The Mystery of the “X” Photo Post Cards of Las Vegas


By Robert Stoldal

(Updated July 27, 2022)

A series of more than twenty ‘real photo’ post cards of Las Vegas and Boulder Dam were produced by an unknown company in the late 1940’s.

The images and the printing of the post cards were clearly done by professionals. (Several errors, however, are found in the post card’s captions.)

The photographs show wide, day and night, views of streets and Las Vegas resorts, both downtown and on the Strip.

Based on the images and captions the post cards the photographs used in the series were taken sometime between the summer of 1947 and the late spring of 1948.

Based on the images, captions, and post marks the post cards went on sale no later than the late summer early fall of 1948.

From its beginning as the Boulder Canyon Dam Project, the name of the dam changed several times.   The dam first envisaged to be built in Boulder Canyon was actually built in Black Canyon.

In 1931 it was changed from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.

In 1933, during the administration of President F.D. Roosevelt, the name was changed back to Boulder Dam and was the name used when F.D.R. dedicated the dam on September 30, 1935.

On April 30, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressionally approved Resolution changing the name of the dam changed back to Hoover.

The “X” post cards all use the “Boulder Dam” as the name was being changed by Congress.

The photographer nor the company that printed the post cards or the publisher/distributor have been identified.

The Mystery “X” Company

The company’s logo is found following the “X” and the number of the card.   The logo is an upper-case PV, with either a lower-case e, or c, with an o as part of the top part of the c, meaning co.  Did the “PV” company produce the “X” series post cards?  (and why use an “x” in front of the number on the post card? ) 

Does PV mean postcard view?  Was there a postcard company in the late 1940’s, with the name Post Card Views?


Mistakes and other questions indicate the post cards were not produced either by a Las Vegas company or by somebody who didn’t pay attention.

  1. While there are several post cards of Fremont Street in the series.  The word “Fremont” is not in the captions, instead, the street is referred to as “the Main street.”  Fremont Street, running east and west, was the main (lower case “m” business street in Las Vegas in the 1940’s.   It was connected at the west end to Main Street which ran north and south.
  2. Card 196  states in the caption that the Golden Nugget is “One of the Oldest Gambling Casinos in Las Vegas” when in fact it was one of the newest gambling clubs. It opened in 1946.  The caption writer apparently saw the date 1905 the Nugget sign and took it as fact that that was the actual date the gambling club opened.
  3. The caption on card 210 states the “Little Church of the West” located on the “grounds” of the El Rancho Vegas when in fact it was built and opened on the grounds of the Last Frontier Hotel in 1943.
  4. On post card 212 of the “Eldorado Club” the caption incorrectly spells the name “El  Dorado.”
  5. Post card 206 is captioned “New Shops along the Main Street – Las Vegas Nev.-”    This is a  view looking west on Fremont Street, from between Second and Third Streets.   What are the “new shops” referred to in the caption?    On the left (south) side are two large signs of the “Save-Right Drug Stores” that are visible.  The fact that the publishers of this set of post cards selected the “Save-Rite” Drug store to highlight on the post card of “new” shops may provide a clue as to who published the post cards.  The Photographer is on the right/north side of Fremont with the camera pointed southwest.  The “Save-Rite” building and the drug store’s two large signs are clearly the dominant visible “shop” element on the post card.  Did the photographer take this photograph because the drug store was the one that ordered the post cards, or was it just a coincidence?

This “Save-Rite” drug store, at 215 Fremont, opened on November 18, 1946. Less than two years later, it was purchased by the “Pay Less” corporation.”



The known views in the twenty-three post cards, feature several images of the Flamingo Hotel, downtown Las Vegas with the Eldorado Club and the Golden Nugget highlighted.

In addition, there are as many as 9 views of the dam and Lake Mead.  Seven are known, with two unknown views within the dam series

Six views are unknown, with two likely of the dam/lake numbers. That leaves only four slots for the Hotel El Rancho, the Last Frontier Hotel-Casino.

It is not likely, but possible, that a post card of the Thunderbird Hotel-Casino is included in this series as the resort opened on September 2, 1948.

The only known “El Rancho Vegas” post card in the series is 210, and the title mistakenly places the “Little Church of the West” on “the grounds of the El Rancho Vegas” instead of the Last Frontier.   Not a mistake a Las Vegas-based post card company would likely make.

Caption Fonts –  The fonts are a neat handwritten style and with one exception, the captions are white, X 204 is printed with black ink.

Post marks and dates

Known postmarks.

  1. Las Vegas, September 6, 1948.
  2. Las Vegas, October 4, 1948.
  3. Las Vegas, October 12, 1948.
  4. Las Vegas, July 24, 1949.
  5. Las Vegas, September 18, 1949
  6. Las Vegas, August 8, 1950.


“X” post card Checklist

Number                                   Title

X 190       “Main St. of Las Vegas Nev.- Looking Toward the R. R. Station-“

The photographer pointed his camera northwest from the southern side of the intersection of Second and Fremont.

In the distant background is the Union Pacific depot.   The photograph highlights the north side of Fremont Street between First and Second Street.

In the center-right is the Boulder Club and on the east side of the Eldorado Club. The Eldorado is promoting the fact that it is “Cooled by Refrigeration.”

The El Dorado Club opened in July of 1947.

In the upper right-hand corner is the traffic lights controlling traffic and Second and Fremont.

Also visible are the Club Savoy, and Mike’s Liquor store.



X 191    ?


X 192   “The Luxurious Swimming Pool The Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas Nev.”   Behind the diving board on the left side of the post card is a man that looks like entertainer Spike Jones?    Jones appeared at the Flamingo in June of 1948.


X 193   “The Hotel Flamingo- Las Vegas Nev.-“

The image shows the back, the east side, of the Flamingo Hotel


X 194  “The Beautiful Flamingo Casino- Las Vegas- Nev”

This is a vertical view of the outside of the Hotel Flamingo showing the sign and exterior shrubbery.


X 195  “The Modern Railway Station- Las Vegas, Nev.-“

The image shows the south side of the Union Pacific depot.  The camera is looking northeast.

One of the two cars in the foreground has a desert water bag hooked onto the rear-view mirror.

This “modern” railway depot opened in 1940.


X 196  “One of the Oldest Gambling Casinos in Las Vegas Nev.’

The front corner of the Golden Nugget with a Lucky Cab with an open door is seen on the left side.

The title of the post card is in error as it described the Golden Nugget as “one of the oldest gambling casinos in Las Vegas.”

Despite the sign on the front that says, “Golden Nugget 1905,” the Nugget was not built and did not open until 1946.


X 197   ?


X 198  “Memorial at Edge of Boulder Dam-“


X 199  “Looking Across the Dam-

Photograph taken from the Nevada side looking towards the Arizona Side-“


X 200  “Hugh Face of the Boulder Dam-“

The photograph was taken near noon as the sun is almost directly overhead, with no shadow being cast on the face of the dam.


X 201   Dam or Lake Mead view ?


X 202  “Lake Mead- West Shore”


X 203  Dam or lake Mead view?


X 204  “Lake Mead and Boulder Dam-

From the Arizona Side of the River-“

Two boats on what could be considered the Arizona side of the dam.  One boat has a large tent on it, possibly a research vessel.  The other boat has a rope or hose, or wire training behind.


X 205   ?

X 206 “New Shops along the Main Street – Las Vegas Nev.-”

This is a  view looking west on Fremont Street, from between Second and Third Streets.  Yes, Fremont Street was the “main street.”   What are the “new shops” referred to in the caption?    The “Save-Rite” drug store?


X 207  “The Main Street of Las Vegas Nev.-“

This is a view looking west on Fremont Street, from between 5th and 6th streets.

X 208 ?


X 209  “Post Office and Court House – Las Vegas Nev.-“

Image of the front of the building taken from Third Street looking north.


X 210  “Little Church of the West – On the Grounds of the El Rancho Vegas – Las Vegas Nev.- “

The “Little Church of the West” was built and opened on the grounds of the Last Frontier Hotel in 1943.

X 211  “Night Scene Showing the Famous Pioneer Club Sign-

And Pioneer Club- Las Vegas Nev.-“

x212 “El Dorado Club at Night – Las Vegas, Nev. – ”

Eldorado is mispelled  El Dorado

Goldfield, Tonopah Post Cards published in 1909 by Gray News Company,

Goldfield, Tonopah Post Cards

Publisher Gray News Company,  Salt Lake City, Utah.

Printer, E. C. Kropp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

by Robert Stoldal

(updated 2-21-2021, 2-24-2021, 2-25-2021, 3-19-2021)


In 1909 the Gray News Company published ten post cards featuring Goldfield and Tonopah Nevada views.

The lithographic post cards were designed to sell to railroad travelers rather than residents of the two central Nevada communities.

The photographs used for the post cards were taken between 1905 and 1908.

Gray News post card 4004, Tonopah

The Gray News Company was owned and operated by Frederick Wickliff Gray.

Based in San Francisco, California, in the early 1900s Gray supplied and operated newsstands.

Gray made news in Nevada in 1904 when his company expanded its operation to also serving passengers on railroads.

A story in the November 1904 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle revealed, “For the first time in thirty years a train news service has been established on the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, running from Reno, Nev., to Carson and Virginia City.” [i]

The announcement added, with Gray’s news service now on the V and T, his “agents” would serve passengers on the Carson and Colorado, and “Via the Tonopah Railway to Tonopah.” [ii]

The agreement between the V and T and the Gray News Company was beneficial to residents and businesses from Reno to Tonopah, as they would receive newspapers and magazines faster.

At the end of 1905, a rail service between San Francisco and Tonopah, known as the “Tonopah Express,” was created.

The trip entailed getting on three different trains.  With the schedules linked the transfers time between trains was limited.

Still, the “Express” took twenty-four hours to travel the more than 425 miles between the two cities.

For Gray, in 1904, getting the exclusive “News Agent” franchise for the Reno to Tonopah train service was a major coup.

First, Gray’s operation would be in place when Tonopah and Goldfield were starting to boom, and second for Gray, it would give him a foothold along the important transcontinental run from San Francisco to Sparks to Elko and into Ogden, Utah.

In 1906 Gray expanded his news agent business to include the Oregon Short Line, which ran between Salt Lake City and Oregon.   He opened twenty one news and novelty stands between Utah and into Orgon.

That same year Gray moved his base from San Francisco to Ogden.

Gray was working on one more major move.  He wanted to franchise for the on train service between Sparks and Ogden.

After moving to Ogden his first step was to enlarge and update the news stand operation at the central Ogden, railroad depot.

That took place in late 1906.  Gray’s team sent press releases to newspapers and magazines in Utah, Nevada and California.

The Gray news stand in the Ogden depot is seen in this green and purple photograph in the March 1907 issue of Sunset Magazine.

On November 29, 1906, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, “In the changes made in the Ogden Union Depot, one of the unique features is the all-night news stand,” which “gives the public the earliest news.”[iii]

The Tribune told its readers the news stand is “a queer one.  Since Mr. Gray’s quarters were established, he has never had it locked.  Furthermore, he has never had a door on the place and proposes that he never will.  There are attendants all hours of the day and night, and from 12:50 a.m. until the same hour on the following day” newspapers and “other plications, mainly the current magazines and the standard books are on the counter for the benefit of the traveler, and in addition, there is a neat collection of Western souvenirs and photos, covering attractive scenes in the Western states. [iv]

While “the daily papers and a full line of new and popular books, magazines and periodicals” fulfilled the news stand part of its mission, Gray also offered a “Neat collection of Western souvenirs” including “an elegant stock of Indian Curious, Hand Painted China, rich copper goods” trays, bracelets and “you will enjoy seeing the little Indians in full dress.”[v]  

In the early spring of 1909, Gray’s company made its big move.

The Oregon Standard told its readers, the Gray News Company had been “awarded the contract to serve the Southern Pacific from Ogden to Sparks.” [vi]

Gray now had the excluve rights as a the “news agent” for railines running from San Francisco to Reno to Tonopah, and from Sparks to Odgen, and from Ogden to Oregon.

With his expansion, Gray began visiting Nevada cities the railroad served.

On March 30, 1909, he was in Winnemucca.   He met with the U.SD. Postmaster.

Then on May 23, 1909, he spent the day in Sparks.

On the morning of July 16, 1909, he headed to Tonopah, “where he will look over the company’s office in the mining city.”[viii]

Gray spent a couple of days in Tonopah, staying at the Mizpah Hotel. [ix]

During his visit, plans were likely developed to publish a set of post cards of the area.

While there were already several companies publishing post cards of Goldfield and Tonpah, Gray wanted his own, no more buying and re-selling other companies psot cards of Nevada.

As Gray was heading back to his home base, now in Salt Lake City, the E. C. Kropp Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the largest post card printers in the United States, began promoting a “new process.”

Display advertisement in Geyer’s Stationer, August 5, 1909

Starting on August 5, 1909,  Kropp began advertising in several national trade publications.  He told prospective customers, “our New Process and Photochrome Colored and Simplex Colored Cards are unequaled in quality, and our service is prompt.  Let us send you samples.” [x]






If Gray had asked for a sample, it would have been similar to this sales card.

Not long after Gray returned to Utah, his company ordered a series of post cards from Kropp, using its “entirely new process.”

The resulting photochrome post cards are above average in quality.

The Gray news credit line and a serial number are found along the centerline on the card’s back.

While the Kropp name is often found on Nevada post cards, it is not included on the Gray News cards.








Before working with Gray Kropp had been printing post cards with Nevada views since 1906.

