What’s not to like about a lawyer who got kicked out of law school?! His best-selling Perry Mason novels aside, Erle Stanley Gardner would still be legendary for that un-lawyerly feat! Born in 1889 in Malden, Massachusetts, Erle Stanley Gardner managed to stay enrolled at Valparaiso University’s law school for only a few short months. […]
Stage Robberies and Wells Fargo’s Finest (Part 1)
Did stage robberies still occur as late as 1893? Just ask poor Mike Tovey; he died in one. The headstone of Mike Tovey stands its silent vigil in the Jackson City Cemetery. It was erected by his employer, Wells Fargo & Co., which evidently felt a bit guilty about Tovey’s death. Our story begins back […]
The Story of Double Springs (Part 1)
Today there’s little to mark the site of Double Springs, Nevada, roughly a dozen miles south of Gardnerville on Highway 395. All that’s left is just a historical plaque plus remnants of an old fence line and cattle trough. But a century-and-a-half ago, Double Springs was not only well-known — it was notorious! An early hotel here beside […]
The Secret Life of Eugene May (Part 1)
Eugene A. May was a long-time resident of of Empire, the early mining town east of Carson City. You might say he’s still a resident: his quiet grave is tucked in at the little Empire Cemetery, overlooking the valley. Little did we know when first saw his headstone — but May had a secret life! […]
Murder — Or Was It?
One lonely tombstone at Gardnerville’s Garden Cemetery begs silently for justice. “Murdered” it proclaims, as if visitors might help solve the terrible mystery. The victim, William Moore, met his awful fate sometime between the 9th and 14th of December, 1900. But the story behind Moore’s demise is a tangled one indeed. Did he even really die? […]
Help Us Get These Great Photos Back Home!
Several years ago I bought some old photos — which arrived with a huge packet of other snapshots I hadn’t expected. These black-and-white “bonus” pictures obviously came from a family album of the 1920s, and are now nearly a century old. And that was the start of trying to unlock their mystery! Most of these old photos were unlabeled, […]
Key in the Tree
Some discoveries just beg for a movie to be made about them. There must be a story behind this mysterious key, wedged firmly in the trunk of a tree at the top of Highway 4. A hidden treasure that this key would unlock? A clue to a long-forgotten murder? If you’d like to visit the mysterious key for yourself, […]
Curtz Lake Mystery
Next time you’re up for a fun hike, try the short loop trail at Curtz Lake. Just over a mile long, it’s currently well-maintained (thanks to a recent joint effort between BLM and the Alpine Trails Association). There are plenty of scenic backcountry views along the trail, and interpretive signs make for interesting reading. For […]
Found: A Markleeville Pioneer!
The old wooden headstones that once graced Markleeville Cemetery have long since turned to dust. Time, neglect and a bit of vandalism have wreaked havoc here; sadly, most of those who rest in this historic cemetery now lie in unmarked graves. But this week, at least one of the cemetery’s mysteries was solved! Thanks to […]
Key in the Tree
You gotta love it when you stumble across a mystery. Especially two mysteries in one day. On a recent drive up Highway 4 we found an old key, firmly embedded in the trunk of a tree. Just a guess, but it’s probably been there at least 50 years — long enough for the tree to almost […]