Looking for the videos of our wonderful guest speaker programs? Look no further. Listed below are prior videos recorded while we have not been able to get together in person.

Scroll down to see what is available then click on the link (ends with the word “Video”) to the video. The videos may take some time to load depending on your network bandwidth.

Carol Coleman

It's that time of year when we call members together to hear the annual message from the President, receive program and financial updates, and any other news for the good of the organization.

Following the meeting, we'll join Carol Coleman and author, Jerry Aaron, as they discuss Jerry's aerial tour of Nevada mining sites. In the "High Over Nevada" presentation, you'll visit places such as Hawthorne, Tonopah, Round Mountain, Eureka, Hawthorne, Winnemucca, and more.

2022 Annual Report

High Over Nevada

What is Rodeo? Is it a sport? Is it a performance, a circus, or “wild west show”? Is it a historical re-enactment? Rodeo, in fact, contains elements of all those things, with a bit of Indian Pow Wow and Charreria Mexicana thrown in. Michael Allen will show that rodeo is a North American equestrian folk festival that was commercialized and professionalized during the 20th century. If rodeo is a "sport," it is a highly unusual sport, in which participants re-enact elements of the American past exhibiting historic skills with direct ties to the 19th-century North American “cattle kingdom” and ranching frontiers. 

Dr. Michael Allen is a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma, Allen’s books include “Western Rivermen, 1763-1861: Ohio and Mississippi Boatmen and the Myth of the Alligator Horse” “Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination,” published by the University of Nevada Press, and the co-authored (with Larry Schweikart) “A Patriot’s History of the United States.” In 1997, he helped found the Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo Hall of Fame Association and currently helps create museum displays at the Western Culture and Arts Center in Ellensburg.

What is Rodeo Video

Starting in 1844 and through the Gold Rush, emigrant wagons left their marks on the Truckee Meadows. Most of those vestiges now are erased, but some ruts still exist and the routes of the vanished trails are known. Journalist and author Frank X. Mullen knows where those are and will trace the routes in a Zoom presentation. From the Truckee River Canyon in the east, to the Comstock-era ruts near Hidden Valley, to the still-visible pioneer trail above Verdi, he will take participants on a virtual walk along those ghost trails.

Frank X. Mullen is the author of the “Donner Party Chronicles,” a veteran newspaper reporter and the current editor of the Reno News & Review. He is a nationally-known Chautauqua performer and an adjunct journalism instructor. In 2021, he was inducted into the Nevada Journalist Hall of Fame and also named Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer, a program of the Reynolds School of Journalism and Nevada Humanities.

Ghost Trails of the Truckee Meadows Video

John L. Smith

John Smith discusses his new book about the grazing rights battle between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government that resulted in a tense, armed standoff between Bundy's supporters and federal law enforcement officers. It places the Bundy conflict into the larger context of the Sagebrush Rebellion and the long struggle of the use of public lands in the American West. While examining the complex history of federal public land policies, Smith exposes both sides of this story. He shows that there are passionate true believers on opposite sides of the insurrection, along with government agents and politicians in Washington complicit in efforts to control public lands for their wealthy allies and campaign contributors. With the promise of billions of dollars in natural resource profits and vast tracts of environmentally sensitive lands hanging in the balance, the West's latest range war is the most important in the nation's history. This masterful exposé raises serious questions about the fate of America's public lands and the vehement arguments that are framing the debate from all sides.

John L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books on some of the most significant characters in Las Vegas history. In three decades as a daily columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he garnered many state and national awards for his work. In 2016, Smith was named to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame and was part of a group of reporters to receive the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics from the University of Oregon, the Society of Professional Journalists award for Ethics, and the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Saints, Sinners and Sovereign Citizens Video

Dr. Alicia Barber

It would be difficult to identify a building in Reno with greater architectural, historical, and cultural significance than what we know today as the Lear Theater. Completed in 1939 as the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the elegant structure has graced the north bank of the Truckee River at 501 Riverside Drive for more than 80 years. Paul Revere Williams, widely recognized as the most important African American architect of the 20th century, designed it. And yet, the building's story has become one of repeatedly dashed hopes for its renovation and revitalization. As ownership of the building transfers from Artown to the City of Reno, this seems an opportune moment to increase community awareness of what makes this building so significant, what protections are in place to preserve it, and what any new plans for it should keep in mind.

