NorCal casino adds indoor venue rivaling anything Tahoe has

NorCal casino adds indoor venue rivaling anything Tahoe has

The Venue at Thunder Valley Casino is less than a year old. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

When Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln was being built more than 20 years ago, casino operators and tourism officials in Lake Tahoe and Reno called it a threat. The $100 million, 4,500-seat music venue that opened earlier this year could be even more of a problem.

The Bally’s (former MontBleu and Caesars) showroom holds 1,700 people, Harrah’s Tahoe seats about 1,900, while the new event center at Stateline will accommodate more than 5,000 people.

The Venue—as the facility in Placer County is called—is outstanding. The 150,000-square-foot structure is beautiful, functional and welcoming. Three levels offer fantastic views of the performer from comfortable seats. Two large screens brought her into better view from our vantage point. In many ways it felt like being in a large theater, which is much better than a stadium.

Slots are mostly the new style, left, with a few of the older ones, right, still on the floor. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The acoustics are state of the art. Which was perfect for listening to Jewel earlier this month.

The Venue replaces Thunder Valley’s 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, that was built in 2011. Plans are for the new building to host 80 to 90 musical, comedy and sporting events a year.

I look forward to seeing a performance at the Tahoe Event Center to be able to compare it to Thunder Valley. Yes, I know the two are different, but still, the Stateline facility intends to bring in musical acts.

Roulette is available electronically. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Thunder Valley, which is owned and operated by the United Auburn Indian Community, opened in June 2003. When it first started Las Vegas-based Station Casinos operated the site.

What was striking is how big the casino floor was. It seemed to go on forever. Multiple aisles separated various games, allowing for easy walking and never feeling closed in.

It has 250,000 square feet of gaming space–including more 2,700 slot and video machines, 103 table games and a live poker room with space for 240 players. This is more square footage than all of the South Shore casinos combined.

Jewel plays to a nearly sold-out crowd Sept. 15 at The Venue. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Harveys in Stateline has 88,000 square feet of gaming, Harrah’s Tahoe 65,000 square feet, Bally’s 45,000, and Golden Nugget (formerly Hard Rock Lake Tahoe) 22,750.

Few of the slot machines I’m used to existed. In their place are large, colorful, tall machines. I was even surprised to see electronic roulette. I know, I don’t go to casinos often—so all the games might be what every casino offers. They were so colorful and inviting, though I was able to walk on by.

Two reasons I don’t often go to casinos are because they are not where I want to spend my money and the smoke makes me want to run for the exit. In the short amount of time I was in Thunder Valley my eyes hurt and clothes wreaked. Thank goodness The Venue is a smoke-free site.

The front of Thunder Valley from a bar inside The Venue. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The upside to the casino that night was I left the blackjack table with enough chips to buy a round of drinks for the two of us, so it was a profitable experience.

Another thing about Thunder Valley—free parking inside the garage. Free parking at a Tahoe casino?—not a chance. Oh, and that new event center in Stateline—no parking at all; in other words, you have to pay somewhere else to park.

Applauding California’s decision to ban book bans

Applauding California’s decision to ban book bans

California is banning book bans—at least in schools.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 25 signed AB1078, which bans book bans in schools, prohibits censorship of instructional materials, and strengthens state law requiring schools to provide all students access to textbooks that teach about California’s diverse communities.

I read about this on the same day I learned about a teacher in South Carolina who was apprehensive about returning to the classroom after last year being reprimanded for teaching about racism in an AP English Language and Composition class.

She had her class read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, which is about what it means to be Black in the United States. Students said it made them not like being white. Um, there are a lot of reasons to be uncomfortable with being white based on what people have done and continue to do.

Learning should get people out of their comfort zone.

The problem in South Carolina, though, is the law says teachers can’t make students “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.” Oh, for god’s sake, how does crap that even get into law?

