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«MuseNews A Publication of the Churchill County Museum Association “The Best Little Museum on the Loneliest Road in America” Spring 2015 Contents ...»

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A Publication of the Churchill County Museum Association

“The Best Little Museum on the Loneliest Road in America”

Spring 2015


Visitors / Facts………….....3

Memorial……………..…...4 About the Cover:



Donna Cossette

Board President…………...5

Bob Getto


Spotlight ………..…….......7

Nevada’s Bighorns…..…....8 By Carl Erquiaga Research Curator…….......10 Photograph Curator……...12 Upcoming Events………..13 Nevada’s Madams…….....14 New installation, Great Basin Native Artist Exhibit. mixed By Jennie Mader Ladies Luncheon………...15 media sculpture by Phill Buckheart, Early Medical Care……...16 By Bunny Corkill with Julie King Reader’s Recipes………...23 Board Members App…….25 Membership App………..26 Muse News is published quar ter ly for Churchill County Museum Association members and friends of the museum. For more information or for a membership application turn to page 26 or contact us at (775) 423-3677.

ccmuseum@phonewave.net 2 MuseNews Spring 2015


VISITORS “We were here a long time ago in costume NVCWR. Love it here! Carson City ATTENDANCE “Fantastic!” Germany Nov.– 995 Dec.– 2,223 Jan.- 713 “Love it a lot. Want to come everyday!” MUSEUM VISITORS Fallon “Wonderful Exhibits!” International Washington “Lovely day. Lots of rocks!” Australia, Germany Maryland New Zealand, Switzerland “Why does this place have a bunch of old stuff?” T. Mack “On honeymoon.”

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The Churchill County Museum thanks the following people who have sent memorial contributions in memory of their families and loved ones. Our “Memorial Book” is a

perpetual “In Memory” and is enjoyed daily by our visitors:

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Well, we survived the holidays! We were really hoping in December to start off the month with the Lights of Christmas annual Christmas tree decorating and auction, followed by another wonderful performance of the popular Lahontan Valley Concert Choir and a fabulous performance by the Tintabulations, Handbell Ensemble.

The community enjoyed the use of the museum facilities to host their private events. Special thanks to the Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, New Frontier, Ash Family Baby Shower & the Horseman’s.

The Churchill County Museum was the proud recipient of the Fallon Auto Mall’s “2014-Pay It Forward Program” award in the sum of $750. Bob Getto, President of the CCMA Board, John Tewell, board member and I accepted the check. Proceeds will go toward the new exhibits in the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Over the past several weeks, volunteers Walter Cossette and Johnny Ash have been diligently constructing a new Telegraph Exhibit that will be placed in the Children’s Discovery Room.

The museum enjoyed hosting a wonderful photo exhibit provided by Edith Isodoro-Mills entitled, “Nature Through the Seasons.” The museum staff enjoyed “You Can’t Do That At work, Anti-Harassment” training provided by PERS this past month. We are excited to welcome our newest staff member Katherine Weaver as our new Education Curator.

Churchill County has now equipped all their facilities with an AED automated external defibrillator machine. Special thanks to Churchill County Building and Grounds for the installation of the new device. We hope we will never need it.

We are excited about our upcoming new exhibits and events over the next few months. There is much to do here at the museum. We are a proud sponsor of Live Local, so don’t forget to ask to get your Live Local book stamped.

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The Churchill County Museum Associations loves its volunteers! Whether it just 1 hour per week or more, if you want to be absorbed into local history, the Museum is the place to be. Volunteer by yourself! Volunteer with a friend! Make it fun and make it what you want it to be… it’s your museum… the citizens of Churchill County.

Board Member Opportunities too: The Churchill County Museum Association is also looking for three public spirited individuals who would like to join the Board of the Museum Association. The members of the Board meet monthly, on the third Monday of each month. The Board consists of 12 volunteers, and the Board purpose is varied, and includes, but is not limited to, “the promotion of public interest in the history and cultural heritage of the State of Nevada and Churchill County, and to enlist pubic support in the participation and the collection and the preservation of artifacts relating to the Museum.” The Museum is seeking interested souls until Monday, April 10th. Applications for service are available at the Museum front desk. Think about joining the Board! It’s important, meaningful, and fun. It’s your Museum!