Dr. Alicia Barber is a writer, historian, and educator who specializes in the cultural history and landscapes of Nevada and the American West and collaborates statewide on public history projects through her consulting firm, Stories in Place. She is the author of Reno's Big Gamble: Image and Reputation in the Biggest Little City and an e-newsletter about Reno city development called The Barber Brief.

The Lear Theater Video

Reno's Hebrew Cemetery

This presentation looks at the early days of Jewish presence in Nevada and the need to establish cemeteries for their population. The Comstock brought Jews to Nevada—engineers, storekeepers, traders, doctors, journalists, lawyers and of course, fortune seekers. While the Jewish population didn’t exceed one percent of the population, after the Comstock, the majority of Carson City and Reno dry goods shops were operated by Jews. It was a priority for early Jewish settlers to establish a cemetery. Reno’s Hebrew cemetery was begun in 1875 and follows Jewish customs. It is the only entirely Jewish cemetery in Nevada.

Sharon Honig-Bear is a HRPS Board member, Tour Guide, originator of the HRPS Home Tour, and a Past President of HRPS as well as a past Chair of the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission.

Hebrew Cemeteries Video

Sharon Honig-Bear
Women drive across Nevada in support of women's suffrage (late 19-teens)
Governer Boyle signing resolution of radification of the 19th Amendment

In 2020, the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office received a federal grant through the National Park Service to create a Historic Context for Women's History in Nevada, with the goal of identifying places and properties associated with women's history and the suffrage movement in our state. Project coordinators ZoAnn Campana and Alicia Barber will discuss how they went about writing the context and how it can be put to use.

Dr. Alicia Barber is a writer and historian who specializes in the cultural history and landscapes of Nevada and the American West and collaborates statewide on public history projects through her consulting firm, Stories in Place.

ZoAnn Campana is an architectural historian and historic preservation consultant with Kautz Environmental Consultants of Reno. She works on cultural resource and architectural history projects throughout Nevada.

Women's Suffrage Video

Dr. Alicia Barber
ZoAnn Campana
Book Cover: The Archaeology of Burning Man

Since 2006, Carolyn L. White has been conducting archaeological research in Black Rock City, the temporary metropolis built each year for Burning Man. Her recent book, The Archaeology of Burning Man, presents the results of over a decade of research. As a city on the threshold of destruction and on the verge of creation, archaeological techniques are particularly appropriate for understanding the created private and public spaces in the city before, during, and after its use. This talk will present some of the ideas behind the study of the city and its residents, presenting findings from archaeological survey, mapping, artifact collection, and analysis to interpret the domestic and public space of Black Rock City.

Dr. Carolyn L. White is the Mamie Kleberg Professor of Anthropology and Historic Preservation at the University of Nevada, Reno where she directs the Museum Studies and Historic Preservation Programs. Her work as an anthropologically focused historical archaeologist spans four centuries, focusing on the materiality of personal appearance, 19th-century ranching in Hawaii, the built environment of Black Rock City, and the relationship between art and archaeology. Her most recent book, The Archaeology of Burning Man, was published by University of New Mexico Press (2020).

Burning Man Video

Dr. Carolyn L. WhiteDr. Carolyn L. White, UNR Professor of Anthropology and Historic Preservation
American Beaver Trappers

Larry speaks on the beaver trappers of the "fur trade era" (1800-1840) and how the American Mountain Men group research and teach the skills and history of these important pathfinders.

Larry Walker first became interested in shooting sports in the late 1980s. That led to muzzleloader competitions and cowboy action shooting. These sports led him to an interest in the history of the western fur trade era, what we sometimes call Mountain Men. In 2000, he connected with the American Mountain Men who, as an organization, study, in earnest, the lifestyles and equipment of the fur trappers, with an emphasis on authenticity. Larry's main focus of research has been on the firearms used in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries. He currently builds recreations of the JJ Henry trade rifles that were the most commonly used by the mountaineers.

