Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nevada Magazine celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2011

In January 1936, the state highway department introduced Nevada Highways and Parks — known today as Nevada Magazine. Always an information source for Nevada residents and tourists, what started as a black-and-white digest-sized bulletin has grown into a colorful magazine (see past issues here). Today, Nevada Magazine is a division of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, published bimonthly, and based in Carson City and Las Vegas.

In 2011, the state’s official tourism publication celebrates its 75th anniversary. To honor the milestone, the magazine will produce a 192-page special edition, to be printed late this year. “Nevada Magazine is an icon in the West,” says Publisher Janet M. Geary. “Just the other day I was talking to a man in Las Vegas who owns every issue of the magazine. We are excited to celebrate 75 years of Nevada history.”

Subscribers, history buffs, and general Nevada enthusiasts can order the 75th-Anniversary Special Edition now at nevadamagazine.com or by calling 775-687-0603. The special edition will feature re-printed stories from the past eight decades and provide a fascinating historical perspective on Nevada, including the Pony Express, atomic testing, Nevada’s mining legacy, Hoover Dam, wild horses, and more. The collector’s editions are $19.95 each, plus $4 shipping and handling. ORDER HERE

In addition, the magazine will highlight Nevada’s six “Territories” in 2011, customizing each of the year’s six issues to honor Las Vegas Territory, Reno-Tahoe Territory, Pony Express Territory, Indian Territory, Cowboy Country, and Nevada Silver Trails. For more information on Nevada tourism’s Territory designations, visit nevadamagazine.com.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nevada Magazine announces 2010 Best of Nevada winners

Nevada Magazine’s July/August 2010 issue is available on newsstands throughout Nevada. In the edition, the winners of the 13th Annual Best of Nevada readers’ survey are revealed. From Brewery to Wedding Venue, the anticipated annual listing includes 17 categories.

Readers can also explore some of the Silver State’s unique, fragile environments via a feature on Nevada’s lakes and the environmental challenges facing them and a story about Nevada’s nine National Wildlife Refuges. Desert NWR in southern Nevada and Sheldon NWR in northwestern Nevada are covered extensively.

A story about Nevada tour companies (the cover image, also shown below, features a helicopter view of Hoover Dam) helps travelers plan their next Nevada adventure, and after a day of Nevada sightseeing, nothing hits the spot quite like southern-style soul food, the topic of this issue’s Cravings story.

A piece on St. Thomas tells the interesting history of a town that was once submerged by rising Lake Mead. The ghost town is now above water due to prolonged drought in southern Nevada. The Events Spotlight takes readers to the counter-culture festival in the Black Rock Desert, Burning Man, and the People feature spotlights Madeleine Pickens and her nonprofit, Saving America’s Mustangs.

Finally, the magazine’s Tour Around Nevada continues in the historic town of Ely. On July 17, Nevada Magazine will attend Nevada Northern Railway’s celebration of Engine No. 40’s 100th birthday. Visitors to the Ely event can pick up free magazines and other Nevada information, and Nevada Magazine staff will present a plaque and framed story to the town.

Writers’ Contest Deadline is Approaching

In addition to its popular Great Nevada Picture Hunt photo contest, Nevada Magazine is holding its first Writers’ Contest in 2010. Submissions — writers are required to keep their stories at 1,500 words or less — must be received by Monday, August 2 at 5 p.m. (PST). The first-place winner will be published in the November/December 2010 issue.

See contest details at nevadamagazine.com. Refer questions to Editor Matthew B. Brown at editor@nevadamagazine.com or 775-687-0602.

July/August 2010 cover image photo by Matthew B. Brown

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Mackay Mansion Museum

A visit to The Mackay Mansion Museum—or Virginia City in general for that matter—truly is a "Step Back in Time" (which just so happens to be the slogan of the Northern Nevada historic town's Convention and Tourism Authority).

The museum reopened for tours on May 1 of this year, and we were lucky enough to be escorted around the property by the man behind the mansion's renaissance: Octavio A. Cresta. He has leased the mansion through 2014 and has furnished its bedrooms with period pieces from his Uniquities Fine Antiques and Home Decor store out of Incline Village.

A stroll through the mansion is eloquent, rugged, and a little bit of spooky all rolled into one. When you walk into the stylish bedrooms, you get a feel for how absurdly rich John Mackay was. Mackay was the "Boss of the Big Bonanza," which put his net worth at about $100 million in his glory days. He moved into the mansion, originally built as the Gould and Curry mining offices, after his home was destroyed in the city's Great Fire of 1875. The grand room (see photo above) of the Italianate-style house claims the original fireplace and overhanging mirror—the mirror's frame appears to be plated with gold.

The museum also has its share of rustic items, from an old fire-fighting wagon to myriad household items of the day (stoves, sewing machines, laundry soap, etc.). Like many old Nevada buildings, there are rumors of the paranormal at the mansion, too. The most famous story concerns actor Johnny Depp. While filming the movie "Dead Man," Depp stayed in Mackay's former bedroom. He supposedly saw a ghostly apparition in the form of a little girl, who other people have claimed to see in the house.

The mansion is open to the public for tours daily, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Winter hours, which begin around November 1, are to be determined. Private, exclusive tours can be tailored to your needs. Call 775-847-0373 for more information.

Photos & story by Matthew B. Brown. See more photos here.