Barbara F. Vucanovich

Barbara F. Vucanovich
From Nevada to Congress, and Back Again
Barbara F. Vucanovich and
Patricia D. Cafferata


ISBN: 0-87417-623-9
Pages: 328
Published: 2005


Available for purchase on-line from the University of Nevada Press


Vucanovich's comments about her memoirs. "This book is a first for Nevada.  Of the thirty-two Nevada members of the House of Representatives, none of them wrote a formal autobiography.  Thomas Fitch reminisced about his life in some newspaper articles that were later compiled into a book by Eric Moody.  I am the first woman to be elected to federal office from Nevada and the first person - male or female - to represent the Second Congressional District of Nevada."


"Barbara has written a marvelous book.  Combined in it, a reader will find the political history of Nevada for the last half of the twentieth century, a guidebook for those who may consider being a candidate for political office, and an analysis of most of the people prominent in Nevada and many active in national and international affairs from 1950 to 2000, all tied together with the strings of Barbara's personal life.  It is a story of a uniquely qualified and personable lady of whom life required much yet to whom life gave much.  The book is a must-read for everyone interested in Nevada and for everyone who admires great lives."
  —Richard W. Horton, chair of Vucanovich's political campaigns.


"An illuminating life story of Nevada's first female member of Congress.  Conservative in her politics, and Republican in her party affiliation, Vucanovich pioneered the way for like-minded women seeking social and political empowerment in Nevada."
  —Guy Louis Rocha, Assistant Administrator,

Nevada State Library & Archives.


"A compelling story about one of Nevada's outstanding political figures."

  —Pete Ernaut, former chief of staff to Governor Kenny Guinn.


"A wonderful book about a wonderful friend."
  —Senator Bernice Mathews.




"I realized early on that you had to be true to your convictions, even if it meant you might not win the next election."  -Barbara F. Vucanovich

Christmas In Nevada
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Christmas in Nevada


Patricia D. Cafferata

ISBN: 978-0-87417-949-1
Pages: 200
Published: October 2014



“Every family has stories about celebrating together and the special place holidays hold in our hearts. In her latest book, Patty Cafferata reminds us of the unique Christmas and holiday traditions of the Nevada family. From the lighthearted to the heartwarming, these stories remind us what it means to be a Nevadan.” --- Governor Brian Sandoval

Available for purchase on-line from the University of Nevada Press


These delightful and touching stories tell how Nevada’s residents have celebrated the Christmas holiday, from 1858 to the present day. Some are told by well-known Nevadans, such as Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Robert Laxalt, and former governors Bob List and Richard Bryan, but much more of the book shows ordinary Nevadans celebrating in diverse ways the wonders of the season. The range of the state’s ethnic and immigrant heritage is showcased by stories of Basque, Mexican American, Native American, and African American celebrations, along with traditions of Italian, German, Danish, and Serbian origins. Some of the more unusual accounts include the story of three miners trapped underground for forty-five days during the Christmas season, Tonopah’s “Nevergreen” tree, and Reno’s Santa pub crawl with thousands of costumed revelers.

Through extensive research and personal interviews, Patricia D. Cafferata has created a heartwarming collection of stories, guaranteed to be treasured. Whether Santa arrives on a sleigh in a mining camp in Silver Peak, Esmeralda County, or a zip line at the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas, Christmas in Nevada brings warm memories, excitement, and good cheer.

In Christmas in Nevada, Patricia D. Cafferata has gathered together stories from every corner of the Silver State to celebrate the unique ways its residents have celebrated the wonders of the holiday season.

The Goldfield Hotel
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The Goldfield Hotel
Gem of the Desert


Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-1-5  (as of January 1, 2007)
ISBN: 0-9746996-1-6  (original ISBN)
Trade paperback
Pages: 43, with index
Published: 2004 (out of print)
2005  (Second Edition)





No Nevada History library is complete without this book which describes the Goldfield Hotel, an opulent reminder of of one of Nevada's historic mining boom towns.  This publication contains information on the hotel's interior, the owners, the hotel myths and its ghosts.  A brief history of Goldfield and information about the two hotels built before the current structure was constructed are also included.  The book has 28 photographs, 2 illustrations and two maps.  This book covers the history of the hotel from 1905 until 2004.

Because of the hotel's resident ghosts, some have dubbed the Goldfield Hotel as one of the scariest places in America.



"Easy to read story about one of Esmeralda County's historical centerpieces."
   —Ben Viljoen, Chairman, Esmeralda County Commission.


"The book captures the untold story of the magnificent Goldfield Hotel."
   —Guy Rocha, Assistant Administrator, Nevada Archives & Records.


"The story records important events surrounding one of the memorable buildings in Central Nevada."
   —Mella Harmon, Nevada Historic Preservation Specialist.

"A must read for Nevada history aficionados."
   —Allen Metscher, Central Nevada historian.