American Mountain Men Video

Larry Walker
A Scene of the Early Truckee Meadows

Early settlers in the Truckee Meadows knew nothing of Reno or Sparks. Instead, they lived in communities like Eastman Mill and Brown's Crossing — villages whose names no longer appear on modern maps. Like much of Nevada, the Truckee Meadows between 1855 - 1868 was dotted with small settlements. Most of these briefly boomed and just as quickly died. Some never boomed at all. Reno and Sparks simply beat the odds. This talk will look at a few of the early communities which today can only be found in historical archives. Pleasant Valley, Galena, Glendale, Huffaker, and Lake's Crossing are among the forgotten places to be discussed.

After a career as a National Weather Service meteorologist, Betsy Morse retired and moved to Reno. She has been a volunteer and docent with the Nevada Historical Society for the last decade, where she works in the research library and gives school tours. She loves learning about the history of the state and sharing what she has learned with others.

Before Reno and Sparks Video

Betsy Morse
Book cover showing a picture of Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes, one of the most intriguing and accomplished Americans of the 20th century, had a profound effect on Las Vegas. His investments in the 1950s, 60s and 70s helped transform the city. But his secretive and reclusive nature has generated innumerable myths that obscure the true story. Geoff Schumacher, author of a new biography of the billionaire, explains how truth is stranger than fiction in the life of Howard Hughes.

Geoff Schumacher is the Vice President of Exhibits & Programs for The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. He is the author of Sun, Sin & Suburbia: A History of Modern Las Vegas and Howard Hughes: Power, Paranoia & Palace Intrigue. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his master's degree in American history from Arizona State University. He had a twenty-five-year career in journalism, with stops at the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas CityLife, Las Vegas Mercury, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Ames (Iowa) Tribune. He serves as associate editor of the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly.

Fact, Fiction and Howard Hughes Video

Geoff Schumacher
The Valley Road Barn

(Recorded for the Nevada Historical Society Docent Council and Newcomers and Neighbors of Reno-Sparks)
Jack Hursh presents Northern Nevada’s historic barn architecture with his 1995-2005 photographs. This was a period of rapid development in the Reno area, so most of the barns in the images that Jack shows were displaced by new development. The focus of Jack's photography is large timber framed barns dating back to circa 1860s when large ranches in the area were producing goods for the Virginia City market.

Jack Hursh is a fourth-generation Nevadan, an award winning photographer, influenced by the desire to preserve images reflecting the heritage of Nevada.

Nevada Barn Heritage Video

Jack Hursh

(Recorded for the Nevada Historical Society Docent Council)
Harold's Club emerged from a hole in the wall operation at 236 North Virginia Street in 1935 to become the largest casino in the world. The Smith family, Pappy and sons Harold and Raymond, lived by Pappy's carnival-worker philosophy of treating customers with a smile and a fair hand. Run an honest game, the father said, let players win something, and they'll return. So under Pappy's leadership and innovations, Harolds Club and Reno into world-famed tourist attractions.

Neal Cobb is a Reno native, and was involved in his family’s business, Modern Photo. Neal fell heir to fourteen large boxes of old Reno and Northern Nevada photos and printable film after his parents died in the 1980s and subsequently authored two books, Reno Now and Then, Books I and II.

Harold's Club Video

Neal Cobb

(Recorded for the Nevada Historical Society Docent Council and Newcomers and Neighbors of Reno-Sparks)
In 1934, a new post office opened at 50 S. Virginia alongside the Truckee River. It opened during the main decade of the divorce era and was an extremely busy "General Delivery" site. It served the town as Reno's Main Post Office until 1975, and continued to serve as a post office box and window counter service until 2012. In August of 2012, ownership of the Reno Downtown Post Office was transferred to 50 South Virginia LLC, which carefully restored the building.

Bernie Carter Managing Member of 50 South Virginia and founder and visionary behind Reno Midtown development, will tell us how the ideas and plans and restoration of 50 S. Virginia took place, leading to a beautifully and faithfully restored downtown building.

Downtown Post Office Video

Bernie Carter

(Recorded for Newcomers and Neighbors of Reno-Sparks)
Learn about the geological history of Nevada and the people who have lived here. Hear about the non-native peoples who have populated the state, mining, the process of statehood, the development of the counties in the state and the towns in Washoe County. Various industries that have supported the state’s economy from early days up until the 1930s are detailed.