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Left to Right: Scott Thompson, Jennie Mader, John Tewell, Sue Chambers, Carl Erquiaga, Skip Carricia, Ron Fritcher, Pamela Thompson, Ann Rapp, Bruce Mills & Bob Getto, Jr.

It is with sorrow that we announce the resignation of three Museum Association Board of Trustees Members: Skip Carrica, Scott & Pam Thompson. They have all generously volunteered their time, enthusiasm and energy to the Museum Board.

Skip Carrica has dedicated her time as Board of Trustee since June 2006. She has resigned her position this past December stating, “I would like to spend more time working with quilting (my passion) and traveling with my family.” Skip has graciously continued to serve as a museum volunteer since her resignation. She serves as the museum’s Accession Committee Member and continues to play a key role in coordinating and promoting the annual Ladies Luncheon.

Upon her retirement from the Churchill County School District, Pam Beeghly Thompson has served as a board member since 2008. She had originally dedicated her service “to following in the footsteps of my grandfather, Sam Beeghly, one of the original founders of the museum in 1968.” She has been prominent in establishing and promoting the annual Ladies Luncheon and editing the MuseNews newsletter.

Scott Thompson became a board member in 2013. He has shared his creative artistic genius with the museum and community in a myriad of ways. He painted the Bull Durham Bull on the east side of the Woodliff Building and the Holstein cow mural in the Ag Display. He recreated Fort Churchill in the Pony Express Display. He designed advertising signs and flyers for upcoming events at the museum. He edited the MuseNews newsletter with his special flair.

The Museum Board of Trustees and staff are sad to see everyone go. We wish Skip, Scott & Pam the best in all their future endeavors. Again, we thank them for their generous contributions over the past years and wish them well.

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A new addition to our volunteer staff is Robert “Bob” Domantay. Bob came to Fallon a few months ago, arriving this October from San Diego, and the first thing he did was to look for a volunteer home. The museum was the lucky winner. You can find him most days hidden away in the Book Scanning section where he is diligently working to digitally preserve Fallon’s old newspapers.

Bob, a native of Chicago, IL, grew up in southern California. He enlisted in the U.S.

Army and did a couple of overseas tours, including time in Germany/Europe and also in Iraq.

After his time in the army, he moved to the Tacoma-Seattle area and entered private life but eventually returned to the San Diego region where his family lives. His recent move to Fallon was encouraged by a friend who recommended our area. Bob says he really likes the people and the small town atmosphere he has found here.

He is an outdoor enthusiast and looks forward to the day when he can get up into the Sierra for a bit of hiking – or out into the desert to explore the far reaches of our northern Nevada expanse.

Bob is also an avid historian and is enjoying reading about Fallon’s history as he steadily scans our old newspapers. And while his efforts focus on helping in the Photo Department, Bob fills in as needed in almost any capacity. The cheerful attitude and attention to detail that he brings to his projects at the museum, are much appreciated.

Spotlight On Katherine Weaver Educational Curator We welcome Katherine Weaver to our staff at the Churchill County Museum. She has lived in Nevada for 25 years and has taught since 1991 in the private and public sector. Her expertise in History and Writing is emphasized by her authorship of historical novels and her Nevada short story collections. She has studied film composing and editing at NYU in New York City. She is enthusiastic about combining all of her career experience and skills and utilizing them in serving the people of Churchill County.

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In 2013 Nevada Wildlife Recor d Book Committee member Tom Lammel appr oached the Chur chill County Museum Association Board with a proposal from the Committee to create a display, at no cost to the museum, that would depict Nevada’s state animal, the Desert Bighorn Sheep. It would also honor the small group of local sportsmen who worked hard to provide funding to the Nevada Department of Wildlife in order to make it possible to reintroduce the desert bighorn to historic range in the Stillwater Mountains of Churchill County.