The answer is simple. It’s about who we are electing to leadership positions. It starts with local elections—school boards, city council, board of supervisors and continues to the state legislature and finally Congress and the White House.

The California law also prohibits school boards from banning instructional materials or library books simply because they provide inclusive and diverse perspectives.

Gay children reading about heterosexuals doesn’t “groom” them to be heterosexual any more than hetero kids reading about two male penguins is “grooming” them to be gay.

“When we restrict access to books in school that properly reflect our nation’s history and unique voices, we eliminate the mirror in which young people see themselves reflected, and we eradicate the window in which young people can comprehend the unique experiences of others,” first partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom said in a press release. “In short, book bans harm all children and youth, diminishing communal empathy and serving to further engender intolerance and division across society. We Californians believe all children must have the freedom to learn about the world around them and this new law is a critical step in protecting this right.”


Travelers increasingly combine work and play

Travelers increasingly combine work and play

Business travelers are not all the same. Road warriors sleep in hotels more than they do their own bed, some travel solo, others only in groups. Then there are those who mix business and pleasure.

It’s these “bleisure” travelers (business + leisure) who are beginning to make a stronger impact on the bottom line at hotels and ancillary businesses.

People are finding a way to combine work and leisure. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The pandemic led to the increase in this type of traveler with the ability to work from nearly anywhere. Add on the bottled-up desire for travel, and even more people are tacking on extra days after official business obligations are finished.

“The pandemic helped spawn a new wave of travelers called bleisure travelers. In a recent Morning Consult survey for AHLA, 56% of business travelers said they have extended a work trip for leisure purposes in the past year, and 86% of business travelers said they are interested in bleisure travel,“ said Chip Rogers, American Hotel & Lodging Association president and CEO.

Rogers added, “Bleisure travelers have different needs and expectations than traditional business travelers, and hotels are adapting to meet those needs. Perhaps the most important amenity for doing so is robust and secure internet services. This is key to accommodating telework. Other offerings vary from property to property, and examples might include more experience packages, changes in food offerings, or shuttle service to popular destinations.”

Mike Lennon, general manager of Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, said, “The question I get most is, ‘Can I trust your Wi-Fi?’”

His “yes” means that person can work and play at his Calistoga property. The Wi-Fi was upgraded during the pandemic specifically to cater to the bleisure traveler.

“We just had a Silicon Valley executive who took the opportunity to bring his family up while he could work. He was appreciative we could help him with that,” Lennon said.

Help comes by letting people use the conference room for a video call or other private business matter.

“We do see people traveling with family still doing business because we see them with laptops open and it looks like they are having conference calls,” Lennon said.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa’s sales team reports “approximately 70% of the resort’s meeting groups take advantage of either pre- or post-bleisure stays.”

“I think it’s a combination of a couple things. There is a lot of pent-up demand for travel. If a company is hosting a trip and you can work remotely or take time off or if you are only required to be in the office two or three days a week, you can easily work at a resort, especially if the company already paid to get you to and from the destination,” said Fairmont spokeswoman Michelle Heston.

While leisure travel was the quickest to rebound since the pandemic, business travel is inconsistent at properties.

Group business travel is changing in that massive meetings in huge ballrooms are no longer the norm. Companies are planning group bike rides, wine tasting and other experiential events.

This gives attendees a broader sample of what an area is all about, thus planting the idea to stay and explore when the work part of the trip is over.

Note: A version of this story first appeared in the North Bay Business Journal.

Jewel showcases her songwriting, vocal prowess

Jewel showcases her songwriting, vocal prowess

What a difference 16 years can make. That’s the time span between the two times I’ve seen Jewel in concert.

Her voice. Wow! The range. Incredible. The depth to her songs. The artistry of her guitar playing.

Jewel delights the audience Sept. 16 at Thunder Valley Casino in Northern California. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

It has been a long while since I have been so thrilled to be at a concert.