A reporter from the Goldfield Daily Times dubbed the Goldfield Hotel the "gem of the desert" when it opened in 1908.  While the Goldfield Hotel is a historic gem today, it has not proven to be a treasure to its many owners.

Lake Mansion
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Lake Mansion
Home to Reno's Founding Families
Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-3-9  (as of January 1, 2007)
ISBN: 0-9746996-3-2 (original ISBN)
Trade paperback
Pages: 80, with index
Published: 2006




Lake Mansion owners played a significant role in Reno's history.  This story is told through mini-biographies of the prominent owners of the Lake Mansion and describes their important roles in Reno's history.  Learn about Ria and Jerome Marsh, Jane and Myron Lake, Tina and Carl Otto Herz, Viola and Olin Ward and Agueda and Felix Turrillas and what they contributed to the settlement of Reno.  The story includes descriptions of the construction and architecture of the building from 1876 to present day.  The book concludes with a description of how the Lake Mansion was saved from the wrecking ball.  Included in the book are 48 photographs and illustrations, and a map of the sites of the Lake Mansion.



"Stories about the prominent Lake Mansion families provide insight into Reno's history."
  —Guy Rocha, Assistant Administrator, Nevada State Library & Archives.


"A subject that appeals, in language that reveals, and style that proceeds to the end."
  —Clara Turrillas Oroz, who grew up in the Lake Mansion.


"VSA arts at the Lake Mansion is thrilled to have this well-researched and interesting account of its families and the building's journey from 1876 to present."
  —Mary Ellen Horan, Executive Director of VSA arts at the Lake Mansion.


"A welcome contribution which adds enlivened meaning to the historic significance of the Lake Mansion."
  —Margaret Turrillas, who grew up in the Lake Mansion.


"Informative and easy to read story about some of Reno's important settlers."
  —Barbara Goff, Jane Lake's great-granddaughter.


The Lake Mansion was built for the Marsh family.  When wealthy rancher, land developer and entrepreneur (Washington Jerome) "Rome" Marsh and his wife Maria or "Ria" pronounced with a long i, as she preferred to be called, moved to the Truckee Meadows, they needed a house large enough to accommodate their children, Wilber, William, Charles, Laura, Mary Alice, Warren and Edna.

Mapes Hotel
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Mapes Hotel and Casino
The History of Reno's Landmark Hotel
Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-2-2  (as of January 1, 2007)
ISBN: 0-9746996-2-4  (original ISBN)
Trade paperback
Pages: 79, with index
Published: 2005




The Mapes Hotel played a central role in the lives of Reno's residents from the late 1940s to the early 1980s.  The story includes little known information about the owners, the floods and hotel fires, construction and design of the building, as well as descriptions of the furnishings, entertainment, sporting events and gaming offered in the hotel.  The book contains 36 photographs and illustrations, and a copy of the original Reno town site map from 1868.




"Book will be enjoyed by anyone interested in Reno's history."
  —Gloria Mapes Walker.


"Well researched and then presented by a person who was lucky enough to witness history."
   —Neal Cobb, Sheriff, Westerners International Nevada Corral.


"Not to be missed stories of the Mapes Hotel standing tall along the Truckee River."
   —Toni Harsh, Reno City Council (2002 - 2004).


"Lively, entertaining narrative of historic Mapes Hotel."
   —Eric Moody, Curator of Manuscripts, Nevada Historical Society.




A magnificent building, the twelve-story Mapes Hotel was the tallest building in Nevada and the first major high rise hotel built after World War II in this country.  When it officially opened on December 17, 1947, the Mapes family invited everyone in Reno to attend in either full dress or cowboy boots and attire.

More Than a Song & a Dance
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More than a Song and a Dance
The Heyday of Piper's Opera House
Virginia City, Nevada
Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-5-3
Trade paperback
Pages: 87, with index
Published: 2008




Piper's Opera House played a prominent role in the lives of the residents of the Comstock during the gold rush.  Piper's was the scene of not only entertainment, but also of important political and social events in Virginia City, Nevada from the 1860s until 1900.  The third opera house stands in Virginia City and is being restored.

The book contains 87 pages with 40 photographs and illustrations, and a map of the area of the sites of Maguire's and Piper's Opera Houses, a Bibliography and Index.




"Piper's Opera House has been described as the most significant vintage theater in the west.  Cafferata explains why."
  —Bill Beeson, Artistic Director, Piper's Opera House


"The history of Virginia City's renowned Piper's Opera House is shrouded in myth and mystery and sometime downright duplicity."
  —Guy Rocha, Nevada State Archivist


"A carefully researched and engrossing account of Virginia City's heyday, and the jewel in its crown - Piper's Opera House."
   —Debbie Hinman, Reno writer



Fortune seekers Tom Maguire and John Piper rushed to Virginia City, Nevada around 1860 after the discovery of gold on the Comstock. Piper and Maguire were not frenzied prospectors or miners.  They were businessmen. They arrived in town separately, yet within short order Piper acquired Maguire’s local entertainment business.