According to historic documents and studies, prior to arrival of 18th century settlers, bighorn sheep were once plentiful in the western states and occurred in many mountain ranges throughout Nevada. Bighorns, by nature, occur in steep areas of the mountains that are geologically conducive to mineralization, and therefore mining. Bighorns were hunted extensively for food by miners and others. In the late 1800’s, as agriculture became an important industry, tens of thousands of domestic sheep were brought west and grazed most of the same mountain ranges occupied by bighorn sheep. These domestic sheep carried diseases they had evolved with and had resistance to. The wild bighorns however, had not evolved with those diseases and therefore were susceptible to them. Exposure to these diseases led to large scale die-offs of bighorn sheep and a steady population decline throughout the west. This phenomenon was not unlike that experienced when European settlers inadvertently brought disease to the New World such as smallpox or measles.

Due to a combination of these and other events, by the mid 1900’s bighorn sheep were all but eliminated from much of their historic range throughout the west. Remnant populations persisted at low levels in a few central and southern Nevada mountain ranges.

In the early 1950s, then Nevada Fish and Game held a few small, token hunts for bighorns in Nevada in remnant herds that had a surplus of mature rams. That type of hunt brought to the forefront the desire of sportsmen to have more hunting opportunity. In the 1960’s Nevada Fish and Game began, on a very limited scale, they released few bighorn into unoccupied habitat. Some of those areas included Mount Grant near Walker Lake, Sheldon Antelope Refuge, Santa Rosa Mountains in Humboldt County and Stonewall Mountain near Goldfield. These attempts had limited and varied success. As is often the case, funding was a limiting factor for the program.

In the late 1970s, Department of Wildlife began inventorying and prioritizing mountain ranges that had the potential for reintroducing and re-establishing populations of bighorn sheep in historic habitat. The Stillwater Mountains ranked high on the list of potential release sites. When some local Churchill County sportsmen heard about this plan, they volunteered to raise money to accelerate the effort. In 1979, a crab feed banquet was held in Fallon and attended by local hunting enthusiasts. The group was known as the Stillwater Range Desert Bighorn Fund. Approximately $4000 was raised that first year. The money was donated to the Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and specifically earmarked for the sheep program. NDOW used federal Pittman-Robertson monies to match it and turned the $4000 into $16,000.

On July 21, 1981 the dream of these visionaries became a reality with the release of 20 desert bighorns, captured from the Lake Mead Recreation Area into the Stillwater Mountains. This release was done at the mouth of Coyote Canyon on the east side of the Stillwaters in Dixie Valley. Over the years since, there have been six more releases in the Stillwater Mountains. At first, the population struggled because they were brought from an area with basically no predators to an area with an established mountain lion population. The bighorns provided an easy alternative prey for the lions. After these initial struggles, the population of bighorns reached a threshold that could sustain the predation and currently numbers approximately 250 animals. The bighorns have afforded modest and closely monitored hunting opportunities since about 1986. Subsequent releases of bighorns in other Churchill County mountain ranges have also been very successful. Currently there are upwards of 1100 bighorn sheep in Churchill County where previous to 1981 there were none.

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Thank You: Deana Mer ling Ter r ell for giving the Resear ch Depar tment of CCM a gener ous donation for helping her to consolidate and preserve the minutes, correspondence and scrapbooks of the Fallon chapter of the American Association of University Women. The records have been placed in the museum archives for safe keeping and can be looked at upon request by visitors.

Thank You: J acques Neunier of Quebec, Canada, for sending $100.00 to the Resear ch Depar tment in appreciation of the research done on his relatives Joseph Zephyr Beaumier and family who lived at Chalk Wells Station.

Thank You: Chr istine Miller, for mer Fallon BLM r epr esentative, who now lives in Billings, Montana, for remembering the museum staff with her annual FIGI’S box of goodies.

–  –  –

We have a copy here in the reference library for viewing on the premises.

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