Marzen House hits a triple

Marzen House hits a triple

Marzen House hits a triple

On Saturday, June 2, Lovelock’s Marzen House Museum dedicated three new exhibits. Locals gathered to learn about the California Trail, Nevada minerals and the town of Panama.

Afterward, the group met for tropical refreshments at the one-time-only “Canal and Juice Bar Cafe.”

Happy trails to you

Museum dedicates

California Trail kiosk

In 1968, the National Trail Systems Act (NTSA) promoted the study of trails. The Marzen House Museum celebrated the 50th anniversary of NTSA by dedicating the new kiosk about the California Trail.

“The Big Meadows stood only 10 miles south from where we now stand,” Jan Peterson told the group. The trail historian’s gingham dress and white apron added authenticity to her remarks.

“It was the last chance for the emigrants to rest before crossing the Forty-Mile Desert,” she said.

It took a group effort to add the kiosk to the museum grounds. The Marzen House teamed up with Winnemucca BLM, Rye Patch Gold and the Southern Nevada Conservancy.

The new kiosk focuses on the Humboldt River portion of the Emigrant Trail and the Forty-Mile Desert.

The next speaker looked at the California Trail from a different perspective.

“Our people have been in the Great Basin since time immemorial,” said Donna Cossette, a Northern Paiute descendant of Sarah Winnemucca. “When the area was full of water we lived in the mountains.”

“We lived here because we had everything we ever wanted- the marshlands, the pine nuts and the animals,” she continued.

“For our people, there was a lot of hardship that came with the trail,” she said. “Fighting for resources was the biggest one. Having to contend with contaminated water from animals dying in the Humboldt River was another.”

“Everything upstream came downsteam, so we got sick,” she said.“But we’re still here. I hope people don’t look down upon our people because we’re not going anywhere. We’re part of this community.”

Panama, Nevada,

the City of Mines

When A.K. Wheeler founded Panama in 1913, he hoped to capitalize on a fever sweeping the nation. The Panama Canal would connect two oceans and change the world forever.

The town of Panama’s life proved more ephemeral. It became one of a string of towns that made up the Rochester mining district. The others included Rochester, East Rochester and Rochester Heights.

Today it’s all gone. A wildfire destroyed lower Rochester in June 2012. Upper Rochester lies buried beneath Coeur Rochester’s mine tailings.

But, several years ago, Coeur donated a permanent exhibit of the town to the museum.

On Saturday Peggy McGuckian, an archaeologist from Winnemucca BLM, unveiled a panel that tells the story of Panama.

The museum plans to install the Panama exhibit near its Rochester room.

Marzen House

gets fossilized

Webb Varnum, a Nevada geologist, filled another room with trilobites, ammonites, fossilized turtle eggs and sharks teeth. He recently donated his lifetime collection of over 250 fossils to the museum.

Earlier, he donated his rock and mineral collection.

“I wanted the collections to have permanent homes,” he said.

On Saturday, several people admired the exhibits for the first time.

Bob Maher, 90, came from the Beehive for a look.

As a boy in the 1930s, Maher walked one mile every day to Margaret Gossi’s one-room schoolhouse in Rochester, Nevada. As a man, he worked in the mines.

When people ask Maher if he’s the last remaining former inhabitant of Rochester, he replies, “I daresay I may be.”