Community and Society

Virginia Street Bridge

The Virginia Street Bridge gained its fame during Reno's heyday as the divorce capital of the nation. Lore had it that immediately after receiving their decree, women would march to the center of the bridge and, in an emphatic good-riddance, throw their wedding rings into the Truckee River (less satisfying but safer than tossing the ex-husband over the rail).

Leavitt House, Bunkerville, Clark County

Thomas Dudley Leavitt and twenty-two other Latter-day Saints established the utopian community of Bunkerville in 1877 under the leadership of Bishop Edward Bunker.

Wabuska Hot Springs

The Wabuska geothermal area is located at the margin of Mason Valley, in Lyon County, Nevada, where both the valley margin and the thermal springs coincide with a northeast-trending zone of faults referred to as the Wabuska lineament. Hot springs, about 1.6 km north of Wabuska, range in temperature from 59 to 72°C and occur over a large area. Gas bubbles issue from the pools with a faint odor of H2S. The springs occur along an east-west line that coincides with the course of a post-Lahontan fault, which is plainly shown by an irregular scarp, in some places 6 m high.

Lear Theatre

The Lear Theater occupies the historic First Church of Christ, Scientist, in the Truckee River Arts District. In 2011, the building was in the process of renovation into a mid-size space for theater, music, and dance performances. The 1939 church building was purchased in 1998 by the Theater Coalition with a major matching donation from Moya Lear, and the building was renamed in her honor.

Waddie Mitchell

Waddie Mitchell has become an icon of Nevada, of buckaroo culture (cowboys of the Great Basin), and of cowboy poetry. Born in 1950 on a ranch in Elko County, he grew up to be a working cowboy. After the popularity of the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1985—of which he was one of the founders—he realized the impact he had on audiences. He also saw that making day wages as a cowboy, he would never buy the ranch he dreamed of owning. So Mitchell became a professional cowboy poet and entertainer with worldwide tours, logging over 200 days on the road in 2006.

LDS Moapa Stake Office Building/Virmoa Maternity Hospital, Overton, Clark County

Mormon settlers built the LDS Moapa Stake Office Building/Virmoa Maternity Hospital as a concrete symbol of the Church's principals of community management. An administrative unit, called a "stake," oversees several geographically related groups of churches, called "wards." Each "stake" represents a stake in the tent of Zion, or the Promised Land.

Laura Ethel Mills

Educator Laura Ethel Mills left a lasting impression on those she taught, either in the classroom or on field trips to the deserts that she loved so much. An accomplished photographer and recognized authority in the field of natural history, Mills created permanent images of the diversity of life found in Nevada's Great Basin.


The Wadsworth area was important for settlers as early as 1841, but was not formally established until the railroad arrived. Westbound immigrants, having crossed the Forty-Mile Desert to the east, found the area on the big bend of the Truckee River a welcome place to rest and water livestock. Seasonal trading posts were established by 1854. Wadsworth turned from small settlement to permanent town in 1868, when it was designated as a service station and headquarters for the Central Pacific Railroad's Truckee Division.

Las Vegas' Block 16

On May 15, 1905, the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake City Railroad auctioned off commercial and residential lots in the Clark Las Vegas Townsite, now the core of downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Sun

The Las Vegas Sun is its city's second longest published newspaper, with a legendary past as a muckraker and crusader. It debuted on May 3, 1950, as the Las Vegas Free Press, a thrice-weekly newspaper founded by the International Typographical Union, which consisted of typesetters locked out of the Las Vegas Review-Journal for trying to unionize.


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