No band accompanied her. It was just Jewel and her guitar, just like it was in 2007 when I saw her at Lake Tahoe at what was MontBleu casino and is now Bally’s.

On Sept. 16 it was another gaming venue—Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln. What a dynamic indoor concert facility.

What was different this time was Jewel’s sense of maturity. (She’s 49, would have been 33 when I first saw her.) A maturity in her stage presence, in her songs, in the way she carried herself, in her connection with the audience.

She is a songwriter before she is a singer. Jewel even spoke of how she has a catalog of songs she’s written but hasn’t recorded. That’s encouraging for her fans; knowing more albums are likely to be forthcoming.

On this night, she didn’t hold back on what she thought of Jann Werner’s (think Rolling Stone magazine) new book about the music scene not containing a single woman or person of color. The news had come out the previous day.

The New York Times wrote: “(Werner) said that none were ‘as articulate enough on this intellectual level,’ and that he did not view them as ‘philosophers of rock.’”

Edwin McCain, a talented songwriter in his own right, and Gina Miles, who won The Voice this year, opened for her.

Most of what Jewel shared in her more than two-hour set, that ran slightly past the curfew, were stories about herself. In Tahoe she wouldn’t have been able to talk about being a single mom, as she was still married then and didn’t have a child.

She is open about her childhood, her parents, being homeless. It has made her the empathetic woman she is today.

Jewel is a founding partner of the Inspiring Children Foundation, which focuses on “the physical, social, emotional and mental health that they need to heal, grow, and perform at the highest levels.” She is the co-founder of InnerWorld, which is a peer-to-peer mental health platform.

What made the concert so wonderful is that it truly seemed like Jewel was having fun. She wasn’t just going through the motions—another night a work, so to speak.

While there were songs she wanted to sing—some old, some new—she also took requests. She didn’t have the night all mapped out. It was relaxed and not choreographed. It was real. Almost like she was there just for us—and our 4,000 friends who were also there.

It’s hard to make a venue of that size feel intimate, but Jewel did—with her spoken words and her songs.

Book Review: ‘Are You There God?’ a classic worth revisiting

Book Review: ‘Are You There God?’ a classic worth revisiting

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret (Atheneum Books, 1970) is a classic coming of age novel by Judy Blume that this year was made into a motion picture.

I think I read the book when I was kid, but not 100 percent certain. I certainly knew of it. This spring I saw the movie and last month read (re-read?) the book.

There really isn’t much more to say about either the book or the movie. Reviews and commentary have been written by so many others. But I’m still going to give my 2 cents.

After leaving the movie, in the parking lot I heard a guy say the film was “weird”—he was walking with who I presumed were his wife and daughter. I wish he would have said it was “insightful” or “I understand more now”—but, weird, well, that was an unfortunate description.

Maybe he meant he was “uncomfortable” or maybe he was embarrassed to admit he just didn’t get it. I give him credit for going, but perhaps a bit more introspection might get him to be able to have an open discussion with his wife and daughter about their thoughts on menstruation.

Menstruation and the search for religious clarity are the dominate topics.

The former is that weird rite of passage that young girls look forward to and soon wonder why.

The religious component of the book is thought-provoking.

This is a book and movie that could and should start a lot of dialog between child and parent (or some meaningful adult in their lives). It’s a good reminder that being a pre-teen isn’t easy—no matter the generation. My guess is with social media life is worse for this age group than it was for me.

All the more reason books and movies like Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret remain available for girls to know they are not alone. Sadly, the book is banned some places.

Environmentalists trying to protect Baja’s waters

Environmentalists trying to protect Baja’s waters

Cabo Pulmo is a destination for divers and snorkelers on the East Cape of Baja Sur. (Image: Kathryn Reed)




It would be hard to find a place that humans haven’t ruined in some manner. Fortunately, the stories about recovery—by humans—are also out there.

One of those places is Cabo Pulmo National Park on the east side of Baja Sur in Mexico.