The last known Kropp views of Nevada are linen post card printed in the late 1940s.

The Kropp printed post cards, numbering as many as one-hundred-and-fifty, cover those areas of the state that were on well-traveled rail lines.

  1. Battle Mountain,
  2. Elko,
  3. Golconda,
  4. Goldfield,
  5. Las Vegas,
  6. Reno,
  7. Tonopah,
  8. Winnemucca.

                         Gray News Post cards                         of Goldfield and Tonopah

The Gray News post cards of Goldfield and Tonopah are part of five different series covering at least three states.

The series starts with 1001 and ends with cards in the 5001 set.

It appears there are between ten and 20 cards in each of the five sets.

The Nevada set features ten views; six of Goldfield and 4 of Tonopah.

1001 Post Cards of Ogden, Utah.

2001 Post Cards of Salt Lake City, Utah.

3001 (Possibly post cards of views along Oregon Short Line.)

4001 Post Cards of Goldfield and Tonopah, Nevada.

5001 Post Cards of views along the “Ogden Route” of the Southern Pacific Railroad in California.

The 5001 set ends with images of Nevada.  These are the only other Gray News post cards of Nevada in the four-digit series.

5011 “Truckee River Dam. Truckee-Carson Irrigation Project, Near Fallon, Nevada on S. P. R. R.”

5012 “Southern Pacific Train No. 2, Palisade Canyon, Nevada, S. P. R. R.”



Master Checklist of the 4001 Gray News Series Goldfield and Tonopah.












 Notes on images in the

Gray News post card 4001 series.



This view was taken by an unknown photographer who climbed up to Malpais Mesa and pointed the camera north toward’s Columbia Mountain.

The view shows the three important streets in Goldfield.  From left to right are Main Street, Columbia Street, and Fifth Avenue.

Both the Goldfield Hotel and the Goldfield High School, still standing, are visible on the right side of the post card.

Part of the community of Columbia is visible along the diagonal street, upper left of center.



Many photographers set up their cameras on the same spot to record this view.

The photographer who took this photograph in late 1908 of the mill still under construction,  is presently unknown.

Proud of its new mill, The Goldfield News on December 26, 1908, in a page one story wrote, “True to promise, the great Goldfield Consolidated mill on Sandstorm hill, the finest quartz mill in the world, started operations this morning at the hour of 8 o’clock a.m. Dec. 26, 1908, signalizes the beginning of a new era in Goldfield.”

The newspaper story continued, “The mill was started without ceremony or formality. Last week George Winfield gave a large banquet to all head of departments and all men in charge of mill construction to the number of 75 or more, in hor of the completion.”

“But,” the newspaper wrote, it is “the golden stream that is to follow the commencement of operations at the mill.  that is what the mining world is interested in.”

For the next decade, the “golden stream” with a value of more than $48,000,000 pour from the mill.

The mill closed in January of 1919.


In an odd use, in the 1920’s Clinton G. Price a Wisconsin lawyer used the Gray News post card of the Goldfield Mill, 4002, as part of his campaign to become District Attorney of Juneau County.

A review of his history does not reveal any connection to Goldfield or Nevada.

From Wikipedia  Clinton G. Price a lawyer and public servant. Born in  Wonewoc in Wisconsin, Price graduated from high school, worked on a farm, in a sawmill, and was an American Express agent.

Price served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War and World War 1.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School and was elected to serve as district attorney.  During his career as D.A., he battled bootleggers.  On April 13, 1930,  he was gunned down by an assailant at his house in Mauston, Wisconsin, dying on April 14, 1930.

The Clinton card itself has two sets of numbers, “Card No. 1” and “Read Card No. 2.”   Other Nevada images from the Gray News series, 4001, have not been found with Price’s overprint.




In the second half of 1907, Goldfield photographers, Welch and Tune took the photograph used for the post cards.

The same photograph, but when The Goldfield News bought the rights from Welch and Tune and reprinted the post card they added the newspaper’s name to the side of the Montezuma Club wall.



In the foreground is the Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company’s building, followed by the Registration Trust Company, the Montezuma Club, and the News Building, then the Hotel Goldfield.”

Hugh A. Shamberger, in his 1982 book “Goldfield” uses this Welch & Tune photograph.

Shamberger describes the “Consolidated Mining Company Building” as the Nixon-Wingfield building as the two men controlled Consolidated.

He also provides additional information regarding the “Registration Trust Company building.

On page 125 Shamberger points out “The Nixon-Wingfield building” is seen on the southeast corner of Columba Street and Ramsey Avenue. He adds” next to it on Columbia Street is the large-windowed Ish-Curtis Building.”

Shamberger did not identify the three smaller buildings in the photograph.  The one next to the Montezuma Club has a sign extending to the street that reads “REAL ESTATE.’

He pointed out the “Large building up Columbia street, is the Montezuma Club with the eye-catching GOLDFIELD NEWS sign on its north wall.  Adjoining it upstreet is the News building, both of these buildings were destroyed in the 1924 fire. Still farther south along Columbia Street, the is the Goldfield Hotel.”




Interesting view showing mountains in the background.  View not seen on other post cards.  Photographer unknown, time frame 1906-1907



Photographer unknown, time frame 1906-1907




This image in Columbia, Nevada, not Goldfield, was a popular post card when first released in late 1907.

The photograph was used several times by different post card publishers, and today it is still sought after view by collectors.

The photograph was initially used for a post card by the photography team of Welch & Tune who took the picture in the fall of 1907.

In the summer of 1907, Frank E. Welch and Robert H. Tune’s photography partnership arrived in Goldfield.

The two men quickly set up shop and began taking photographs and turning them into ‘real photo’ post cards.

When they initially issued the image on a post card the caption read, “Merchants Hotel.”   The hotel’s name is visible on the windows in the background.

Welch and Tune later released the same real photo with the   caption “Merchants Hotel” blacked out and replaced with “GAMBLING IN GOLDFIELD.”

Why the change? Was the owner of the hotel J. Casey McDonnal, upset with the Welch and Tune when by caption had moved his hotels from Columbia to Goldfield, or did Welch and Tune think the post card would sell better with a generic gambling caption?

Casey’s hotel was located in Columbia, next door to Goldfield.

The photograph used for the “Gambling” post card number 20 shows seventeen people, including one woman, in a small casino inside the Merchants Hotel.

The photograph shows a bar and bartender, a roulette wheel, a crap table, and a faro game. Except for the bartender, all the men are wearing hats or caps. (Winter?)

Welch and Tune took a series of photographs in the Merchants Hotel casino and bar that night.  At least three different versions of the picture have survived.  Each image shows the same people, wearing different clothes and in different locations.

Only the photograph used on the card first released by Welch and Tune made its way onto a post card.



When and who took the photograph for this post card is currently unknown.

Was there more than one set of ‘homes’ built into the side of a hill in Goldfield?

Does this view show just three of the homes that were part of a row of “pioneer” residences?

Note the outhouse with the slanted room on top of the hill.  Is it the same outhouse viewed from a different angle on another post card?

This is a post card from the Newman A.J. series and shows part of a row of homes in a hill in Tonopah.




When and who took the photograph for this post card is currently unknown.




Photographer unknown.  Photograph used on the Gray News series 4009 post card was taken in late 1905.

The view was first issued by the E. H. Mitchell post card company weeks before the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

There are at least five different photographs of the barrel house that were turned into post cards.

From Mt. Oddie in the background, to the details of the barrel, and the use of natural colors (with the exception of the green desert) this post card presents one of the best images of the Barrel House.




Photographer unknown, time frame 1906-1907

There are two slightly different versions of this Gray News post card.

The only difference is the location of the caption.

The first version has title title flush left at the top of the card.  This is where the title is located on the other nine post cards.

In the second version, the title has moved to the center of the post card.

A printing change/error, or does the title shift indicate a second printing run because the card was a popular seller?


Gray News Post Cards of Tonopah and Goldfield

     There are only ten post cards in the 4001 Gray News post card series featuring Goldfield and Tonopah.  They were produced primarily for the tourist trade on trains.  Still, they provide a good snapshot of the two communities circa 1907.

The quality of printing and color selection is above average.

The post cards are scare but not rare.   It is not common to see the Gray News cards with Goldfield and Tonopah images offered at either post card shows or online auctions but with a little patience.

When a Gray News from the 4001 series does, appear the prices range (as of Jan 2021) between 15 and 40-dollars. (Seen some above $50.00.)

I’m still looking for a couple, plus a couple of replacements for cards that I rescued.  Those two cards appeared to have been run over by a train.

This report will be updated when new details are uncovered.

Thanks to the collectors and dealers who helped identify the cards in this series.
















[i] “Train News Service From Reno To Tonopah,” November 30, 1904, San Francisco, (California) Chronicle, page sixteen.

[ii] “Train News Service From Reno To Tonopah,” November 30, 1904, San Francisco, (California) Chronicle, page sixteen.

[iii] “Tribune Always There,” November 30, 1906, The Salt Lake Tribune, page nine.

[iv] “Tribune Always There,” November 30, 1906, The Salt Lake Tribune, page nine.

[v]  “The Gray News Company,” display advertisement, December 19, 1913, The Idaho Republican, page five.

[vi]  “Ogden Will Be Central News Station,” February 13, 1909, The Standard, Ogden, Utah, page five

[vii]  “Ogden Will Be Central News Station,” February 13, 1909, The Standard, Ogden, Utah, page five

[viii]  “Railroad Town,” July 16, 2909, Nevada State Journal, Reno, page eight.

[ix] “Hotel Arrivals,” July 17, 1909, Tonopah Daily Bonanza, Page two.

[x]  “Kropp’ s Scenic Post Cards,” display advertisement, August 5, 1909, Geyer’s Stationer, New York.

[xi] “Goldfield” by Hugh A. Shamberger 1982, Western Printing & Publishing Company, Sparks, Nevada, page ninety-five

Tonopah: A Post Card view from 1907-1908

Tonopah 1907 -1908

The “A. J.” Series, Published by the Oscar Newman Post Card Company, Los Angeles

 By Robert Stoldal

(updated February 13, 2021,  February 15, 2021, February 16, 2021, updated February 26, 2021, March 31, 2021.)

 A.J.  The Tonopah, Nevada Series  

The early 20th-century mining boom of west-central Nevada would create the historic community of Tonopah.

Initially known as Butler, Tonopah now serves as the capital of Nye County.

It was the mineral wealth of Tonopah that brought miners, investors, and the spotlight to central Nevada in 1901.

Today, like most of west-central Nevada, mining continues to be an important part of its economy.

Tonopah maintains its leadership role as the largest city and promoting central Nevada’s future and actively preserving the area’s history.

From miners to stockbrokers Tonopah and its neighbor, Goldfield, in the earliest months of the 1900s became magnets for entrepreneurs in all fields.

Starting in Europe, another booming business was spreading across the United States; post cards.

Picture post cards, comic post cards, post cards made of metal, wood, and leather, penny post cards were becoming the communication coin of the realm.

The silver and gold boom of central Nevada matched the beginning of what is known as the Golden Age of post cards.

Large cities would have several stores that only sold post cards, while in smaller, newer towns like Tonopah and Goldfield, initially, it was the drug store that stock the cards.

In the early years of  Tonopah, the Miner’s Drug Store run by its owner John Augustus Uhland had the largest supply of post cards.

The boom in post cards received an added push in 1907 when the U.S. Post office changed an important rule.

Effective March of 1907, the post office said you could now write a message on the back of the post card.

Until that point, only a stamp and an address were allowed on the back.

If you wanted to write a message, you had to squeeze it around or over the image on the front of the post card.

Post card salesman from all the major U.S. printing companies found their way to central Nevada.

Opening in 1904, one of the west coast’s largest operations was The Newman Post Card Company of Los Angeles.

Owned and operated by Oscar Newman, his company used both U.S. and German printing companies to produce post cards.

Initially, Newman focused his business on the population of southern California.

With the opening in 1905 of the rail line between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, he began to produce post cards to sell on the trains and at the depots along the “Salt Lake Route.”

As the metallic boom was reaching its peak, a railroad was built from Las Vegas to the central part of the state.

There is little doubt post card and novelty salesmen were among the passengers on the first trains heading north.

It was during this period Newman published five series of post cards featuring views of Nevada.

From Las Vegas to Reno, his sales team stayed close to the western edge of Nevada, producing more than seventy different color images of Nevada.

This report will focus on the post cards in Newman’s “A. J.” series.

They are known as the “Tonopah series” since most cards are connected to the community.

In addition to using phrases like “Early days,” and “Early mode of transportation” in the captions, this series of views provides the viewer with images of the earliest days of Tonopah.

The series of cards also includes contemporary images of the community when the cards went on sale in 1908.

While Newman’s used both U.S. and German printers, all of the Nevada post cards he published, including the A. J. series were printed in Germany.

The images in the A. J. series are superior to those in Newsman’s other Nevada post cards for two reasons.

First, the colors used in the A.J. series are more natural, and second, a different printing process was used, providing a sharper image.

However, like many post cards printed and ‘colored’ in Germany, desert landscape turned from brown to lush green.  This is true in the A.J. series.

Newman would be involved in producing post cards of Nevada for two years, starting in 1907.

The A. J. series, Newman’s last Nevada work, was printed in the early Spring of 1908.

There was a three-month period between sending the photographs to be turned into post cards in Germany, the printing and shipping the cards back to the United States.

It is likely the post card order was sent to Germany in early February of 1908, as postmarks show the cards went on sale no later than early May. Tonopah in May of 1908.

