Community and Society

Kaitty Holland Exhibit

“Out of the Closet: The Kaitty Holland Clothing Collection” debuted in May 2008 at Virginia City’s Historic Fourth Ward School Museum. The changing gallery exhibit, funded in part by Nevada Humanities, tells the story of a nineteenth-century mining family by showcasing the articles of clothing they treasured and preserved for over a hundred years.

John Cahlan

John Cahlan was an important part of Las Vegas journalism and life for more than half a century. Born in Reno in 1902, he was the grandson of men who had moved to Nevada before the Comstock Lode's discovery. Cahlan graduated from the University of Nevada and worked for the Nevada State Journal when its owner was longtime Nevada Democratic politician James Scrugham.

Jewry and Judaism in Nevada

Jews were among the first to provide the essential mercantile infrastructure for Nevada's mining towns and camps. Their numbers grew to nearly a thousand by the late 1870s. Even as the state's population declined from 1880 to 1910, small numbers of Jews or a single Jewish-owned store could be found in nearly every town and mining camp. The first permanent synagogue was erected in Reno in 1921 and the second in Las Vegas in 1963.

Jewish Agricultural Experiment in Wellington

When Nevada's ore production dropped precipitously after 1877, the population steadily declined and public officials searched for ways to attract new citizens and bolster the tax base. Eventually, the Hebrew Agricultural Society of the United States unveiled a plan to triple Nevada's population with thousands of eastern European Jews. In 1897, Governor Reinhold Sadler commissioned Jewish entrepreneurs Morris Cohn and Theodore Hofer to take out an option on a 5,500 acre spread in Wellington, forty-five miles south of Carson City.


A.V. Wilson and R. Chanrock discovered silver at Jefferson Canyon in Nye County's Toquima Range in 1865, but it was not until two large stamp mills were built in 1874 that the town of Jefferson was born. The town's best years were 1875 and 1876 when $1.5 million was produced and its population was around 800. Little else happened there after 1879 until Charles Stoneham, owner of the New York Giants, bought all the mines in 1917. Stoneham built a mill, and Jefferson enjoyed a revival until 1919.

Jeanne Janish

Jeanne Russell Janish was the first female graduate from Stanford University with a master's degree in geology. Her botanical illustrations are recognized nationally and generations of Nevadans have learned local botany from her field guide illustrations.

Janish was born in 1902 in Marshall, Iowa, but grew up in California. She graduated from Vassar College in 1924 with a major in Latin and a minor in geology. She continued studies at Stanford and in 1926, became the first woman to receive a master of science degree in geology from the university.

Jacob Sheyer, Resident Rabbi of Carson City

Rabbis in the West often required an alternative source of income because their constituency was often quite small. Jacob Sheyer, rabbi and merchant, had business interests in Marysville, California, and in Carson City as early as 1863.  Sheyer had the longest tenure of any rabbi in Nevada in the nineteenth century despite his untimely death.


The town of Jackpot, which sits on Nevada's northeastern border, began to emerge after Idaho outlawed slot machines in 1953. The Horseshu Club was built in 1954, and it was followed by the establishment of Cactus Pete's two years later. The two casinos immediately drew customers from Idaho, and in that same year they succeeded in doubling the number of vehicles traveling along Highway 93, which bisects the town's business section.


Silver discoveries at Union Canyon in the Shoshone Mountains by P. A. Havens in 1863 led to the formation of Ione. In 1864, Ione was named the first county seat for Nye County. At that time, the town had a population of 600 and more than one hundred buildings. The combination of low mine production and the emergence of Belmont forced Ione to relinquish the county seat in 1867.

International Community of Christ

The International Community of Christ has had a presence in Northern Nevada since its founder, Douglas Eugene “Gene” Savoy—an American explorer of pre-Columbian cultures, theologian, and author—established its permanent North American headquarters in Reno in 1972. The church was organized in 1959 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, but shortly thereafter moved to Peru, where Savoy had centered his historical, archaeological, and religious career.


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