This area—which covers land and the Sea of Cortez—became a park in 1995, and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.

SeaLegacy and Beta Diversidad point to the success of restoring Cabo Pulmo as they, along with other environmental agencies, try to broaden the protection of Baja’s natural resources.

Time magazine this month reported that the organizations are seeking to “create a protective zone that will fit like a sock over the southern half of Baja California—where the peninsula’s greatest bio-diversity is found—extending into the waters of the Gulf of California to the east of Baja and the Pacific Ocean to the west.”

The article also says the proposal states, “Some sport and artisanal fishing will be allowed near the coasts, and a tightly regulated ecotourism industry, but no industrial fishing. Farther out into the ocean will be a ‘no take’ zone that will leave part of the Pacific and the Gulf of California entirely untouched.”

Ultimately it will be up to the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to designate the waters a marine preserve. A decision could come this year.

Fishing is big business in this part of the world. Big for those selling their catch commercially, and big for tourist boats taking visitors out with the expectation something will be on the end of their line.

Tourist boats also are out in force chasing whales all for the enjoyment of looky-loos. What this is doing to these mammals, well, it can’t be beneficial.

Advocates for the preserve say the region has been overfished and something must be done in order to bring back the fish and their habitat.

The magazine article said only 4 percent of the bluefin tuna population in this region are still in these waters.

“For every 2.2 pounds of shrimp pulled from the ocean, there are more than 20 pounds of unwanted bycatch—mostly juveniles of various species,” Time reports. “The nets drag along the bottom of the ocean, damaging the delicate ecosystem of the ocean floor, and releasing the carbon that’s sequestered in the sediment.”

Cabo Pulmo is the example people keep returning to. Industrial fishing in no longer allowed there and ecotourism is regulated.

The coral reef there has recovered and the fish population has increased by 465 percent, reports Time. Plus, the diversity of aquatic wildlife has also proliferated.

People and nature out of balance in Todos Santos

People and nature out of balance in Todos Santos

Inadequate infrastructure adds to Todos Santos’ inability to capture rain water. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Balance. It’s something much of Baja California Sur is trying to figure out, with Todos Santos in the thick of it.

The balance of people and natural resources is at the crux of so many issues embroiling this town.

Money is also an integral component.

Development is an economic driver for those in the construction trades and for government officials putting their stamp of approval on plans. More people in town also brings cash to local businesses.

The problems, though, include, but are not limited to, an evaporating aquifer, destruction of dunes, and the rewriting of the rules governing development.

The latter has been going on for a few months. Officials in La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, decided to rewrite the PDU. The Program for Urban Development (PDU) for Todos Santos, El Pescadero, and Las Playitas was published in 2012. It covers more than 30 miles from Elias Calles on the south to Agua Blanca north of Todos Santos. The PDU prohibits any development on primary and secondary dunes.

That document took five years to finalize.

At a meeting this spring between government officials and Todos Santos residents it was revealed the new PDU would be done in five months. The meeting got heated, with accusations of corruption being leveled.

“Rumor is $25,000 (U.S.) will get you a building permit. We don’t have proof of it happening, but why would you do this if there weren’t some kind of reward?” a spokesman for Protect Todos Santos said.

The nonprofit Protect Todos Santos was formed in the last few years to bring light to illegal construction and other issues affecting the area. The group recently hired a criminal attorney to go after people who they believe are acting illegally, while a civil attorney is filing cases in federal court in order to stop building that Protect Todos Santos believes violates the PDU.

Urbanistica was hired to rewrite the Todos Santos PDU as well as PDUs for La Ventana and Las Barrillas on the East Cape.

“I don’t think they are qualified if you look at their project experience. I expect they will produce a terrible product and then La Paz will throw our PDU in the trash and that is what we will be left with, a piece of shit,” according to a member of Protect Todos Santos.