The initial print order likely was at least one thousand.

The post cards appeared to have been actively sold for five years.

Currently, known postmarks drop dramatically in 1913, a year before World War One started in Europe.

Were post cards, including Newman’s, printed in Germany pulled from the shelves as the war began in Europe in 1914?

The United States did not join the Allied war effort until 1917.


    The Goldfield Connection to the A.J. Tonopah Series

        There are two Goldfield connections to the A.J. Tonopah series.

First, scenes from Tonopah were retitled as being in Goldfield.

Three of the post cards, A. J. 16 The Can House, Tonopah, Nev., A.J. 18 Burrow fast express, Tonopah, Nev., and A. J. 21 A Dugout, Tonopah, Nev. were also released with the location being Goldfield.

The Tonopah, Nev. pat of the caption was blocked out with red ink, and directly below, in red in,  Goldfield, Nev. printed.

The second Goldfield connection is the work of pioneer western photographer, Pers Edward Larson.   The photographer’s busienss was based in Goldfield.  Several of the photographs in the A.J. series are Larsen’s and are views of Goldfield.

A.J. 2, with the caption The wandering Moses 40 years on the Desert, uses both a Larson photograph and the title Laron used when he published the photograph as a post card in 1907.

The title for A.J. 2 does not include the location.  However, an earlier post card published by Larson includes Goldfield in the caption.

By the time the A.J. Tonopah series went on sale in 1908, Larson had moved out of state.  He sold his photographs, equipment, and studio to the photographic team of Welch and Tune.  The two men were based in Goldfield as well.   Either Larson solid the rights to his photographs to Newman, or Welch and Tune did, or Newman ‘borrowed’ the images.

A key question remains unanswered; who selected the images to be printed in the twenty-three post cards in the A.J. Tonopah series?


A.J. Series, the back of the post card and two numbers

With the exception of the last three post cards in the A.J. series, the back of each post card is identical.

In addition, the last three post cards, while listed in this report, are not views of Tonopah.

The A.J. Tonopah series, cards one to 23, have two numbers printed on the back.

The first number is listed next to A.J. on the left edge of the card.  This number indicates the sequence of the cards in the series.

The other number found on the lower back right edge is the number the German printer assigned to the negative or printing plate of the photograph used on the card.


Both the A.J. and 132 Newman series contain the same views of Tonopah

The A.J. series is the second set of post cards Newman published of Tonopah.

Just over half of the photographs used in the A. J. series are used in the 132 series.  The 132 series presents a cross-section of Tonopah life circa 1906-1907

While the coloring scheme is distinctly different, the same photographs and captions are used in the 132 series were reused in the A.J. series.

List of matching images in the A.J. and 132 Tonopah post card set.

  1. A.J. 1 and 132/19
  2. A.J. 7 and 132/3.
  3. A.J. 8, and 132/8.
  4. A.J. 10, and 132/6.
  5. A.J. 13, and 132/2.
  6. A.J. 14, and 132/5.
  7. A.J. 15, and 132/7.
  8. A.J. 16, and 132/27.
  9. A.J. 18, and 132/25.
  10. A.J. 19, and 132/12.
  11. A.J. 20 and 132/9.
  12. A.J. 21, and 132/16.
  13. A.J. 22, and 132/26.




A.J. Tonopah Series Check List and Notes

The following is a list of all the post cards in the A.J. series, along with notes comparing the production to other post cards with the same views published by other companies.

The letters A. and J. as part of the alphanumeric code on the back of the post cards have no connection to Nevada.  Newman used the code as part of his record-keeping of the post cards he produced.



A.J. 1     Tonopah and Manhattan Stage Line.

This view is also found in the 132 series published by Newman as post card number 19.

The A. J. 1. version of the stage line

  Ahh the green (Springtime) of the desert in the eyes of the German artists who ‘touched up’ this black and white photograph.  It is clear the artist did spend more time on the details of the horses and the stagecoach, including the wheels.

The Newman 132 series, Number 19th.

While the colors in the 132 series image are limited, the view does include the markers where the photographer wanted the stage driver to stop for the photograph.  Both objects, a can and part of a skull? are gone from the A.J.  post card.


A.J. 2     “The wandering Moses” 40 Years on the Desert.

This view was first published by Larson with an undivided back with the title, THE WANDERING MOSES 40 YEARS ON THE DESERT GOLDFIELD, NEV LARSON PHO 4227.  No printer is listed on the undivided back Larson post card.



A.J. 3     “A Hold Up” U. S. Mail Coach en route to Bullfrog, Nevada

This view was one of the top sellers reprinted several times by different post card publishers.

The “hold up” title is another from the wit and imagination of Larson, who took the photograph used on the card.

The view shows two stagecoaches, with ten men and one woman.  Several of the passengers, including the one woman, are standing off to the side of the coaches.

The coach driver on the stagecoach in the background appears to be having trouble handling his horses.

The photograph was likely first issued by Larson, with the title A HOLD UP U.S. MAIL COACH EN ROUTE TO BULLFROG, NEV.  LARSON PHO. No. 333 on the face of the post card.

Based on Larson’s photo number, 333, the original photograph was exposed in the late fall of 1905.

Larson used the same photograph for the Newman Post Card Company on the fifth post card in the 134 series.

This photograph is also seen on a post card published by the Dennison News Company.  The Dennison view, number three, is titled, U.S. Mail Coach En Route to Bullfrog, Nevada.

Another post card with the same view, no publisher listed, is titled GOLDFIELD NEV 1907  O’ KEEFE BROS. STAGE CO LEVAEING BULLFROG NEV. HEADiNG FOR GOLDFIELD. Note the misspelling of Leaving in the caption.



A.J. 4 Bird’s Eye View of Tonopah, Nev., from Mt. Oddie.



 A.J. 5 State Bank and Trust Co. Building, Tonopah, Nev. 

 In the State Bank and Trust Company building, just left of the steps is the Miner’s Drug Store.  On the right side of the image is the “Golden Block.”

 Today the “State Bank and Trust Company” building is alive and well.   Located on the southwest corner of Brougher Avenue and Main Street.

The building was purchased in 2011 by Fred and Nancy Cline who spent nearly a decade restoring and renovate the structure now known as the Belvada Hotel.   And, today, the building is an operating hotel.

Here is part of the story from the Cline’s website. “The Belvada was built as The Nevada State Bank & Trust building in 1906. The building was erected in Classical Revival style and the Chicago style influence can be seen in the large windows on the first floor. Four months after the building was completed, a nationwide financial panic struck the USA, and the State Bank & Trust building closed. Its owner, Thomas Rickey, was arrested and indicted for embezzlement and the bank closed its doors.”

In 1990 the Central Nevada Historical Society, as part of its membership benefits, would send out  3 and a half by 5 inches photographs of historic sites.

The “Mid-Year 1990 #39” society photograph is a copy of the A.J. 5 post card.  The society noted on the back “The photo was reproduced from a rare 1907 color postcard.”

The staff of the Central Nevada Historical Society wrote on the back of the photograph; “The State Bank building was the first five-story structure built in Tonopah and was constructed of brick freighted in on the Tonopah & Goldfield Railroad.  The building boasted one of Nevada’s first elevators and housed a bank, saloon and other businesses on the ground floor.  Doctors, Lawyers, dentists and other professional rented offices on the upper floors.  In later years, these offices were converted to apartments and by 1960 the building was known locally as the Belvada Hotel.”


For the rest of the story, here is the link to the Belvada Hotel web site.


A.J. 6  Early days in Tonopah, Nev.                                                                                   The scene in view on A.J. 6 is the inside of a saloon with a bar and several men playing cards—a total of fourteen men, including half with mustaches.  Two of the men are hiding their faces.

Interesting bar stools

The sign on the door reads “Pay the Bar.”

A.J. 6 is one of two post card in this series with a white title; all other titles are red.


A.J. 7     General View of Tonopah, Nev.

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 3 in the 132 series.


A.J. 8    Early Mode of Transportation into Tonopah, Nev.

This view is also found in the Newman Post Card Company 132 series as number 8.


A.J. 9     Nye County Court House, Tonopah, Nev.

Until February 1905, the Nye County seat was located in Belmont, but following lobbying by the citizens of Tonopah, Governor John Sparks signed the law that transferred the county government to Tonopah.

A courthouse needed to be built. A contract was awarded and work began in May.  The sturdy structure was completed in the fall of 1905.

Ron James, in his 1994 book, Temples of Justice, County Court Houses of Nevada, describes the building as having a moderately pitched pyramidal roof crowned by a dome and eaves that include a classical, molded cornice dressed with dentils. Clustered columns support round arches making this the only county courthouse in Nevada with substantial Romanesque elements.

A colorized printed version of the Nye County Courthouse, released in March of 1906, was based on a photograph taken in the late fall of 1905.  The building was finished, but not yet occupied.   Photographer was likely E. W. Smith.

The post card, with an undivided back, 815, was printed by the E. H. Mitchell Company of San Francisco.

The photograph and negative used for the post card were lost in the San Francisco earthquake of April 1906.

A second photograph was taken the same day, but from a slightly different angle was used by Mitchell to produce new post cards of the courthouse.  His artists added a U.S. Flag.

All of the later post card versions, printed in 1907-1910 use the same photograph seen in the second Mitchell 815.


The different post card artists changed colors, eliminated, and added elements to the same photograph.

But, one consistent and interesting visual element of the photograph provides a ‘signature;’ the windows on the front of the building.

You can see through the windows and then through the windows on the left side of the building.



This is the A.J. version of the Nye County Courthouse.  Using the same photograph from 1905 artists eliminated construction rubble and added nice, well-kept green lawns.  The artist also completed the steps and painted them.

Also eliminated is the small building on the lower-left edge of the image.

But, the artists did not add a U.S. Flag.

This is post card is from the Newman 132 series, number one.  Note the light brown ‘stains’ on front of the building.  The flag pole, without a flag, extends beyond the top edge of post card.

The Newman view maintains some construction elements in the front of the building.

Is that white square seen on all the post cards, the cornerstone?

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 6 in the 132 series.



A.J. 11    A Typical prospectors outfit, Tonopah, Nev.

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 24 in the 132 series.


A.J. 12    Some of Tonopah’s Residences.

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 5 in the 132 series.

Note four residences are visible with a 5th structure, a double duty ‘outhouse’ visible on the ridge behind the homes.


While not the most famous of Tonopah’s bottle houses, a second bottle built homes is visible on the post card’s far-right side.

A report issued by the Nevada State Historic Preservation office states between the fall of 1900 and December 1901, the majority of the Tonopah population were miners whose attention was focused on the exploration of the mines, little effort was spent on any substantial building activity, and the provision of the shelter was only a matter of expediency and availability of materials. Structures consisted of a conglomeration of tents, dugouts, board and batten dwellings, and crude stone cabins, as well as a variety of makeshift efforts such as wood and gunny sack houses, barrel and bottle houses, houses of packed mud, or any combination of materials which could be assembled to provide shelter.[i]

A.J.13 Loading Ore at Montana-Tonopah, Nevada, Mine.


A.J. 14    Public Library, Tonopah, Nev.


This is the AJ version of the photograph of the public library.  Note the x upper left of the post card.  Photographer, unknown, was looking west when the photograph was taken.

The “x” on the left side of the post card was made by Isadora Horton.   She wrote from Tonopah to her friend in New York on January 12, 1912 “The stone used in this building was quarried near here. Under the cross is a small cabin, where some prospectors lived while prospecting for gold. From my house, it looks as if it were hanging onto the side of the mountain.”

A widow, Mrs. Horton arrived in Goldfield in 1906 with her two-year-old son Thomas.  Why she came to Nevada at the age of 45 is not known at this point. Horton later moved to Tonopah where she became a leader in the suffrage movement.  Eventually, she moved to Reno where she died in 1934.

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 28 in the 132 series.  In this case, the 132 series has a more realistic detailed image.

The 132 version gets the nod for the better selection of realistic colors, and the nod for detail, especially the background on the left side of the view.

The artist working on the A. J. version erased a post visible on the left side of the Library, seen in the 132 version.

The building, completed in January of 1906, still stands.

More details are found at  And,



A.J. 15    High School, Tonopah, Nev.

This view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 7 in the 132 series.


A.J. 16    The Can House, Tonopah, Nev.

Photographer H. T. Shaw took this photograph of the “can house” in late in 1905.

Like the bottle house, and the barrel house, the Can House of Tonopah was popular with post card buyers and used many times, for several years, by different post card publishers for several years.

A U.S. government report on the historical details of Tonopah states the distillate oil cans became a common building material in Tonopah. When filled with sand, the cans could be laid like a brick; if flattened out and nailed like shingles, it served as a roofing material. [ii]

Tonopah photographer H. T. Shaw released his photograph as a postcard with the hand-printed title CAN HOUSE TONOPAH, NEV. NO. 5 PHOTO BY H. T. SHAW

As is often the case, the p is written backward.

Shaw’s photograph shows the U.S. flag above the door.

No clouds are visible in Shaw’s black and white real photo post card.

The photograph, used for A. J. 16 was first used on a colored E.H. Mitchell post card, printed in early 1906.

It is not known if Mitchell purchased or borrowed the photograph from Shaw.  Since these post cards would be solid in the Tonopah market, it is likely Mitchell purchased the rights to the image from Shaw.

The U.S. flag is gone from Mitchell’s undivided back version.  The small pole on the edge of the roof that held the flag is visible.

There are no clouds in Mitchell’s undivided back version.

