Pioche then & now

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Pioche then & now - f "VI i ' ' VTTVO ; I Christopher Onstott The...
f "VI i ' ' VTTVO ; I Christopher Onstott The Spectrum ! I " --- --- --- - I. . 1 - fr - - An antique piano, barber equipment fiTf"" jFtk. rffk ' dSk " I it'll" ifdTff' and Boot Hill Cemetery are part of this III ; Il ft It ff-ll ff-ll ff-ll 1 II II if T 11 once-rowdy once-rowdy once-rowdy mining town's charm. . bpasseythespectrum.com PIOCHE, Nev. Back in the day, Pioche, Nev., was a rowdy place. This old mining town in Lincoln County, not far from the Utah border saw its share of frontier violence. violence. Locals speak of gunfights and knife fights. In the historic old Million Dollar Courthouse there is a replica of a wanted poster for Morgan Courtney, an infamous gunfighter now buried in the town's Boot Hill Cemetery. A sign near the cemetery says that crime was rampant in Pioche in the 1870s and repeats the lore that 72 men were "buried with their boots on" before anyone in the town died of natural causes. In the old section section of the cemetery there's no grass, just some weeds and dirt mounds over each grave. And most of the graves there do not even have markers. 1 But the few makeshift grave markers do tell some interesting stories. Courtney's own marker reads: ; "Feared by some. Respected by few. Detested by Others. Shot in back 5 times from Ambush." And in tribute to the mariyTnen" buried in their boots, the namesake footwear often adorn the graves of those unfortunate souls buried at Boot Hill Cemetery. There is one grave, however, that bears a pear of women's shoes instead of boots. They sit on the grave of Fanny Pearson below a sign reading: "They loved till death did them part. He killed her." Another man, John H. Lynch, was shot during a dispute over a dog, according to his marker, and . John Bass was apparently shot by law enforcement officers five times on June 26, 1875. mm. Small Town Life j a n i 4t.W - - 1 v' 1 mmmmmmmfmmmmmim Other signs of the past remain in downtown Pioche. Painted on the side of the Overland Hotel and Saloon are sayings that reference the town's wild past: "Bushwhackers, rustlers and gunfighters will be served only cheap whiskey!!" and "Miners welcome; minors ain't!" Pioche today Despite the ruckus of the early years, Pioche is now a fairly peaceful place. The mines shut down years ago and retirees from Las Vegas are moving in. "People want to get out of Vegas and Henderson," says Chuck Adams, the town barber. "This is kind of quiet place to raise your kids." The town is especially quite Thursday afternoon during the funeral for a local man. Since there are only about 800 people in town, everyone knows everyone else. When there's a funeral, the town practically shuts down. Following the funeral, though, the downtown traffic begins to pick up. At The Krimper beauty salon in the back of Adams' antique-laden antique-laden antique-laden barbershop, Brandi Lewis, a mani curist, agrees that Pioche is a good place to raise " kids, despite its rough past. Lewis said everyone knows each other, so if they see one of their neighbor's neighbor's kids talking to someone in a strange car, they'll be sure to check out the situation. . John Stever, a deputy sheriff, assistant fire chief, . coach and hunting guide, was born and raised in . Pioche but left for a time. It was the atmosphere that drew him back, though. "I came back because everybody used to pitch in and help each other," he says. Stever's sister-in-law, sister-in-law, sister-in-law, sister-in-law, sister-in-law, Shannon Stever, says that Lincoln County has excellent hunting services. It was actually a hunting trip at the age of 13 that first introduced Bob Klym to Pioche. . "The people I went with brought me through here and I said, 'Someday I'm going to live here,'" Klym reflects while enjoying a drink at one of the town's three bars, The Nevada Club, which dates back to the early 1900s. Klym moved from Las Vegas to Pioche in 1990 and worked as a barber for a time before retiring. Now he spends his time fishing at nearby Echo Canyon and Eagle Valley Reservoir. , ; A few feet away from Klym, Gene Dennison sits at a slot machine, drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. Dennison says he likes how people speak their mind in Pioche. Of course, the 80-year-old 80-year-old 80-year-old 80-year-old 80-year-old doesn't hold back when speaking his own mind on everything from the management of federal lands to TOP: Don Jarvis swigs back a can of beer at the Nevada Club bar on Main Street in Pioche, Nev. LEFT: Museum curator Allen Malintak opens the door to the jail inside the old "Million Dollar Court House," past a row of mannequins in a court room jury box. . . . mm 1 t II . ,. . V An antique street sign has been moved to the front of the Million Dollar Courthouse, that gave direction and distance to early residents and travelers. the cigarette smoldering between his fingers. "You're only going to be here one time," he says. "You might as well enjoy it." A former miner, Dennison is now retired and enjoys the peace of Pioche. Although Cheryl Wenner lives in nearby Panaca, she enjoys visiting Pioche because the surrounding hills offer a place for her to explore when she's not working at The Rag Doll, a gift shop on the town's historic historic Main Street. "I'm an explorer," she says. "I always think I'm going to find a bottle or a cool piece of junk." Despite the ruins of mining that surround the town, Wenner hasn't found too many treasures but says the anticipation of finding something makes her explorations explorations enjoyable. Swingin' history Even if Wenner doesn't find many little treasures on her hikes through the hills, there are still plenty of big treasures around Pioche. Many of the buildings date back to the 1 870s mining boom, including most of the commercial buildings along Main Street. Informational signs are spread throughout town to explain the history behind many of these buildings like See PIOCHE on D3

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Spectrum,
  2. 13 May 2007, Sun,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 31

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