October 2018 Monthly Programs

Tony Shafton, Author and Independent Scholar Discusses His Fifth Book, "The Nevada They Knew."

After writing four books on subjects as diverse as dream psychology, African-American cultural sociology, and the biological evolution of self-awareness in humans and other primates, Tony returned home to Nevada in 2012 to write about a legendary friendship — that of Robert Caples and Walter Van Tilburg Clark. Caples was Nevada's leading artist of the twentieth century, and Walter Van Tilburg Clark was its leading novelist. Caples works range from portraits of divorcees to charcoals of Nevada Indians, especially of Great Basin mountains. Clark's fame rests on The Ox-Bow Incident, but his finest novel is The City of Trembling Leaves, a celebration of youth based in part on the early years of his friendship with Caples in Nevada.

  • Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 PM
  • Location: Northwest Library, 2325 Robb Drive, Reno

Edan Strekal Project Archivist, Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno, Presents "Reno Chinatown."

Reno, Nevada, like other mining and railroad towns in the American West, had a Chinatown that originated with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The Sacramento-to-Reno section of the Central Pacific Railroad was completed in May 1868 and the first train traveled the route on June 18, 1868. Once the work was completed, displaced Chinese laborers were paid off and left along the tracks. Almost immediately, the Chinese in the Truckee Meadows built a bare-wood shantytown along the Truckee River out of any available materials. Thus, on First Street between Virginia and Center streets, Chinatown was born. Reno's Chinese population existed along the periphery of the larger white community for nearly 40 years. Chinatown burned down and was relocated several times. The last remnants of Reno's Chinatown on Lake Street disappeared with the demolition of Bill Fong's New China Club to make way for Harrah's parking structure expansion. The only indication of Northern Nevada's Chinese past is Nevada Historical Marker No. 29 located in Sparks. The plaque, dedicated in 1964, celebrates Nevada's centennial and salutes the contributions of "Chinese pioneers" in the state.

  • Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018
  • Time: 2:00 PM
  • Location: Sierra View Library, 4001 South Virginia Street, Reno