Jim Bonar is a retired math teacher, and State Director of the Lincoln Highway Association. In his spare time, Jim creates lectures on a wide variety of historical topics.

Washoe County Video

Jim Bonar
Alice Ramsey and Crew in the Maxwell DA

In 1909, intrepid 22-year-old Alice Ramsey made history as the first female cross-country motorist, driving a Maxwell DA from New York to San Francisco in 59 days. Coming through Reno in August, she stayed overnight in the Riverside Hotel. Hear about her amazing journey in a time before interstate highways and before most women had even considered learning to drive.

Debbie Hinman is a Reno native and UNR graduate. Active with HRPS since 2004, she is a researcher and Editor of HRPS's quarterly FootPrints publication.

Alice Ramsey's Journey Video

Debbie Hinman
A Picture of the Chism Ice Cream Truck

Come savor a visual history of local food, drink and the industries that surround them! "Edible Traditions" columnist Sharon Honig-Bear has fashioned a presentation based on her past four years of columns in edibleRenoTahoe magazine, with new images never published in the magazine. Discover unknown stories like sugar beet production in Fallon, Chicken Soup Hot Springs in Washoe Valley and the turkey farms near where Park Lane once stood. The presentation is fast-moving and full of surprises about your backyard—the food that was once enjoyed in the area.

Sharon Honig-Bear is a long-time Board member, Past President and tour leader for Historic Reno Preservation Society. She was a restaurant columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal and is now a columnist for edibleRenoTahoe magazine.

A Taste for History Video

Sharon Honig-Bear
A Picture of an Atomic Bomb Explosion

German scientists split the atom in 1938; by all accounts their nuclear program is 2-3 years ahead of any other country. As war breaks out in Europe, Einstein writes to Roosevelt warning him about the development of a Nazi atomic bomb and imploring the president to begin a similar effort. Even as victories mount, General Eisenhower fears the German will deploy radioactive bombs against advancing Allied troops. In 1943, as part of the Manhattan Project, a clandestine group of scientists and military personnel, ALSOS, are tasked with finding and capturing German nuclear scientists and their labs before Hitler can change the outcome of the war. Unforgettable and unlikely characters, poignant moments, suspense and even comedy characterize this piece of history. And a special twist: the Reno connection?

Jerry Wager's interest in the WWII ALSOS operation stemmed from reading a book about the Hotel Ritz in Paris and it became a minor obsession after discovering the Reno connection to the story.

ALSOS: The Hunt for Hitler's A-Bomb Video

Jerry Wager
Cover from the book Westside Slugger

The Westside Slugger is the powerful story of civil rights in Las Vegas and Nevada through the eyes and experience of Joe Neal, a history-making state lawmaker in Nevada. Neal rose from humble beginnings in Mound, Louisiana, during the Great Depression to become the first African American to serve in the Nevada State Senate.

John L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books on some of the most significant characters in Las Vegas history. In three decades as a daily columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he garnered many state and national awards for his work. In 2016, Smith was named to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame and was part of a group of reporters to receive the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics from the University of Oregon, the Society of Professional Journalists award for Ethics, and the James Foley Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism from Northwestern University.

The Westside Slugger: Joe Neal's Lifelong Fight for Social Justice Video

John L. Smith
Transcontinental Railroad Poster

The introduction of steam technology in general and railroads in particular changed the American West. That change was so pervasive that it dramatically affected the character of America and who we are. We don’t readily see it. This talk will point out the various ways the world changed when the rails joined the country.

Dan Theilen is the director of the Nevada State Railroad Museums, managing the three Railroad Museums in Nevada: Carson City, East Ely Depot, and Boulder City. He holds a M.S. in American Studies with a focus in living history at the RV Jenson Living Historical Farm in Cache Valley, Utah. There he restored and operated a 1905 Case steam traction engine. In his spare time, Dan enjoys turning beautiful lumber into sawdust as he clumsily attempts to make furniture for those who have not asked for it.

The 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad Video

Dan Theilen