Urbanistica deferred comment to IMPLAN, the government agency that handles development and is in charge of the PDU. Iván Enrique Valencia Duarte was contacted by the Gringo Gazette newspaper, but chose not to respond to an email inquiry.

That means we don’t know why the government wants to rewrite the document, what they don’t like about the current PDU, who initiated this idea, or why locals were not consulted before a decision to create a new PDU was made.

Protect Todos Santos (PTS) members are alarmed with the contents of the second draft of the new PDU that was released in June. One of the main issues was water.

“They devoted a page and half to water. They didn’t even get the chart right. They don’t even understand water,” a PTS official said. “It was wrong in the first and second drafts. It is the most important thing. They are not doing their homework.”

PTS hired Victor Sevilla Unda, professor of Water Science at the Autonomous University in La Paz, and William Sanford, professor in the Department of Geoscience at Colorado State University, to look into the local water situation. This summer a report titled “Evaluation of Groundwater Resources in the Todos Santos Aquifer” was released.

Much of the data came from Conagua, Mexico’s federal water agency that manages the dams and oversees the country’s water resources. In 2020, 30 percent more water was extracted from the aquifer compared to 2007

The Santa Inés Dam near Todos Santos helps recharge the groundwater. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Considering the growth in the greater Todos Santos area, notably the Las Tunas neighborhood, that percentage is likely higher today.

The report states, “From 2013 to 2020 the rate of extraction doubled and if we extrapolate the rate based upon its recent growth, by 2030 we will be extracting twice as much water as is recharged in an average year.”

It goes on to say, “In addition, climate variability studies suggest that precipitation will decrease, and the frequency of hurricanes will lessen, which will reduce the amount of recharge to the aquifer. This coupled with the increased demand for water resources may cause a significant loss of available water.”

Protest Todos Santos’ summer newsletter said, “We think IMPLAN should know how much water we currently consume and how those numbers will be impacted by their proposed PDU as part of the development process. However, their most recent PDU draft indicates they are not going to do that very necessary calculation, so our plan is to present them with our scientists’ reports and predictions and hope they are incorporated it into the new PDU.

“In the end, desalination may be our only hope unless we find ways to slow development, move water currently used for agriculture to domestic uses, find other ways to store water, and reduce water use through conservation. However, we are skeptical that La Paz will have the money needed to build a plant in Todos Santos. And it is not our first choice for a solution since desalination plants are notorious for using a large amount of fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change, and the salt brine waste created needs to be properly addressed.”

Desalinization plants are expensive; La Paz is spending $165 million (U.S.) for one.

A Protect Todos Santos representative admitted it’s not the Mexican citizens who are the water hogs. Instead, this person said, it’s agriculture and foreigners who have taken up residence in the area. Big houses, pools, landscaping—they are draining the aquifer.

After all, on average Todos Santos receives 6 inches of rain a year. That doesn’t amount to much per person.

The experts who created the water report came up with 15 recommendations ranging from improving monitoring, installing flow meters on extraction wells, upgrading weather stations, identifying groundwater sources outside the basin, creating a groundwater model, and studying the water flow at the Santa Inés Dam.

Protect Todos Santos hopes to work with a university that would want to implement some of the recommendations as a potential research project.

Note: This story first appeared in the Gringo Gazette.

Little-known Gravenstein apples delicious whole, baked or juiced

Little-known Gravenstein apples delicious whole, baked or juiced

Gravenstein—it’s not an apple that is often found in stores.

But most people who live (or have lived as is the case with me) in Sonoma County know all about them. These orchards once dominated the landscape more than wine grapes.

While the origins of how this orb first came to the North Bay are not 100 percent certain, it’s likely they arrived sometime in the 1800s, with Sebastopol’s cooler temps and sandy soil ideal for their proliferation.

Slices and whole pies available at the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sonoma County in August. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

This fruit tends to ripen in July, unlike other apples that have a fall harvest. This is why the annual Gravenstein Apple Fair is in August. This last one was the 50th celebration of this iconic fruit.