When Mitchell printed a divided back version of this photograph, the U.S. flag re-appears, and clouds were added.

The Newman, A. J. 16 version of the photograph includes the U.S. flag and clouds. In Newman’s version, the artists scattered the clouds.

Newman released another version of this photograph in his 132 series.  The title of 132/27 is The Can House, Tonopah Nev.

A green  desertscape, a drab brown color selected for the cans, and a colorless U.S. flag are visible, as is a new set of clouds.



A.J. 16    The Can House, Goldfield, Nev.

In a later printing, Tonopah, Nev. is covered up by red ink, and Goldfield, Nev. is printed just below, in red ink.


A.J. 17    The famous bottle house, Tonopah, Nev.

A nice side view of the “Famous” bottle house.   The artists work on this post card, like several post cards in the A. J. series has an oil painting feeling.


A.J. 18    Burrow fast express, Tonopah, Nev.

While no photographer has been identified, the title leads to the possibility this is the work of P.E. Larson.

Is the spelling of “burrow” part of the humor or just a mispeclling?

Photographer unknown. However, the staged image and caption which has the earmarks of Larson’s humor, the photograph was likely taken in Goldfield.

Thirteen pre-teen boys, all wearing caps, are in a wagon with lettering on the side of the wagon.  The lettering appears to read “—-aper Express.

Likely the boys are newsboys on a wagon called the Newspaper Express. An older boy holds the reins on the one donkey pulling the way. Two men, one with a bicycle and one on a burro, are seen on to the right and left of the wagon.

To the right is a large tent with a wooden sign, PEOPLES PRINT SHOP WALL PAPER PAPER HANGING A SPECIALTY R. B. VAIL Prop. On the building directly behind the boys in the wagon is a large sign with hand, likely palmistry operation.

This is the Burrow fast express produced in 1907 by Newman in the 132 series.

The details in both the first printing in 1907 for the 132 series, card 25, and the second A.J. series, card 18 are very similar, with one major exception.

Several of the boys faces in the A. J. version are distorted, mask like and created by the artist.  On the other hand, the faces in the 132 series, card 25, look more like a photograph.

This is a close up of the boys faces on card 25 in the 132 series.



A.J. 18    Burro fast express, Goldfield, Nev.

On the second version of this view, Tonopah, Nev. is covered up by red ink, and the Goldfield, Nev. is added to the title.



A.J. 19    That which makes Tonopah Nev. famous and prosperous.

All thrity-six panels on the post card are exterior views of mining operations.  The title to the images is found on the left side of the card’s back.


This multi-view was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 12 in the 132 series.  The same title is used but moved to the face of the post card, center bottom.



A.J. 20    Barrel House, Tonopah, Nev.

The Tonopah Barrel House was a popular subject for many photographers including  E. W. Smith.

There are several different post card views of the barrel house, including one in the A. J. series.

The photograph used for the A. J. series was also used by Newman in his 132 series.

In addition, the same photograph was for a Gray News Compay post card.   And, while the details are strong in the A.J. version, a bit of artistic liberty is on view.  (especially the green for the landscape, including Mt.  Oddie in the background).

Visible in the A.J. version is the printing on the wooden boxes used as part of the house’s construction material. One sign reads in part  “THE GREAT TONIG—“

The sign to the right of the windows reads “C. CIGA—.”

This is the A.J. version of the “Barrel House, Tonopah, Nev.”

This is the Grey News Version, 4009. Note, telephone/power poles?

Before the A.J. and Gray news versions were produced, Newman released the same photo of the barrel house for use as the 9th card in his 132 series.

This is the version of the Barrel House in the 1907 Newman 132 series.  Hills and landscape green, but one pole on right saved.  Overall, the details are soft and the color decisions limited .

The Dennison (Denison) News Company, using a different photograph, also produced a post card of the barrel house.

Note the length of the smokestack as well as the barrels on the left side of the house.

E.H.Mitchell released post card of the barrel house.  Based on the dog in the photograph this is likely the word of pioneer Tonopah photographer E. W. Smith.



A.J. 21    A Dugout, Tonopah, Nev.

This is the A. J. Newman 1908 release of “A Dugout, Tonopah, Nev.”

  From the buildings on the hill to the face of the man with the cigar sitting on the chair in from of his home, the details visible on the A.J. release are superior to the 1907 Newman post card.

The rocks, along with the man’s suspenders turn blue in the 132 post card and the landscape is too green for the Tonopah groundscape.

Martha, who was living in Tonopah, wrote her sister in Sacramento on February 22, 1908 “Fine weather” in Tonopah “until last night it snowed more to come.”  Martha also wrote across the front of the 132 Newman post card version, “I don’t know where the grass came from.”

This is the 1907 Newman 132 series release of “A Dugout, Tonopah, Nev.”



A.J. 21    A Dugout, Goldfield, Nev.

The second A. J. version of this view has the words Tonopah, Nev. covered up with red ink, and Goldfield, Nev. printed below.

Why?  What was the market for the overprint post cards?  The people of Tonopah and Goldfield knew where the “Dugout” was located.

It should be noted, the location ‘battle’ for both the dugout, and barrel, and bottle houses of Tonopah was not limited to the work of Newman.

That story will be featured in aother report.



A.J. 22    Mt. Oddie and principal Mines, Tonopah, Nev.

This is the  A.J. 22 version of Mt. Oddie.   The color choices and details are about equal in the A.J. and the 132 versions.  The A.J. artist added clouds.

This is number 26 in the 132 series also released by the Newman Post Card Company.

.  The 132 version does get a plus as more of the detail of the community is visible along the post card’s bottom edge.

No clouds were added in the 132 version. Instead, there is a sunrise/sunset orange color behind the mountains on the post card’s left side.


A.J. 23    Cloud Effect on the Desert.

This is the A. J. version titled “Cloud Effect on the Desert.”

The color choices resulting in clarity of detail is lacking in this A.J. post card.

Due to the darkness of the image, this is the second of two post cards in the A.J. series where the ink color for the caption is changed from red to white.

The same photograph of the clouds was also released by the Newman Post Card Company as number 18 in the 132 series.  The caption was expanded to read, Cloud Effect on the desert near Tonopah, Nev. and is printed with black ink.

Beyond the title and color changes, the most important difference between the two versions is the cropping changes made to the original photograph.

Eliminated from the A.J. version is the important oval hole in the storm clouds.

Neither the 132 nor the A.J. version get high marks for color decisions.

However, the 132 version gets a positive nod because of the cloud detail and the fact the caption includes a location.



A.J. 24, 25 and 26

 While there are three additional post cards, numbered A. J. 24, 25, and 26, the views are not part of the original Tonopah series.

The three post cards featuring views of the state, distant from central Nevada, were printed separately from the other cards in the A.J. series.

The views are from the eastern and southern parts of the state.

Also, the backs of A.J. twenty-four to 26 are different from the first twenty-three post cards, indicating the cards were printed at different times.

A.J. 24 and 26 are views of Palisade Canyon located in Eureka County in northeast Nevada, about ten miles west of Carlin.   Palisade was a small town located in the canyon.  The town served nearby mines for many years, and to this day, the railroad still runs through the canyon.

A.J. 24    Palisade Canyon, Nevada.






A.J. 25    The Los Angeles Limited in Rainbow Canyon,  Nev.







In the A.J. series, this post card, along with A J. 26, are the only two in the series where a non-italicized font was selected for the caption.

The photograph used for A.J. 25 was also used by the Curt Tiech Post Card Company to print a post card for the Souvenir Novelty Company of Salt Lake City. The novelty company card, with the Curt Tiech number, A-35700, is titled Rainbow Canyon, Nevada.  On the Salt Lake Route.

There is a second version of A.J. 25.  The later version has the same image and the same back. The phrase “On the Salt Lake Route” is printed below the caption “The Los Angeles Limited In Rainbow Canyon, Nev.”

The back of the second version also has a descriptive paragraph of the Los Angeles Limited.








A.J. 26  Overland Express, Palisade Canyon, Nev.                                                  The image on the post card is a 180-degree view from the scene in A.J. 24.








   Post card number 26 is the last post card

in the A. J. Tonopah series. 



  To determine when the post cards went on sale and when the cards were still being sold, a record of postmarks is being maintained. 

Know postmarks on post cards in the A.J. Tonopah Series


June 9, 1908, Tonopah

July 14, 1908          Tonopah

August 25, 1908     Tonopah

Oct. 20, 1908          Tonopah

November 7, 1908   Tonopah

December 8, 1908   Tonopah



Jan. 26, 1909          Tonopah

February 12, 1909   San Jose, California

March 9, 1909         Rhodes, Nevada

April 25, 1909         Tonopah

June 3, 1909           Reno & Goldfield

July 12, 1909          Tonopah

Sept. 9, 1909           Truckee, California

Sept. 11, 1909         Ogden & Francisco RPO

July 12, 1909          Tonopah

Sept. 30, 1909         Tonopah

November 23, 1909  San Bernardino, California

Dec. 24, 1909          Reno & Goldfield, RPO



February 7, 1910    Los Angeles, California

June 2, 1910        Tonopah

June 19, 1910      San Fran., S. Jose & Los Ang.  RPO

June 30, 1910       Goldfield, RPO

July 16, 1910       Long Beach, California

Aug. 31, 1910       Reno

October 8, 1910    Tonopah.

October 24, 1910, Los Angeles, California



March 24, 1911       Tonopah

May 23, 1911           Reno & Virginia City RPO

July 7, 1911,            Reno & Virginia City RPO

July 10, 1911           Tonopah

August 10, 1911       Goldfield.

Aug. 27, 1911           Tonopah

September 18, 1911  Los Angeles, California


April 23, 1912      Tonopah

October 1, 1912   Tonopah


Feb. 7, 1913         Tonopah

Feb. 8, 1913.        Arizona

Sept. 29, 1913      Tonopah


August 7, 1915     Lida


Sept. 7, 1928        Tonopah



Goldfield 1908 a Visual History

1908 Goldfield

     The beginning of a visual change in Central, Nevada.

By Robert Stoldal

updated August 13, 2022

      (This report provides a brief overview of the post cards printed by The Goldfield News newspaper covering the years 1906 to 1908 in Goldfield, Nevada.0

(this report was updated on February 8, 2021. February 9, 2021, February 11, 2021, September 9, 2021, October 22, 2021 and August 13, 2022)


Fortune Seekers

     Like all mineral-based boom towns, Goldfield, Nevada not only attracted ore seekers but other dreamers with tomorrow in their blood.
Goldfield holds a unique place in Nevada’s history. Unlike most mining boomtowns of the southwest that turned into ghost towns, Goldfield today, alive and building a future

      Goldfield started as a community of tents in late 1903. In less than forty-eight months, it would have the title of the largest city in Nevada.

      Except when the United States took its official census every ten years, all the population numbers of Goldfield between 1902 and 1910 are estimates.

      In its online report, “Southern Nevada, the Boomtown Years,” the University of Nevada Special Collections says within thirty-six months, “By the end” of 1906 Goldfield’s “the population had reached 30,000.

      In its online report, “Goldfield’s Building Boom,” the Goldfield Historical Society says by 1907, Goldfield grew “to be the largest city in Nevada with a population of over 20,000 people.

    A major shift in how the community operated began in 1907 and over the next 36 months, a dramatic decline in the population of Goldfield would take place.   According to the U.S. Census, the population of Goldfield in 1910 was less than 5,000.

     For a discussion of the population history of Goldfield, here is a chart from Wikipedia. The website cites its source as the U.S. Census.

Historical population estimates of Goldfield

Year Pop. ±%
1902 36 —
1903 400 +1011.1%
1904 1,600 +300.0%
1905 8,000 +400.0%
1906 20,000 +150.0%
1907 18,000 −10.0%
1908 15,000 −16.7%
1909 10,000 −33.3%
1910 4,838 −51.6%
1920 1,558 −67.8%
1930 692 −55.6%
1940 554 −19.9%
1950 336 −39.4%
1960 184 −45.2%
1990 655 +256.0%
2000 440 −32.8%
2010 268 −39.1%

With population estimates of 18,000 to 30,000, between 1906 and 1907, Goldfield became the largest city in Nevada.

Unlike many boomtowns of the southwest that turned into ghost towns and disappeared today, Goldfield is building a new future, a future that includes preserving its history.

Compared to 2010, the 2020 U.S. census reveals Goldfield’s population is up more than ten percent to 298.

Based on the town’s current energy, including mining in the area, the restoration work on the historic high school, the expansion of the town’s radio station, Goldfield’s population is on its way to 400.

If you are planning a visit, make a stop at the Goldfield Historical Society.

Like most boomtowns, among those early entrepreneurs attracted to Goldfield were newspaper publishers and photographers.

Among the many producers of Goldfield post cards during its boom period were the town’s newspapers.

This image shows Main Street in Goldfield in the late fall of 1908. The post card is part of the 32 card set of Goldfield published by The Goldfield News Newspaper.

     Based on newspaper articles, postmarks, and different style backs, there are at least five different periods when the newspaper produced post cards of Goldfield.

June 1908 is the earliest known postmark on a post card in the printed series.

The earliest known postmark for a real photo post card used in the printed version is May of 1908.

Most of the views the newspaper printed as post cards are from 1908. There is at least one image from earlier years.

In the boom years of Goldfield, several publications fit into the category of newspapers.

This report will focus on the two newspapers connected to the post card images in this report; the Goldfield Tribune and the Goldfield News.