Despite their name, Nevada opera houses rarely offered opera. These theaters were venues for other types of amusements. Maguire offered a diverse range of comedies, melodramas, operettas, burlesque and minstrel and vaudeville shows to Shakespeare’s plays to lecturers and political debates on the issues of the day.


Similar to the way Maguire offered entertainment, Piper booked a variety of shows, political events, lectures, plays, musical performances and other types of amusements for a one night stand or for a weekend. When Piper acquired the theater in 1867, he leased it for seven months to Max Walter. Walter booked the popular plays of the day relying heavily on Shakespeare productions.

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas
A Reprint of the 1849 Illustrated Edition of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"


C. Clement More, LL.D.


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-9-1
Hand-bound booklet
Pages: 16, including 5 illustrations
Published: December 2009




The classic tale "A Visit from St. Nicholas has captured the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike for generations. This booklet is a happy re-creation of the 1849 illustrated edition of which only two copies are known to exist. This booklet was reproduced from a copy located in the Rare Books Division of The New York Public Library.

Tales of the Biggest Little City

Tales of the Biggest Little City in the World
A Collection of Patty Cafferata's Columns on Reno, Nevada


Patty Cafferata

ISBN: 978-0-9746996-6-0
Trade paperback
Pages: 91, including index
Published: December 2009




 Now available in e-book format. Shop on-line now at:

  • iTunes/iBooks - seach "Cafferata" in the iTunes store




"Cafferata conveys a lot of historical detail in a clear, concise and entertaining way."
  —Michael Maher, Librarian, Nevada Historical Society


"Fantastic stories on Reno’s past."
  —Felvia Belastegui, President of Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS)


"A must read for those who love this town."
  —John White, owner of Twentieth Century Building


"Cafferata’ s writing brings life to Reno’s history."
  —Jack Hursh, Sheriff, Westerners International, Nevada Corral


"Entertaining and informative stories of Reno’s past. Add this book to your collection!"
  —Sharon Quinn, author

Tales of the Biggest Little City: Volume II
Tales of the Biggest Little City:  Volume III

Tales of the Biggest Little City in the World
A Collection of Patty Cafferata's Columns on Reno, Nevada, Volume II


Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9746996-7-7
Trade paperback
Pages: 91, including index
Published: November 2010





"Patty Cafferata is a loyal and committed chronicler of Nevada history."
  —Christine Kelly, co-owner Sundance Bookstore


"Patty Cafferata's love for Nevada and its history is only exceeded by her total dedication to accurate research. This book offers both the avid historian and the casual reader an excellent opportunity to understand the inside story of Nevada's landmarks."
  —Mike Fischer, Director, Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs

Tales of the Biggest Little City in the World
A Collection of Patty Cafferata's Columns on Reno, Nevada, Volume III


Patty Cafferata


ISBN: 978-0-9839956-0-9
Trade paperback
Pages: 87, including index
Published: November 2011







"These stories of the big and little things that make Reno famous are told in an interesting and factual way."
  —Jerry Fenwick, Historian and collector of early Nevada photographs


"Cafferata probes Reno's secret past and writes entertaining stories about the town."
  —Stan Paher, Nevada Publications


"Every other week, I wait to see what Patty will share in her column. With the additional information included in her book, our understanding of the past is made clearer."
  —Jacquelyn Sundstand, Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno

A Walk Through Time
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A Walk Through Time
The Historic Powning's Addition in Reno, Nevada
Patty Cafferata, Editor

ISBN:  978-0-9753070-1-4  (effective in 2008)
ISBN: 0-9753070-0-2  (original ISBN)
Trade paperback
Pages: 32
Published: 2004



Available for purchase on-line from the Historic Reno Preservation Society

This publication describes the first subdivision in Reno, Nevada, including information on its developer C.C. Powning and some of the early residents.  Inside you will find 25 photographs of some of the most impressive historic buildings in the Reno area with description of their architectural styles.  Expect to read information on private residences, apartment buildings, motels, office buildings, churches and other public buildings.  Located inside is an easy to follow map that makes walking or driving the area a delightful journey through one of Reno's historic areas developed in the 1880s.




"Outstanding narrative about one of Reno's earliest developments."
  —Ronald M. James, State Historic Preservation Officer.


"We are proud to be part of Reno's historic Powning's Addition."
  —Tom Stone and Eric Beer, residents.


"Vibrant walking journey of historic development in Reno."
  —Christine A. Fey, Reno's Arts and Culture Manager, Parks, Recreation and Community Relations.


"Discover a little-known historic area in Reno."
  —Dale Erquiaga, Vice President of R & R Advertising and Chair of the Las Vegas Arts Commission.



Christopher Columbus Powning laid out Powning's Addition to the west of downtown and north of the Truckee River in the 1880s. C.C. Powning was one of Reno's early benefactors identified with the town's progress.  From an orphaned paperboy, Powning became owner and editor of the Nevada State Journal and fought tirelessly for Reno's interests.