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History Tours


Northern Nevada Heritage Corridor Program

Beyond certain unexpected turns, there are side-roads that trace countless journeys in an age of exploration and discovery. Passageways that resound with the joys and sorrows of those who once traveled here. These secret places of history exist in present-day northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe, if you know where to look. The three tours outlined below will bring history full-circle by offering a driving guide through a place once never imagined accessible: time itself.

Tour One

In 1927, with the rest of the country heading into the Great Depression, northern Nevada discovered other industries to carry itself through the down times — industries that forged the area's early character and still carry traces of that past into the present day. Not always socially acceptable, but certainly lucrative, these industries were simple to develop. All the state had to do was legislate activities that were illegal everywhere else. Nevada adopted what became known as "Sin Solutions" — industries not tolerated in other states — including divorce, gambling, and prostitution. These industries groomed this region to become a major entertainment hotspot, becoming the preferred hang out spot for Louis Prima, Jack Benny, all the Big Bands, Marilyn Monroe, and of course, The Rat Pack. Tour "Passion in the Desert" and relive Reno's remarkable heyday from the 1920s up to the 1960s.

Tour Two

In 1859 what may be the greatest mineral strike in history was discovered in a mountain to the east of the Sierra Nevada. By the following year, thousands of people swarmed into the surrounding areas where filthy-rich deposits of gold and silver ore laid the foundation for the frontier metropolis of Virginia City. Peoples of every continent sought fortune and livelihood here. "Boom or Bust" will transport travelers back in time to the legendary Comstock era.

Tour Three

Engraved in Stone

5,000 years from now, will we have left behind something worth reading?

The ancients have left the stories of their lives for you to discover. On notepads more permanent than paper, in languages we have yet to learn, people of the past are speaking to us through rock art.
The region surrounding Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe is a remarkable time capsule carved and painted on stone. This brochure leads you to some of the most famous sites. As you wander from stone to stone, carving to carving, think of today’s billboards, storefronts, road markers and weather reports. Maybe you’ll recognize how vastly different, and yet how remarkably similar, human communication really is.

 To view these three tours, please fill out the form below;

Heritage Tour Form

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