4. The News Building and Postoffice, Goldfield, Nev.

     On April 29, 1904, the first issue of the Goldfield News went on sale.
Less than two years later, on January 19, 1906, the weekly Goldfield News was purchased by Charles S. Sprague.

In addition to the weekly Goldfield News, Sprague added an evening edition, the Daily News, in February of 1909.

Publication of both the daily and weekly editions of the newspaper continued until March of 1911.

That year the Goldfield News was purchased by the town’s other daily newspaper, the “Goldfield Tribune.”

At this point, the Tribune continued as a daily, and the Goldfield News went from a daily to a weekly under the name “Goldfield News and Weekly Tribune.”

Over the next several decades, the Goldfield News would change owners, publication dates, and coverage, including Beatty and Tonopah
Today the Goldfield Tribune and News are known as the Tonopah Times-Bonanza and Goldfield News.

Online access is available for the early editions of the Goldfield News and later issues following the merger with the Tribune.

The pre-merger issues of the Goldfield Tribune are currently only available on microfilm at libraries and universities.

June 1908 “A Dozen Post Cards.”

      The first public notice of post cards published by The Goldfield News is in the newspaper’s June 20, 1908 issue.

The paper promoted “a dozen post card views of the town and camp of Goldfield, including the best buildings and mines, street scenes, typical camp pictures, together with the latest panorama of Goldfield, beautifully printed in two colors.”

The newspaper told readers if they wanted the twelve cards, they should “send 50 cents to The Goldfield News (Stationery Department).”

The newspaper’s advertisement stated the twelve post cards included “views” of Goldfield “the town and camp” including “street scenes,” the “best buildings,” and “mines.”

At the time, the newspaper also offered the “latest” panorama photograph of Goldfield.

Several months later, the newspaper offered twenty “new” post cards to its original 12 cards.

October 1908 “A new set of Thirty-two picture postals.”

      “New” is the important word in the October announcement, “a new set.”

In the October 3, 1908 issue of The Goldfield News, the newspaper announced it was creating “a new set of Picture Postals comprising thirty-two different views in and about Goldfield.”

Post card 25 in the series, “One of Goldfield’s Heaviest Producing Leases.” The sign on top of the headframe says “MOHAWK-JUMBO –LEASE CO.-”

    This is an interesting selection to include in a series to be released in January of 1909, as most of the important leases came to an end in 1908.

In the October 10, 1908 announcement, the newspaper provided a clue to help date the photographs on the post cards.

The newspaper said, “the views were taken within the past month and comprise all the principal mines, buildings, residences, interiors, street scenes, characteristic mining camp scenes, etc., and a handsome double panorama of Goldfield.”

“Within the past month” clearly means many photographs used on the post cards are from September of 1908.

One of the photographs used on a post card in the set goes back to 1906.
The Goldfield News sent the new September 1908 photographs (likely to California) to create printing plates. When printed, the newspaper referred to the pictures as “cuts.”

Starting with the October 3 edition, the newspaper ran the same post card advertisement every week through December 1908.

Display advertisement The Goldfield News October 3, 1908 page three.

     Then in the first issue of 1909, January 2, The Goldfield News had a page one story, “Nevada for the Year 1908 in Picture and Story.”

Despite the headline, the page one story said the expanded issue would have to wait.

“Because of a failure to receive cuts on time,” the newspaper said it was unable to publish its “illustrated edition this week.” The editor promised the next issue “will be all the more profusely illustrated by reason of the additional time.”

The newspaper added, “The edition will contain some 40 half-tone engravings, including a panoramic view of the Goldfield district.”

Part of the planned promotion for the new year was the release of a 32 post card series the newspaper had been working on and promoting for several months.

The eighteen-page illustrated edition hit the newsstands on January 9, 1909.   There were  thirty-eight photographic images in the paper.  The newspaper described thirty of the images as “smaller cuts.”

It was those thirty “smaller cuts” plus two other images that would make up the “new set” of  post cards  that could be “souvenirs” or they could be used for “advertising purposes.”

At the end of the advertisement, is a “notice;” telling readers “Welch and Tune took these photographs…copyrighted by The Goldfield News.”

The majority of the photographs on the post cards are Welch and Tune’s.  The work of pioneer Goldfield photographer Pers Edward Larson is also featured on the cards.

A review of U.S. Copyright records shows the newspaper did not copyright the images.

3 Welch & Tune Columbia Street, Goldfield, Nev.

         Charles Sprague, the Goldfield News owner, had photographs taken inside and out of his home and the “cuts” were included in the January 9th issue of the newspaper.

The caption that accompanied the two photographs in the newspaper said, “There are many well-built and handsomely furnished houses in Goldfield that afford all the comforts of “civilizations,’ having steam and water heat, electricity for lights and good and every accessory of modern houses.”

      Currently in the master list as number 18;  “Interior of a Goldfield Residence. (Chas. S. Sprague)” 

     In the coming years, the newspaper would reprint the best sellers from the series of 1908 views.

The exterior and interiors views of the Goldfield Hotel taken when it first opened appear to be the post card the newspaper reprinted for the next two years.


Dating the Images

     Based on when the Goldfield News made the public offering of the post cards, January of 1909, it is clear, the majority of the images are from 1908.
The images, the postmarks, and the different style backs help determine when the photographs were produced.

      The different style backs help determine when the post cards were printed and reprinted.


     Pioneer photographers were looked upon by any mining boomtown as an essential component of development.

      Goldfield had several pioneer photographers.

      The earliest of record was I. W. Booth, who started in Tonopah in 1903 and moved full time to Goldfield in early 1904.

     By the fall of 1904 Booth had moved into real estate and mining and sold his photography business to Arthur Allen, who had just moved to Goldfield.

    “Arthur Allen” is, in fact, a stage name.  Despite credit lines showing “A. Allen Photo” on cabinet cards, and post cards, Arthur Otis Eppler used Allen as the name of his store both in Goldfield, Nevada, and San Francisco, California.  Eppler’s use of his stage name Arthur Allen, starting in early 1903, would later cause confusion, with a San Francisco newspaperman whose name was Arthur M. Allen, who moved to Goldfield in 1906.

   The story of Eppler, a well-known pioneer photographer, and a person who fits the historical description of “Colorful” will be the focus of an upcoming report on Captain History.

Details of Allen’s time in Goldfield and who Allen was still needed to be unfolded.  He is often confused with a Goldfield newspaperman of the same name who moved into the area in 1906.

   Eppler, using the business name Allen Photo Company would be in business from 1904 to 1910, the longest of any Goldfield-based photographer during the communities heyday.

       Next in Goldfield was Per Edward Larson.   For more than two years Larson operated the largest photography business in Goldfield.

   From studio work to on-location, Larson not only recorded the mining boom, but also produced material for the community and the tourist trade.

    Larson left Goldfield as the air in the boom began to evaporate.

     In the summer of 1907, the photography partnership   Frank E. Welch and Robert H. Tune arrived in Goldfield.

     After being in town for six months, the January 26, 1908 issue of the Goldfield Chronicle described them as “well-known photographers.”

     The two became the most important photography outlet in the city when Larson decided to change careers.

      The two men bought Larson’s “photography establishment, including an extensive line of pictures, postals, and stationery” in January of 1908.      Included in the purchase were the rights to all of Larson’s photographs.

(“Photographer Larson Sells to Welch & Tune,” January 26, 1908, Goldfield Chronicle, Page four.)

Larson left Nevada and would not return to the photography business.
And like Larson, when Welch and Tune left Nevada, the partnership ended, and neither would turn to photography as a profession.

Welch and Tune’s decision to leave photography occurred not long after a fire in 1909 destroyed their business.

The “fire started,” according to newspaper accounts, “in the rear of the photographic studio of Welch & Tune.”

“Hundred Thousand Loss By Fire in Goldfield,” April 16, 1909, Salt Lake Tribune, page ten.)

The equipment was replaced with insurance.

The destruction of the photographs and negatives from their own work and that of Larson destroyed an essential part of the visual history of Goldfield.

However, both Larson and Welch and Tune  had turned many of their photographs into post cards  preserving some of their work

The “Welch & Tune” credit line appears on the face of fourteen of the original thirty-two post card set published in 1909 by The Goldfield New.

In addition, several other photographs used in the series are uncredited Welch and Tune photographs.

Post card thirteen in the master list, Interior Jno. S. Cook & Co. Bank, Goldfield, Nev. is a Welch & Tune photograph

The second uncredited Welch & Tune photograph is number 16, titled “Goldfield Hotel Lobby, Goldfield, Nev.”

Post card number 20, “Gambling in Goldfield, Nev.” is a Welch & Tune photograph. The Welch & Tune credit line does not appear on the post card.

A Welch & Tune photograph was also used for post card 21, “A Goldfield Dance Hall, Goldfield, Nev.”

The fifth uncredited Welch & Tune photograph is found on post card number 30, “The Famous Florence Mine and Mill, Goldfield, Nev.”

A real photo post card with the same view is postmarked May 31, 1908. The sender noted on May 30, “Snowing awfully this a.m.”

In addition to Welch & Tune, so far, two of the 32 photographs in the post card series were taken by Larson.

At this point, the photographers who took twenty-one of the 32 photographs used for this post card series have been identified.

And, it is likely the remaining uncredited views are the work of Larson and Welch & Tune.


Post Card Paper Imported from England

      When The Goldfield News announced the production of thirty-two post cards of “fine views of Goldfield,” it told its readers the cards were “handsomely printed on the finest Bristol board.”

“Bristol board” is thin pasteboard produced in the early 1800s in Bristol, located in the southwest part of England.

“Bristol board,” a term still used today, means the same as it did in the 1800s; the use of high-quality paper pasted together provides a very white and thin board.

U.S. Tariff battles in Congress began in 1908 over imported paper material, including “Bristol board,” that would eventually drive up the paper’s cost.

However, the timing of the tariff battles and when the Goldfield post cards’ were printed means the Bristol board used by The Goldfield News was imported from England.

And, the newspaper said it was using the “finest Bristol board.”

Many of the well-preserved post cards from the 1909 Goldfield News series still maintain the “very white” appearance.

There is a noticeable difference between “The News” post cards on the Bristol board and the Tribune cards printed on light brown pasteboard.


       Master Check List

This list is based on all the known versions of the post cards initially printed by The Goldfield News and later reprinted by the Tribune.  The list includes all the “smaller cuts” mentioned in the January 9, 1909 issue of The Goldfield News.

The individual post cards are not numbered.   The numbers in this list are for the purpose of cataloging.

The numerical order starts with views of the community of Goldfield, followed by mining locations.

The numbers in this list are used in other sections of this report to identify the post cards.

The caption and when there is a credit line both follow the same format on each post card.   The credit line is on the card’s left side, and the caption is on the right side.

Both caption and credit lines were printed with dark ink in white horizontal boxes.

The spelling, abbreviations, and punctuation on the post cards are used in the master checklist.

The Master List


1. Welch & Tune Main Street, Goldfield, Nev.

2. Welch & Tune Main and Ramsey Sts., Goldfield, Nev.

3. Welch & Tune Columbia Street, Goldfield, Nev.

4. The News Building and Postoffice, Goldfield, Nev.

5. Welch & Tune Court House and Jail, Goldfield, Nev.

6. Welch & Tune Goldfield’s Fire Department, Goldfield, Nev.

7. Welch & Tune Sundog Ave. School, Goldfield, Nev.

8. Welch & Tune West Crook St. School, Goldfield, Nev.

9. Welch & Tune High School, Goldfield, Nev.

10. Welch & Tune High School Assembly, Goldfield, Nev.

11. One of Goldfield’s Churches, Goldfield, Nev. (v)

12. Welch & Tune First National Bank Building, Goldfield, Nev. (v)

13. Interior Jno. S. Cook & Co. Bank, Goldfield, Nev.

14. Hotel Casey, Goldfield, Nev.

15. Welch & Tune Hotel Goldfield, Goldfield, Nev.

16. Goldfield Hotel Lobby, Goldfield, Nev.

17. Dining Room, Hotel Goldfield, Goldfield, Nev.

18. A Goldfield Residence. (Chas. S. Sprague)

19. Interior of a Goldfield Residence. (Chas. S. Sprague)

20. Gambling in Goldfield, Nev.

21. A Goldfield Dance Hall, Goldfield, Nev.

22. Pioneer Buildings, Goldfield, Nev.

23. Welch & Tune General View Mines, Goldfield, Nev.

24. Welch & Tune General View Mines, Goldfield, Nev. (Different view.)

25. One of Goldfield’s Heaviest Producing Leases.

26. The Famous Florence Mine and Mill, Goldfield, Nev.

27. Florence Mine and Mill, Goldfield, Nev.

28. Combination Mill and Mine, Goldfield, Nev.

29. Welch & Tune Goldfield Consolidated Mill, Goldfield, Nev.

30. The Mohawk Mine and Ore Bins, Goldfield, Nev.

31. High Grade Ore Vault Deposit, Mohawk Mine, Goldfield, Nev.

32. Nevada-Goldfield Reduction Works, Goldfield, Nev.

33. 20 Head Mule Team en route to Death Valley, via Goldfield, Nev.


Notes on the Post Cards in the Master Checklist

1 Welch & Tune Main Street, Goldfield, Nev.
The January 9, 1909 newspaper story told readers, “Goldfield today is far different from what it was two years or even one year ago, in its physical appearance. The streets are now graded and macadamized and lined with some of the finest buildings to be found anywhere in the country. Main Street is the chief business street. The view gives only a part of Main Street, the business section of which extends six blocks.”

