The Biggest Little City got its name because it wanted a piece of the action. The late 1800’s saw people moving into cities, such as the big cities back east. Smaller towns in various states, such as Reno, wanted to attract people and their money into the area as well. Stating that Reno was “The Biggest Little City” made the town appear forward thinking. While the name represented more of an attitude and vision the community held, the town itself had a local university and quaint downtown, plus a number of people from all over looking to divorce.
Local businesses promoted Reno as “The Biggest Little City” and the name became official in 1929 after a contest was held.
Reno has many desirable areas, such as South Reno, Midtown, and Downtown. Where you look all depends upon what area fits your lifestyle the best. South Reno is bustling with new developments in single family housing, apartments, and condos. Midtown you’ll find renovations, fixer-uppers, and older homes with charm and their own style. Downtown and Old Southwest Reno is all about the closeness of shops, dining, and entertainment. Some of the homes in the area are registered as historical landmarks.
If finding the right school for your family is a priority, then you’ll want to visit the schools to find out which ones suit your family’s needs. Reno has several blue ribbon schools located in the Caughlin Ranch area. Each school has its own strengths. Reach out to them and find out more at https://www.washoeschools.net/
CREDIT SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO LIBRARIES.
The city that borders Reno to the East is Sparks. Around the turn of the century, the Southern Pacific Railroad (SPR) needed land to create train tracks through Reno and a roundhouse for the trains, but the company didn’t want to pay the high price for land in Reno to have another location.
Ingenuity struck! The company found two ranches-- well, more like wetlands with swampy mush for ground. The Southern Pacific decided to fill in the water with dirt--lots of dirt. According to Sparks Museum and Cultural Center, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company used 334 rail cars and lots of hardy folks to fill the wetland area with dirt and gravel. Six months of shoveling dirt created “new” ground.
Downtown Sparks hosts a plethora of events including the Rib Cook-Off and popular summer farmers markets. Pyramid Lake and Golden Eagle Park are two areas for recreation located in the adjacent city to Reno, Sparks.
Sparks has some historic homes, but what you’ll notice more is all of the new housing popping up downtown in the form of apartments, as well as the housing developments along Pyramid Highway. Freeway access and several golf courses also entice residents to call Sparks home. Though some of the housing is located farther away from downtown Sparks, the area still has plenty of connecting roads to drive to any destination in, around, or out of town.
Choosing the best school to fit your family’s needs is always important. Sparks has several new schools available. To find out which school works best for your family, visit the schools to discover where your family feels the most comfortable. Sparks has some great choices for your family when it comes to education and sports. Reach out to them and find out more at https://www.washoeschools.net/
The roundhouse in Sparks, photographed here circa 1902. Photo: Sparks Museum & Cultural Center.
North Virginia St gradually transitions into the North Valleys, which, according to John C. Evanoff, on his website Visit Reno, discusses how the North Valleys became populated with more than just native Nevada wildlife, like chucker, quail, sage hen, and cottontail.
According to John, in the early 20th century, a few families had farms and raised chickens, goats, hogs, and sheep. They moved into several parcels of land (now known as Sun Valley) and sold their livestock to the growing populations of Reno and Sparks.Years passed with little change until World War II, when the military began building installations in the area.
Once WWII ended, the families and men who were housed for the armed forces in the area stayed, which changed the community for the few farmers who still worked and farmed the land at the base of the North Valleys. According to John, from 1946 to 1956 the Reno / Sparks area doubled in size. The casinos were built, and the area became a destination location, where one could play slots and get divorced in six weeks.
Housing in the area ranges from new single family home developments to mobile homes that once housed many people in the area. Acreage with homes is a little more common in the North Valleys.
North Valley schools may also offer different options for fulfilling curriculum and diploma needs. Please visit https://www.washoeschools.net/to locate the schools available for the different areas.
Verdi sits at the base of the Verdi / Mogul mountain range, which is part of the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It’s a small, census-designated place, where the Truckee Meadows River flows with tall trees lining its banks. When driving on I80, an outcropping of new homes can be seen while passing by Verdi headed East toward Reno.
Verdi was named after Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian opera composer. Verdi, the town, was named by Charles Crocker, the individual who founded the Central Pacific Railroad. Before Verdi became a town with a school and inn, the area was inhabited by Native Americans known as the Paiute and Washoe Tribes for whom Washoe County is named.
A small area with the feel of Tahoe, not 10 minutes from downtown Reno, Verdi has its history rooted in the railroad, just as Reno and Sparks do. A logging town with a terminal for the railroad, Verdi and its predecessor Crystal Peak, share the same reason for their conception--a place for the Central Pacific Railroad to transverse the mountains.
Homes in the area can be modest to lavish with land still available to build upon for individuals who would like to develop their own dwelling. While there are a few amenities, the majority of eateries, shops, and mercantile offerings are located along Robb drive with a short jaunt into Reno proper.
As for schools, there are a few, so please check out the area to see if Verdi suits your growing family’s needs. Please visit https://www.washoeschools.net/to locate the schools available for the different areas.
NoeHill shares Verdi’s genesis
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