaurant for decades. But a lot of these businesses weren’t famous. They were just small places that moved into small houses, and they were forgotten after they were gone.

One of these was the Sniveler’s Inn.

I found out about Sniveler’s Inn on a Facebook group when these photos were posted. It wasn’t completely forgotten; several people in the comments remembered it. Sniveler’s Inn was on the northwest corner of William and Anderson Streets. An out-of-the-way residential area back in the mid 20th century, but nowadays firmly in the business district.

The location of the house in 1965.

The Native Stonework blog states that the home was built by Randall Wungnema for his wife, Mama Hope, as an anniversary present. This makes sense. The Wungnema name is famous in Carson City as a family of Hopi stonemasons that constructed buildings all over town. Many of their works are still standing.

People on Facebook remembered that when it was a bar it also went by the names EJ’s and the Sand Castle. One of the commenters even claimed to have lived there when it was a house. You can see in the photo above that the neighborhood was pretty empty in the 1960s. But that didn’t last. Valley Bank was built right next door in the 80s. Smith’s Supermarket was built across the street. The neighborhood was changing.

I don’t know how long this was called Sniveler’s Inn. With the wide variety of names that people remember, it probably wasn’t a long span of time. And the house didn’t have long left. In the early 90s this whole block was demolished and a new shopping center was built.

The shopping center has been here over 30 years now, so the memories of that little house that came before are fading. The storefront at the end of the center, closest to the location of Sniveler’s Inn, was the home of Tito’s Mexican Restaurant for many many years. But Tito’s closed recently, and the new tenant announced for the space was the franchise Big Chicken. This new restaurant just opened in January 2024.

Sniveler’s Inn is just one of hundreds of forgotten businesses around town. How many of these businesses on this sign will be remembered after they’re gone? When will Big Chicken close and be forgotten? Sometimes these photos are the only memories that are left of these businesses when they’re gone. Thanks to Beverly Fitzgibbon for preserving the photos of Sniveler’s Inn and posting them on Facebook to keep them alive. I hope to be able to bring light to more of these forgotten businesses as we go on.

4 comments

  1. I really enjoy these posts and photos about historical places in Carson City. Old historical places and their stories are so worth saving or at least remembering. Thanks for posting these.

  2. Great article about the Snivelers Inn, and great Carson City site. Don’t forget the carwash that was next to the Cracker Box at the west end of the current shopping center.

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