3 Welch & Tune Columbia Street, Goldfield, Nev.
The January 9, 1909 newspaper story told readers, “Columbia Street has most of the larger and more recent business blocks.

In the foreground is the Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company’s building, followed by the Registration Trust Company, the Montezuma Club, and the News Building, then the Hotel Goldfield.”

Hugh A. Shamberer in his book “Goldfield” uses this Welch & Tune photograph.

Shamberger describes the “Consolidated Mining Company Building” as the Nixon-Wingfield building as the two men controlled Consolidated.

He also provides additional information regarding the “Registration Trust Company building.

On page 125 Shamberger points out that “The Nixon-Wingfield building” is seen on the southeast corner of Columba Street and Ramsey Avenue. He adds” next to it on Columbia Street is the large-windowed Ish-Curtis Building.”

Shamberger did not identify the three smaller buildings in the photograph.   He pointed out the “Large building up Columbia street, is the Montezuma Club with the eye-catching GOLDFIELD NEWS sign on its north wall.  Adjoining it is the News building, both of these buildings were destroyed in the 1924 fire. Still farther south along Columbia Street, is the Goldfield Hotel.”

(Historic Mining Camps of Nevada Goldfield, by Hugh A. Shamberger, 1982, Nevada Historical Press, Carson City, Nevada, page 123.)


8  Welch & Tune West Crook St. School, Goldfield, Nev.

Hugh A. Shamberer in his book “Goldfield” uses this Welch & Tune photograph on page 144.

Shamberer’s caption reads “The West Side (West Crook Street) School constructed during 1908.  The building housed manual training and domestic science classes from 1910 to 1917 when it was taken over by a School of mines which operated from 1917 to 1920.”

(Historic Mining Camps of Nevada Goldfield, by Hugh A. Shamberger, 1982, Nevada Historical Press, Carson City, Nevada, page 144.)

18 and 19 Sprague Residence.
Neither post card 18 A Goldfield Residence (Chas. S. Sprague) or 19 Interior of a Goldfield Residence (Chas. S. Sprague) have been seen with the shield style back of a Goldfield News post card.

While both views are found in the January 9, 1909 issue of The Goldfield News it is possible the views were NOT part of the 32 card series issued by the newspaper.

Currently, the two titles are listed in the master list as cards 18 and 19.

The exact two images with the same captions appear on post cards printed by the Clark Engraving and Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Unlike the post cards in the newspaper series, the Clark cards have white borders and brown and black coloring of the images.

Clark Engraving was primarily a stock certificate printing company.

The Clark Engraving post card of the exterior of the Sprague residence listed as number 18 in the master list.

20 Gambling in Goldfield.
20. Gambling in Goldfield, Nev. Welch & Tune took the photograph used for this printed post card.

This was one of the most popular post card titles when it was first printed and today is one of the most sought-after images.

The photograph has been used several times by different post card publishers.

Welch and Tune initially issued the image on a real photo postcard titled “Merchants Hotel.”

Welch and Tune later released the same real photo post card with the original caption “Merchants Hotel” blacked out, and replaced it with “GAMBLING IN GOLDFIELD.”

Why the change? Was the owner of the hotel J. Casey McDonnal, upset with the Welch and Tune when by caption had moved his hotels from Columbia to Goldfield or did Welch and Tune think the post card would sell better with a generic gambling caption?

Casey’s hotel was located in Columbia, named after the nearby Columbia Mountain, which in turn was named after Christopher Columbus.

Here is a brief overview of Columbia, provided by the University of Nevada Special Collections; “Columbia…is a suburb of Goldfield and is located one-mile north of Goldfield. It boomed in 1902 when gold was discovered at the base of the Columbia Mountains. Within two years, the town had businesses, a bank, post office, chamber of commerce, a lodge, city hall, the Columbia Club, and a drug store. A weekly newsletter, “The Goldfield Review,” was locally printed in 1904. Its mines were known for their rich, oxidized gold ore, and by 1907, the population had reached 1,500. With the construction of the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad Depot, transportation costs plummeted, and a ten stamp combination mill was built. However, Columbia’s growth was dependent on Goldfield, and when Goldfield began to decline in 1908, Columbia did as well.”

The photograph used for the “Gambling” post card number 20  shows seventeen people, including one woman in a small casino inside the Merchants Hotel.

In the photograph is a bar and bartender, a roulette wheel, a crap table, and a faro game. With the exception of the bartender, all the men are wearing hats or caps.

Welch and Tune took a series of photographs in the Merchants Hotel casino and bar that night.


At least three different photographs have survived.   Welch and Tune kept their camera in the same place everything from the people to the clothes they were wearing changed.  On the gaming table, chips were added, subtracted, or just moved during the time elapsed between photographs.

In the post card photograph, the woman is standing next to the bar in the background.

In the UNR photograph, the woman is next to the roulette wheel. Note the chips at each game have been moved, and only one person is playing Faro.

In the third known photograph among the changes, the woman is now next to the crap table on the rights side of the photograph.

The image is seen on page 17  of Shamberger’s book, “Historic Mining Camps of Nevada Goldfield.”

In the first photograph, a ‘candid’ look at the gambling club, in the second and third known photographs more and more people are posing and looking at the camera.  In the third photograph, all but two people are looking at the photographer.

It is not known which photograph was taken first and if more than three pictures were produced.

A colorized version of “Gambling in Goldfield Nev.,” was published by the Grey News Company of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The printing quality provides good detail and realistic colors, making the Grey News post cards a desirable set.

The Grey’s company had the on train and depot news stand franchise for the Union Pacific from San Francisco to Salt Lake City and the rail lines from Reno south to Tonopah.

Grey published a series of ten color post cards of Goldfield and Tonopah. Of the ten, 6 are of Goldfield, and 4 of Tonopah.

In addition, the first card in Grey’s series of central Nevada, BIRD’S-EYE VIEW, GOLDFIELD, NEVADA, “NO 4001” is the same photograph used by       The Goldfield News for its panoramic two-card foldout view of the city.    The Grey card features only the center of the panoramic photograph.

Grey published a total of three post card views also seen in The Goldfield News 32-card 1909 set.

  •       COLUMBIA STREET, GOLDFIELD, NEVADA, Grey 4003 is the same view published by The Goldfield News, 3. Welch & Tune Columbia Street, Goldfield, Nev.
  •      GAMBLING IN GOLDFIELD, NEVADA, Grey 4006 is the same view published by The Goldfield News, 20. Gambling in Goldfield, Nev.
  •      GENERAL VIEW OF MINING DISTRICT, GOLDFIELD, NEV. Grey 4008 is the same view published by The Goldfield News, 24. General View Mines, Goldfield, Nev.

Gray News color version of The News “Gambling” in Goldfield postcard.

A page-one story in the Nevada State Journal on April 13, 1911, describes the end of the Merchants Hotel and casino.     “FAMOUS DESERT HOTEL BURNED Merchants Hotel — Destroyed by Early Morning Blaze.”

A Welch & Tune’s photograph provides an exterior view of the Merchants Hotel, and the caption has the correct location of the resort. This view was not included in The Goldfield News 32 postcard set.


21. Goldfield Dance Hall.
More than forty people are visible in this dance hall masquerade event at an unnamed “Dance Hall.” The caption reads, “A Goldfield Dance Hall, Goldfield, Nev.” That is the exact title found on the Welch & Tune real photo post card of the same scene. However, below the caption on the real photo card, it says “Eckstein & Owens Props.”

Details about the name of the dance hall or who Eckstein and Owens were have not been uncovered.  A business called the Eckstein and Kelly’s Dance Hall was in business in late 1908 and early 1909.

Another clue as to whose dance hall it was is found on the sign in the background on the right side, which reads “THIS IS STRICTLY A UNION HOUSE.”

Based on known postmarks, the photograph is from the latter part of 1908.

22. Pioneer Buildings, Goldfield, Nev.
The image on The Goldfield News post card issued in 1909 was very popular with the public; it was first published as a post card several times, several years earlier.

The photograph used for this post card was taken by Goldfield photographer P. E. Larson.

Based on post marks and the photograph’s negative number 347, Larson took this photograph in  October-November of 1905.

Postmarks as early as September 1, 1906, indicate Larson was working with the American News Company in New York to create a color post card of the Pioneer Buildings no later than June 1906.

At least four different post cards, using the same photograph were published by Larson before the image was used by the newspaper.

Larson’s first color post card of the “Pioneer Buildings” was printed in 1906.

The card, number A 6334, was printed in Germany, (“Leipzig, Dresden”) by the American News Company.

The back features the A.N.C. “Poly Chrome” logo.

At the same time, Larson also ordered a black and white version from the American News Company

He also used the Denver Engraving Company to print a black and white version with an undivided back in 1906.

Next to the Pioneer Building “cut” in the January 9, 1909 issue of The Goldfield News, the paper printed, “Goldfield has not entirely outgrown the old dug-out, cabins, and shacks, for many of them are still in use. But as the town and the camp prospered and gave indications of permanency, people began to plan to live with all the comforts obtainable. The old dugout, cabins made of tin cans and bottles are still in evidence, however, to remind one of the vicissitudes of the early pioneers.”

According to the newspaper story, the town may have changed, but as of January 1909, they were “still in use.”


Larson used the image once again in the fall of 1907 and for the second time, he paid for a colorized version.

This time Larson used the Newman Post Card Company of Los Angeles to have the card printed in Germany. The divided back card is part of Larson’s Goldfield 134 series of more than 25 post cards.

25 One of Goldfield’s Heaviest Producing Leases.
The caption on this post card is one of three post cards in the series that does not end with “Goldfield, Nev.”

33 – 20 Head Mule Team en route to Death Valley, via Goldfield, Nev.
This is a Larson photograph.

Larson also published his photograph as a color post card printed in Germany through the Newman post card company of Los Angeles.

The Goldfield News used the same caption Larson used for his post card except that the newspaper used the actual number 20 rather than spelling it.

The caption on Larson’s card reads, Twenty head Mule team En Route to Death Valley via, Goldfield, Nev.

The Backs of the Post Cards

     The backs of the post cards published by the Goldfield newspapers provide clues to the images’ age. The backs also help determine who and when the post cards were printed.

     The different backs used in reprinting cycles provide a clue as to the popularity of specific post cards.

     The order of the backs is in two parts. First, the Tribune Book and Stationery Store, followed by The Goldfield News newspaper.

     Postmarks and newspaper announcements are the primary sources used to list the order of the different backs.

Known back variations.



3. Copyrighted by GOLDFIELD NEWS, Publisher, Goldfield, Nev. (U.S. flag around the spear.)

4. THE NEWS, Publishers, Goldfield, Nev. (U.S. flag around spear.)

5. THE NEWS, Publisher, Goldfield, Nevada. (U.S. Flag around spear.)

6. THE NEWS, Publisher, Goldfield, Nevada. (Small font. U.S. flag around the spear.)


7. THE NEWS, Publisher, Goldfield, Nev. (Post Card shield.)

8. THE NEWS, Publisher, Goldfield, Nevada. (Post Card shield.)



Notes about the different Backs

Tribune Book and Stationery Store
Two different versions of post cards with the credit line “TRIBUNE BOOK AND STATIONERY STORE GOLDFIELD, NEVADA” have been uncovered.
One post card has a simple vertical line dividing the back, and the other Tribune card has a U.S. flag wrapped around a spear below the words POST CARD in a different font.
No postmarks have been uncovered on the post card with a simple vertical line dividing the back.

However, the other version of the Tribune Book post card, with the back that has a U.S. flag wrapped around a spear back, has been seen with postmarks dating the cards to December 1908.
It is likely the newspaper had unsold stock with both versions of the backs of the post card.   Unsold post cards of the two newspapers were used in the teens as a receipt to newspaper subscribers.


    The postmark is 1923, but the receipt information is 191…   (?)

This receipt is found on the back of post card 10 “High School Assembly, Goldfield, Nev.”   The same information is also found on card 32 Nevada-Goldfield Reduction Works, Goldfield, Nev.

In addition, Tribune post cards of the Goldfield Hotel were used in 1921 with an overprint listing the new hotel operators and the location “on the Midland Trail.”

To date, only one post card with the  Tribune back showing the U.S. Flag around a spear with the copyrighted note has been uncovered one post card.    The caption on the card describes the image in detail; “First picture taken in Goldfield, December 1903. Harrie Taylor (discover). Lew Finnegan and John Y. McKame on the Jumbo, from which was taken $100,000 in 47 feet from the surface, the strike that caused the first rush.”


 Shield Backs 7 and 8

      Based on advertisements in The Goldfield News newspaper and on post marks, “THE NEWS” post cards with the shield back went on sale in January 1909.
Based on a limited number of post marks, it appears the shield back with Nevada abbreviated to “Nev.” went on sale in the winter of 1908.
The post cards with the shield back and the full spelling of Nevada first went on sale in January of 1909.



      Two sets of abbreviations are found in this report.
The first set of abbreviations are those found on the post cards.
The second set of abbreviations are those used in this report.

      As a general rule, abbreviations are used when space is limited. Accepted abbreviations at the time the post cards were printed included “Nev.” for Nevada, “St.” for street, and “Ave.” for avenue.

     The ampersand “&” is not used as an abbreviation on post card 14. “Interior Jno. S. Cook & Co., Goldfield, Nev.”

     The “&” is part of the legal title of the company, “John S. Cook & Company.”

     And, “&” is part of the legal name of Welch & Tune.

