James C. McKay Drove a Cadillac
- Created: July 10, 2016
- Written by: Kim Henrick
Like many researchers, I suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome. This is the compulsion to follow any bright, shiny object (BSO) that comes into view, instead of finishing the project you should be working on. I first heard about BSOs from my friend Rosie Cevasco earlier this year (who read about it online on the GeneaBloggers website). A lot has been written about this syndrome, usually within the context of business owners and entrepreneurs and tech lovers chasing after each new BSO that pops up.
For me, the syndrome recently manifested itself like this: I was researching the Lowary Building on the southeast corner of Mt. Rose and Lander streets when Karalea Clough (masterful Nevada Historical Society library hostess) handed me a copy of a quaint, hand-drawn map showing many of the early Reno tracts south of California Avenue, between "Virginia Road" and the Arlington Avenue area. The map was donated to the NHS in 1922 by an "O'Brien" and someone at the NHS wrote "1900 ca" in the lower right corner, which is too early of a guess since most of these additions and tracts were surveyed in the 1907/1908 time frame. The "O'Brien's Southbrae Addition," located in the center of the map was surveyed and recorded with the Washoe County Recorder's Office in May 1908. Just south of the O'Brien Southbrae Addition is another chunk of land titled "J. F. O'Brien" right above the words "beautiful knoll."