“Eventually they were shipped nationwide by the trainload and played a major role in Sonoma County’s commerce. In more recent years, Gravenstein production declined significantly due to suburban development, orchard/vineyard conversion, a global over-abundance of apples, and other factors,” according to the county’s tourism agency. “Today, Gravensteins are rebounding in popularity among consumers who are looking for more-tasty, more-local varieties of produce. However, because of their soft skin Gravs are now considered difficult to ship far and wide as raw fruit. So the best place to get Sonoma County Gravensteins is in Sonoma County.”

Some of those Gravensteins end up in liquid form. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

According to North Coast Organic, “There are only six commercial growers remaining (in Sonoma County) and, together, their crop totals just 6,000 tons of Gravenstein apples a year.”

Gravenstein was declared Denmark’s national apple in 2005. Considering I’m Danish, maybe I’m genetically predisposed to liking Gravenstein.

I picked up a bag at the fair, with the intent of turning them into a pie later this month for my birthday. Homemade apple pie really is the best breakfast.

Popular Lake Tahoe roadway and summit full of history

Popular Lake Tahoe roadway and summit full of history

Kingsbury Grade transports people between Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Thousands of people drive up and down Kingsbury Grade and over Daggett Summit every day without thinking about how they got their names.

Charles Daggett may have one or two T’s in his last name. The sign atop the 7,334 foot summit that splits the South Shore of Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley has two T’s in Daggett. The state historical marker along Foothill Road uses one. An 1889 U.S. Geological Society map calls the route Daggetts Pass, no apostrophe. The Nevada State Library Archives (NSLA) uses two T’s.

Daggett was Nevada’s first doctor. Born in 1806 in Vermont, he attended Berkshire Medical College in Massachusetts where he also earned a law degree. In 1851, he moved to Mormon Station, now part of Genoa. In 1855, he became prosecuting attorney, county assessor, and tax collector of Carson County.

Image: Kathryn Reed

The Foothill Road historical marker says: “Originally named Georgetown Trail, the Dagget Pass Trail and Pass was named after Charles Dagget who acquired the land at the base of the road in 1854. In 1859-1860, David Kingsbury and John McDonald received a franchise from the Utah Territory to operate the toll road. At the time, the area was part of the Utah Territory. The men spent about $70,000 to construct a wagon road to meet the demand for a more direct route from California to the Washoe mines and to shorten the distance between Sacramento and Virginia City by 10 miles. The new 16 foot wide road, supported in some places by granite retaining walls on both sides, made the passage easier for travelers on this main route from California. Merchants and teamsters frequently traveled this road moving goods and people in and out of Nevada. In 1863, some of the tolls were 50 cents for a man and horse and $2 for a horse and buggy. That year the estimated tolls collected were $75,000.”



“People in Carson Valley had never paid taxes before and were outraged. Dr. Daggett’s life was openly threatened over this,” NSLA states.

Hours before trying his first case, Daggett became Nevada’s first “resident” attorney on Nov. 2, 1855. The area previously had legal counsel from a Placerville man.

“One of his last known distinctions occurred when he was appointed a member of the Committee of Arrangements for the formation of the Second Convention to form a separate territory out of the Utah Territory. With Dr. Daggett’s persistence, this territory became the state of Nevada,” NSLA documents state. “After his political career he settled down in the Genoa area and there is no official surviving document attesting to the year or age at which he died.

“Kingsbury Road, where (his) cabin was located, was a trail that had been established shortly before Daggett moved to the community.”

Visit Carson Valley contends the route was first a footpath established by the Washoe Tribe to get from one side of the mountain to the other.

Helen Carlson in “Nevada Place Names” wrote: “… in 1854, (Daggett) staked out a claim to 640 acres embracing its debouchment. After this considerable acquisition the name Georgetown gave way to that of Daggett Trail and Pass.”