     With 64 characters and spaces, the longest caption is number thirty-two, “20 Head Mule Team en route to Death Valley, via Goldfield, Nev.”
This brings us back to post card 14, “Interior Jno. S. Cook & Co., Goldfield, Nev.”

     While “Jno.” is the correct abbreviation for John, why is John abbreviated to “Jno.”? The caption only uses forty-four spaces and characters compared to the 64 spaces and characters in the mule team post card.

     On post card number four, the two words post office become one-word, postoffice.

    In this report, (v) indicates the post card was printed as a vertical view.


   Mistakes, additions, and any improvement suggestions are WELCOME.  Please email   thank you Robert Stoldal

Through the Images of Post Cards, The Beginning and End of Jay’s Cottages in Elko, Nevada


 “Jay’s Cottages,” located at  Elko, Nevada

20 Post Cards Mark the History of  Jay’s Cottages,

1313 Idaho Street, Elko, Nevada.

By Bob Stoldal

Updated June 14, 2020

     Starting with a service station in 1925, Jacinto “Jay” and his wife Lucile Garteiz,  over the next four decades, would raise a family and build what was described as “the largest accommodation in the City of Elko for the traveling public.”[i]

    The “accommodations,” known as “Jay’s Cottages,” in the 1940’s and 50’s would cover both sides of one city block on the eastern edge of Elko, Nevada.

     In addition to “Jay’s Service Station,” and a stand alone restaurant, the motel, at its peak had  149 rooms, all with television, including some with “color” as well as rooms “equipped with Englander Air-Foam Mattresses.” [ii]

    Garteiz was born in Bermeo, Spain in 1896, and immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1914.

    Lucile Dixon Garteiz was born in Ogden Utah in 1898.  Her father was a conductor for the Southern Pacific Railroad.

    Jay Garteiz moved to Nevada in time to register for the  World War One draft on June 5, 1918.

   At registration, Garteiz said he was a “declarant” adding “I have declared my intention” to becoming a U.S. Citizen.

     Garteiz worked for Standard Oil as a bookkeeper in East Ely, Nevada when he registered for military service.

    He told the local draft board he was  21 years old, of medium height and build, had gray eyes and brown hair.

    Garteiz stayed at the Steptoe Hotel on Main Street while he lived in Ely.

    He would later move to Ogden where he worked for the railroad in an unknown capacity.

       While working on the railroad he met Lucile Dixon.    She was working as a stenographer at the time.

    The two were married in 1921.

    In early 1925 shortly before his 29th birthday, Garteiz moved Lucile and their new son to Elko with plans to open a service station.

    On Garteiz’s 29th birthday, July 3, 1925 the Elko Daily Free Press reported; “Jay’s Service Station, located at Fifth and Idaho Streets, is the latest addition to the fast-growing gasoline and oil business in Elko. “Jay” who is J. Garteiz has spared no expense to give Elko one of the most up-to-date service stations in eastern Nevada.  Mr. Garteiz is an old hand at the game, having been in charge of several stations for Standard Oil Company along the Pacific coast.  The new station can provide the public with the very latest in gasoline and oil pumps and is equipped to drain cars and clean out crankcases.  Ladies’ and gentlemen’s restrooms are also provided.”[iii]

     A year after Mr. and Mrs. Garteiz moved to Elko, State the Federal government began numbering U. S. highways.

    What was once called Nevada State Route 1, and the “Victory Highway” became U.S. Route 40. [iv]

      Today U.S. Interstate 80 follows the same path across Nevada through Elko to Utah.

    Records show over the next decade, Jay and Lucile became deeply involved in Elko community life.

      From civic organizations to marketing efforts promoting the benefits of the area to the motoring public  Lucile was an active partner in the operation.

  She joined the Elko Business and Professional Woman’s Club, while Jay joined organizations promoting the Victory and U.S. Highway 40.

      It is clear the two, and their two sons Raymond and Paul, and daughter Dorothy, had decided to make the largest city in north east Nevada community their home.

    In early 1936 Garteiz made his first attempt to get into the auto court business when he tried to buy the cabins owned by the City of Elko.

    At the time, Elko was running a camp ground for the motoring public.  But in March of 1936 the city announced it would get out of the “camp ground business” in two years.

    Garteiz in his letter to the Elko City Council, said the “camp is not a credit to the city and promised to build attractive grounds in the event he bought the cabins. He planned to move them to his property” according to a newspaper report.[v]

   The city wrote back that Garteiz was too late, it had already leased the public camp out for the remaining two years at $50 dollars a month.

   Despite the setback, Garteiz moved forward with his expansion plans.  In 1938, he moved into the developing motel industry by making a “modest” investment and opening six “cottages” behind his Shell gas station.

  An undated map sponsored by Garteiz, says he has “six new modern, air-cooled cabins and offers full Shell and Goodyear Tires sales and service.”

     The map and information, according to the card was produced by “a group of progressive men who have cooperated together for years in giving high-class automotive service to tourists and others.”

      The map extends from Salt Lake City on the east to Reno on the west.   It should be noted there was not a “progressive” man in Wells.   Leaving the automotive tourist with no “high-class automotive service,” for more than 112 miles.

    World War Two put a stop to his expansion plans.

   Both of his son’s Raymond and Paul, served in the U.S. Navy.   Raymond, who flew 20 combat missions returned to Elko.

    His younger brother Paul after his discharge from the Navy, left for Hollywood hoping his musical skills would provide an entry to the film industry.  After a couple of tours with the USO in a company headlined by Raymond Burr, Gartiez’s dream didn’t quite come true. His last major outing was headlining travel trade shows with his musical comedy act.

   He was only 54 when he died.

     In 1946, Jay, Lucile with their daughter Dorothy, and son Ray developed plan to aggressively move into motel business.

   The plan had two stages.  First, build a motel across the street from the gas station.

      Once the motel was built, tear down the original six cottages and build a two story motel.

    The long term plan called for the eventual expansion of “Jay’s Cottages” from six to 140 units.

     A story in the July, 24, 1946 issue of the Elko Daily Free Press revealed part of the plan; “a new motel with 46 rooms will be opened in the spring, according to owner Jay Gardez.  The motel will be built across from his present motel at 1313 Idaho Street.”  [vi]

      By the time the “cottages” opened in 1948, the 46 rooms had grown to 50 and instead of the individual units, the rooms were part of one long structure with closed garages between each unit was built.

     The architecture was described as “mission style.” [vii]

      Garteiz clearly saw the value of marketing, though his membership in both the “Victory Highway Association,” and the “Highway 40 Association.”

    While he used brochures and decals to promote his service station, initially Garteiz did not use post cards to promote either his service station or his motel operations.

      But, when he made his move into post cards, he did it in a big way.

     Garteiz contacted to the Curt Tiech Company of Chicago, Illinois, at the time the largest post card company in the United States.

Jay’s Cottages – Curt Tiech Post Cards

  The Curt Tiech production logs for “Elko, Nevada, reveals Garteiz ordered linen post cards in late 1947.

      The post cards were given a C.T. alphanumeric number of 7B-H1969.

  In 1930, the company started using a letter of the alphabet to signify the decade; “An” equals 1930, B equals 1940, etc.

   The 7B meant Garteiz’s post card was produced in 1947.

     The “H” means the post card was printed on what is commonly referred to as “linen” paper, and the number at the end, 1969, simply meant this was the 1,969th different postcards Curt Tiech printed that year.

    The “Jay’s Cottages” post card was entered on the Teich log on “12-1-1947” indicting the Elko card was one of the last post cards Curt Teich printed that year.”[viii]

   The logs also reveal “Jay’s Cottages” was the last post card of Elko printed by the Chicago Company.

     Looking for the best price and with plans to use the post card for several years, Garteiz placed an order for twenty-five thousand cards.[ix]

    He also ordered his post cards with deckled, or as they are sometimes called, ‘scalloped’ edges.

      What did Garteiz have Teich print, if anything,  on the back of the post cards?

      While he placed an order for 25,000 post cards, it is likely he only printed a few thousand at a time.  Garteiz knew he was going to expand his operations and the captions on the back of the post cards would change.

      While the face of the post card never changed, there are eight known versions of the back.

      Another possibility, Teich printed all  the post cards without captions on the back.   And Lucile Garteiz, who ran the motel operation, used a local printer to add and change the information on the back over the next five years.

Garteiz and Lucky 1313

    The name “Jay’s Cottages” and the address of the business, 1313 Idaho Street, are clearly seen in the upper right hand corner of the Teich post cards.

      Garteiz owned both sides of the 1300 block of Idaho Street.  When he opened his service station, he selected 1313 as the address for his business.

  A May 1938 newspaper story reported “Jay Garteiz, proprietor of Jay’s Service Station, must be an optimist.  His station address is 1313 Idaho Street.  The building has a frontage of 13 feet, and every time Jay comes out of his glass “coop” to wait on a customer he walks 13 feet from the door to the gas pumps.”[x]

    And when Garteiz, and his son Raymond filled out their World War Two registration form, under “place of residence” they wrote “1313 College Ave” Elko, Nevada.

    Why Garteiz liked the number 13 is unknown, but it could possibly be a link to the day he arrived in the United States, October 13, 1914. (A Tuesday.)

    The expansion of “Jay’s Cottages” begins

     A few months after the Teich post cards began to arrive, Garteiz began work on the next step of his expansion plan.

   He went public with his ideas in the fall of 1949.

    Garteiz asked for and received a building permit on September 27, 1949, for what the newspaper said was “the construction of additional tourist cabins at his establishment on Idaho Street.  Garteiz has one of the finest motels along highway 40 and his new venture will give him added accommodations for the traveling public.”[xi]

   The original six cottages were replaced by the two-story building in early 1950.

    The new addition brought the number of “Jay’s Cottages” to 140 rooms.

     The first version of the post cards for Jay’s Cottages were mailed the year before Garteiz announced his expansion plans from 50 to 140.

       All of the cards have the standard 1947 Curt Teich “Colorit” credit line down the center of the back; “GENUINE CURTEICH CHICAGO “C.T. PHOTO COLORIT” POST CARD (REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.)”

       All of the eight versions of the Curt Tiech printed 7B-H1969 “JAY’S COTTAGES” post card have the following similarities;

  • A deckled-edge.
  • The same credit line on the center of the back of the post card; “GENUINE CURTEICH – “C.T. PHOTO COLORIT” POST CARD (REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.)
  • The Teich alphanumeric production code in found inside the stamp box.
  • No changes to the face of the post card.
    • No change in the color,
    • No change in the cloud patterns.
    • No change in the title.

     The eight Jay’s Cottages, 7B-H1969 post cards are separated into two groups; those promoting “50 Rooms,” and those promoting “140 Rooms.”

     All of the changes in the eight versions are found on the message side of the back of the post card.

   In addition to changing the number of rooms in the motel, the post cards were used by the Garteiz’s for a variety of marketing purposes

The 50 Room Version of Jay’s Cottages

   There are only two known versions of Jay’s Cottages with fifty room.

First Version of 50 Room Jay’s Cottage post card

      The caption on the back of the first printing of the fifty room version reads;




“50 Rooms

Air Cooled in summer

Steam Heated in Winter

Write or Phone for Reservations

Deposit Required”


 Earliest Known Postmark      Currently the earliest known postmark for the first version of 7B-H1969 is dated Elko, September 26, 1948.

Second Version of 50 Room Jay’s Cottage post card

The second version of the 50 room post cards has the same caption on the back regarding the motel, but the message space, below the caption, also contains a printed note from the Garteiz.

Based on the wording the cards were likely given to the guests at checkout, as they hoped the guests “will arrive home safely.”

The added printed note reads in full; “It has been a pleasure to have you as our guest.  Sincerely hope you will arrive home safely.”

Surviving cards, post marked Elko, were also mailed to the guests.  Currently, the earliest known post card was mailed from Elko, April 19, 1950.

The 140 Room Versions of Jay’s Cottages

First Version of 140 Room Jay’s Cottage post card.

When the Garteizs added ‘cottages’ in 1948 changed the caption on the back from fifty to 140.

They also made several other changes to the message. they sent some of the cards to the local printer update the total rooms to 140.

With Nevada now spelled out, “Deposit Required” dropped and “Reasonably Priced” added, the owners also pointed out 70 of the rooms had “New” air-foam mattresses.

Earliest Known Postmark

Earliest known postmark for the first 140 room version, September 18, 1950.  “Marry + Jiggs” wrote to their friend in New Jersey, “Sun. Stopping here tonight. Quite cold crossing desert.”


Second Version of 140 Room Jay’s Cottage post card.

The second version of the 140 room back features a similar thank you message as the fifty room version; “It has been a pleasure to have you as our guest.”

 At that point in the message, it changes.  From the original “Sincerely hope you will arrive home safely,” to “Sincerely hope you have arrived home safely.”

The second version of the 140 room back added a marketing message at the end, “Tell your friends about us.”

Also note, the letters in the thank you message are now italicized.

Earliest Known Postmark.   The current earliest known postmark is Elko, August 27, 1950.


Third Version of 140 Room Jay’s Cottage post card.

The third version of the 140 room back, uses the message side on the back to market Elko, and offering help to those who want to get married.

The help with the marriage arrangements was not directed to the recipient of the post card, but rather to friends; “If any of your immediate acquaintances with to get married, our ROMONA ROOM IS READY.  We make all arrangements.”

Earliest Known Postmark.   Currently, the earliest known postmark is Elko, December 11, 1950.


The Fourth Version of 140 Room Jay’s Cottage post card.