Daggett Summit is one of a handful of routes into and out of the Lake Tahoe Basin. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Georgetown refers to the California Gold Rush town that was promoting this route as a faster than going over what was called Carson Canyon, which was actually the better road.

Carlson’s book introduces Kingsbury Grade: “… named for the Kingsbury brothers, who built it. The trail was opened as a wagon road in 1860 by D.D. Kingsbury and John M. McDonald. A.B. Kingsbury, one of the brothers, was killed in a snowslide in the mountains in 1861.”

Visit Carson Valley called this new Kingsbury route a 7-mile wagon road that ranged from 8 to 16 feet in width. Today, it’s 11.08 miles, with a grade less than 9 percent.

No one disputes today’s route is different.

“Old Kingsbury Grade is located in Haines Canyon, west of and below Daggett Summit, earlier known as Daggett’s Pass. The route started at a point approximately 2.65 miles north along State Route 206 (Foothill Road) from its intersection with the current Kingsbury Grade, State Route 207,” emailed Meg Ragonese, Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman. “Today, the alignment differs from the original alignment which ran from Foothill Road next to the old Van Sickle station and Muller Lane, straight up Haines/Dagget Canyon across the current Kingsbury Grade and continuing onto Dagget Summit near the Nevada side of Heavenly Valley. Much of the old alignment was at one time designated as SR19 and FAS559.” (FAS = Federal Aid Secondary.)

In the 1923-24 Department of Highways fourth biennial report, it calls Kingsbury Grade the “oldest road over the Sierras (stet) with grades up to 30 percent.”

It became part of the state highway system in 1929. However, “a road connecting Lake Tahoe to the Carson Valley appears on the first official state highway map of 1919,” Ragonese said.

She added, “Small sections of Kingsbury Grade are recorded as being paved in 1951, 1958, and 1959. … beginning in approximately 1965, other sections were paved as part of a U.S. Bureau of Public Roads National Forest Highway System project. By 1968, the entire route was paved as part of the construction of the current Kingsbury Grade alignment, which was still designated as State Route 19 around that time.”

When it started being called Kingsbury Grade and more about who it’s named after could not be ascertained from historical agencies in Nevada.

Note: A version of this story first appeared in the Tahoe Mountain News.

Once thriving Nevada town reduced to roadside marker

Once thriving Nevada town reduced to roadside marker

A marker in Douglas County on Foothill Road commemorates the town of Sheridan. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Sheridan was once a metropolis in Nevada.

Do you even know where this Douglas County town is located?

Well, it’s not a town anymore. As with so many towns that sprouted in the West, settlers moved on and the town withered away.

A marker on Foothill Road in the Carson Valley tells a brief story about the area.

The historical marker in full says, “In 1861, a blacksmith shop, a store, boarding house, and two saloons comprised the village of Sheridan. The village had grown up around Moses Job’s general store, established prior to 1855. The Surveyor General, in his 1889-90 biennial report, stated that Sheridan was the metropolis of the Carson River West Fork farmers. The Sheridan House, erstwhile boarding abode, has been converted to a dwelling. It may be seen across the road. It is all that remains of the ‘metropolis.’ Moses Job, an irrepressible man, climbed the peak above this location, planted the American flag and with a shout named the peak after himself. Job’s Canyon is above, and to its left is Job’s Peak. To its right is Job’s Sister.”

1861 is when Job sold the store and 800 acres that included the original town site to J.W. Haines and I.W. Duncan, according to Clairitage Press.

The town’s name supposedly came from Union Army Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan. However, he didn’t become a general until 1888.

Until reading the marker last month I didn’t know how Job’s Peak, which is prominent from the South Shore, got its name.

At 10,638 feet, it the fourth tallest peak in the Tahoe area. Freel Peak is at 10,886 feet, Job’s Sister is 10,823 feet, and Mount Rose is 10,785 feet.

Pin It on Pinterest