The fourth version of the 140 room back is in the form of a sticker pasted over the printed married arrangement offer.

The sticker message says Jay’s Cottages is the “Largest Motel in Elko.”

Along the Garteiz said “Mediocre accommodations cost as much or more than good accommodations.  Always insist on the best.  Ours are and . . . THEY DON’T COST ANY MORE.”


The Fifth Version of 140 Room Jay’s Cottage linen post card.

The fifth version of the 140 room back shows the same single line spacing as the fifth version.  The word “New” was dropped from the description of the mattresses.

When ‘new’ was removed from the sentence the space allowed the hyphenated words “Air-Foam” to be on same line.

Interested in determining when Garteiz felt the air-foam mattresses were no longer “New.”

Earliest Known Postmark

Currently, the earliest known postmark of the fifth version is Elko, September 29, 1951.


The Sixth Version and last known version of the

140 Room Jay’s Cottage linen post card.

     The sixth version of the 140 room post card has the same caption, describing the motel, as the fifth version.

In addition,  there is a thank you message  similar to the one found on the second version of the 140 room post card.

The two differences between the second and 6th versions are; dropping the word “New” from the mattresses, and the single spacing between the lines of the caption.

The tight spacing is first seen in the fifth version of the 140 room post card.

Jay’s Cottages Ends its Relationship with

the Curt Teich post card Company.

     These are the six known changes to the backs of the Curt Teich printed “Jay’s Cottage” post card.  There may be more.

By the late summer of 1953, the last of the original December, 1947 order of 25,000 post cards was all but gone.

Plus the family now owned both sides of the street as well as the service station.

It was time to order new post cards with an updated photographs.    For an unknown reason the Garteizs switch companies.

MWM Linen Post Cards

     The second linen postcard for “Jay’s Cottages” is described by the Nevada Historical society as “an important document” as it relates to “the post- (World) War (Two) travel boom.”[xii]

The post card is split horizontal view of both sides of the street, with the address between the two views.

On the top are the “Cottages” added in 1948.  They were located across the street from the original service station.

The bottom view is of the new two-story  ‘cottages.’  JAY’S name can be seen on two sides of the service station.  Jay is now associated with the Shell Oil Company.

Note the AAA sign on top of the cottages sign.

This post card was printed by the Mid-West Map Company (MWM) of Aurora, Missouri.

The “Jay’s Cottages” post cards were ordered through a business called the “Motel Contract Supply Company” of St. Louis, Missouri.

The motel supply company’s credit line is found along the center on the back of the post card where the printing company is usually found.

There are three clues on the post card clearly point to MWM as the printer.

The first is the production alphanumeric code is the type MWM used.  The listing on the Jay’s Cottages post card is 14,266F.

The second clue that points to MWM as the printer is the font used for the words Post Card on the address side of the card.

The third clue is the design of the stamp box with its rounded edge and drop shadow. That is an MWM design.

Like the Curt Teich post cards, the MWM cards saw a number of changes over time to its back.  There are eight known versions of the MWM post cards of Jay’s Cottages.

The total number of post cards Garteiz ordered though the motel supply company is unknown.


There are Eight Known Versions of the MWM post cards printed for

“Jay’s Cottages.”

The first version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card.

   The first version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” linen post card has the same message on the back of the fifth Curt Teich printed post card.

Interestingly, the word “New” is back in front of “Englander.”

Were these “new” Englander mattresses, or did Gartiez order the MWM post cards at the same the Teich post cards were boasting of “New” Englander mattress.”

Did the Gartiez’ use the Teich post card on one side of Idaho Street, and the MWM post card on the two-story side of the street?


The Second version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card.    

     The second version of the MWM ‘cottages” post card has the same caption as the first, plus a thank you note; “It has been a pleasure to have you as our guest.  Sincerely hope you have arrived home safely.  Tell your friends about us.”

In addition to  mailing these post cards to guests after they left, the cards were also available at the motel.

Earliest Known Postmark.   Currently, the earliest known postmark is Elko, May 29, 1954.  This post card also has a note from the sender; “Dear Mother, Everything is OK so far.”

The Third version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

   The third version of the MWM post card has two changes.

Garteiz dropped the the word “New”  regarding the mattresses.

The second change occurred switching from double spacing between the lines to a single space.

Earliest Known Postmark.   The earliest known post mark is Elko, September 19, 1954.  The message is from Beulah to her friends in New York. She writes as far as Elko “we can gamble, drink, anything here. The state is wide open. Our door is locked.”


The Fourth version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

Several changes were made to the fourth version of the MWM post card.

The spacing between the caption lines went from single to double.  New was removed from in front of mattresses, while the word “Air-Conditioned” was added after the word “mattresses.”

Earliest Known Postmark.   The current earliest known post mark is Elko, August 22, 1956.   The message, signed “The Tourists” wrote to their “Dear Mom + Pop. This is where we stayed last night. A home away from home.”

The Fifth version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

     The fifth version of the MWM ‘cottages’ post card has the same 140 Rooms caption as the 4th version.

The following changes from the fourth to the fifth version; A marketing note covers the rest of the message side.

The font for both the caption and the marketing message was changed to a bold type face.



The Sixth version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

The sixth  version of the MWM “cottages” post card returns to the smaller non bold type, and and to single spacing between lines.

The marketing message is gone, leaving room for a message from the guest.

Earliest Known Postmark. The earliest known post mark is Elko, September 8, 1954.  The unnamed writer wrote to his uncle in San Francisco, “This is a very nice motel  We are greatly pleased.  Walter likes it because of the name.”

 The Seventh version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

     The seventh version of the MWM “cottages” post card has a turquoise green sticker over the message side of the back.

The message on the sticker is similar to the printed message on the second version of the MWM post card.

The message on the seventh reads; “It has been a pleasure to have you as our guest.  We hope you have arrived home safely.  Thanks again and tell our friends about us.”

No space is left for a message from the guest.

Earliest Known Postmark.    The earliest known post mark is Elko, August 3, 1959.  The post card in the collection is postmarked, but without a stamp.  The postmark announces the “Nevada Silver Centennial.”

 The Eighth version of the MWM “Jay’s Cottages” Post Card

The eighth version of the MWM “cottages” post card has the same basic message as the seventh version.

Added is a mileage chart with five locations, from Reno to Salt Lake City, Utah.    

Earliest Known Postmark.   The earliest known post mark for the eighth version of the MWM post card is May 2, 1957

The MWM post card was last linen for “Jay’s” 

    The eight versions of the MWM were the last linen post cards featuring “Jay’s Cottages.”

    With the linen post card era coming to an end in the mid-1950’s, the Gartiezs’ moved into the chrome post card world.

The term “chrome” comes from Kodachrome color film and developing process. While black and white photographs on post cards had been produced since the turn of the 20th Century, color photographs on post cards did come into common use until the late 1940’s.

First Known Version of a “chrome” Post Card of Jay’s Cottages

     Similar to the  MWM linen post card, the first “chrome” post card, features a horizontal split view of “Jay’s Cottages” located on both sides of Idaho Street.

One of the photographs reflects a historic change in the family’s businesses.

Gone is the service station, the business Jay first opened three decades earlier in 1925.

The service station is replaced by a heated swimming pool.     The change took place after Jay died in 1960.

The gas station itself was saved.  It was moved to Carlin, Nevada where it was turned into a restaurant.  Current status, unknown.

The AAA sign is gone from the top of the “Cottages” sign and replaced by “JAY’S.”

The post card was printed by Dexter Press of Nyack, New York. The Dexter Press number for this post card is 52559-B.

The card was produced by Eric J. Seaich though his “Seaich Card & Souvenir Corporation” of Salt Lake City, Utah.  His name is also found as the photographer, “Color by Eric J. Seaich.

Seaich was connected all of the chrome post cards for the Garteiz family, including the last one before “Jay’s” was sold.



The caption notes  more rooms, up from 70 to 90 of the 140 are “equipped with air-foam mattresses,” and cottages are still “reasonably priced.”

The telephone number, “Republic 8-6222,” also dates the post card to the early 1960’s.



Second Known Chrome Post Card Version of Jay’s Cottages

     This is the last post card where the business would be called “Jay’s Cottages.”

Still promoting “reasonably price” rooms, the second known chrome post card was also produced by Eric J. Seaich.

Once again, Seaich took the photograph of the cottages just showing the pool side of the street.

Posed around one corner of the pool, more than a dozen people are seen in and out of the water.   

   While not credited with its logo on the back, this Jay’s Cottages post card like the last was printed by Dexter Press.

The company’s alphanumeric production number, E-34072-B is found on the lower left corner on the back of the post card.


Third Known Chrome Post Card of Jay’s Cottages -Motel

   The third known chrome of “Jay’s Cottages” reveals several major changes in the operation.

The sign that used to stand in front of the service station with the words “Jay’s Cottages” is gone.

For the first time, a night time  photograph is used on a Jay’s post card.  The image shows a tall  free standing pole topped by a star burst.

Three signs are attached to the pole.

The tallest sign features the new name of the business, “Jay’s MOTEL.”

Next is a changeable billboard type sign that reads, “ONE MILLION GUESTS COULDN’T BE WRONG. INVESTIGATE NEVADA’S LARGEST. OPEN 24 HOURS.”

The bottom sign shows the name of a new business on the corner of the motel property, “Denny’s Coffee Shop.”

The Garteiz family built the restaurant on the corner of their property and in 1962 it was leased to the national restaurant chain, “Denny’s.”

The caption on the back reveals the number of rooms dropped from 140 to 130.   And the number of rooms available was reduced from 140 to 130.

Jay’s would no longer promote it has air-foam mattresses.

Gartiez was still using Seaich to produce his post cards.  The credit line down the center of the back the post card is “A Natural Color Card Produced by Eric J. Seaich Co., Salt Lake City.”

Seaich used another company to actually print the post cards.

There is also a diamond shaped logo with a K in the center on the lower left side of the back of the post card.

In addition a production number, 68556 is found on bottom of the center of the back.


Fourth Known Chrome Post Card of Jay’s Cottages -Motel

The fourth known chrome of “Jay’s Motel” has the same image on the face as the third chrome post card, as well as the caption on the back stating 130 units were available for rent.

This is the ‘thank you’ version of the third version, with the night time photograph.  Same production number, 68556.

The major difference is the additional message on the back, a thank you note in a script font style.

“It  has  been a  pleasure  to  have

You as our guest and we hope you

have  had  a  safe  and  enjoyable


Tell your friends about us.”

The same  a diamond shaped logo with a K in the center is found on the lower left side of the back of the post card.  The production number, 68556 is the same as found on the fourth chrome post card.

Earliest known version is June 18, 1964 with the Nevada Centennial cancellation.


Fifth Known Chrome Post Card of Jay’s Cottages -Motel

The fifth known chrome of “Jay’s” is a day time scene, taken from a similar angle the fourth chrome post card.

There are two major changes on this post card.

The number of available rooms was dropped from 130 to 100.

And the Denny’s corporation was no longer operating the restaurant.       The name was changed to “Benny’s Coffee Shop.”

The billboard sign on the pole is changed to read, in red letters, “AIR-CONDITIONED. SWIMMING POOL” and what looks like “FAMILY RATES”

The post card was printed by the same company as the third and fourth chrome.  A diamond shaped logo with a K in the center on the lower left side of the back of the post card.

With the new photograph, the production number was changed to 77531.



Sixth and last Known Post Card of Jay’s Motel

While the sixth chrome Jay’s post card uses the same photograph as the fifth version, this one A sixth version of a chrome Jay’s post card, has several interesting changes.

The number of rooms, which had dropped to a low of 100 on the previous post card is now listed at 149, the highest number in the history of Jay’s.

The Garteiz’s also added a “T.V.” in “All Rooms, Some Color.”  They also offered “Queen and regular beds.”

And while “Benny’s Coffee Shop” was still operating the Garteizs added a second restaurant into the same building; “Howard’s Supper Club.”

Howard’s is not seen on any sign, as the photograph used for this post card is the same one used on 77351.


 1965 “Jay’s Cottages” and the Garteiz are gone.

      Lucile and their son Ray continued to run the motel operation as Jay’s health began to fail in the mid 1950’s.

Then in late 1957, Garteiz placed an advertisement in Los Angeles and San Francisco newspapers offering the “140 UNIT MOTEL for sale by owner.  83,580 sq. ft. ground area. Buildings approximately 50,000 sq. ft., well equipped. Tiled tub and shower baths, steam and hot water heat, fully air-conditioned. Guest capacity 400.  Very profitable operation.  Suggest personal investigation.  Ill health forces sale.  JAY’S COTTAGES, Elko, Nevada.” [xiii]

With Jay sick, the service station was closed and the building sold and moved to Carlin, Nevada.

However, the family continued to own and operate the motel.

Two and a half years later, on March 3, 1960, the motel’s namesake “Jay” Garteiz, at the age of 63, died after “a long illness.”[xiv]

Four years later in 1964, the Garteiz family sold all of the cottages to 2 couples from Washington.

By 1965, the two of the Garteiz children, Dorothy and Paul had moved to southern California.  Their mother Lucile along with Ray and his wife, had moved to Sacramento, California.

The forty years of the Garteiz family in Elko, Nevada hospitality business had come to an end.

Today, if you look real close, you can still see “Jay’s Cottages,” on both sides of the 1300 block of Idaho Street.

On the north side, the original “cottages” with garages are now small shops   in the “Rancho Plaza Shopping Mall.”

Across the street, the two-story “Jay’s Cottages” is now a “Budget Inn.”

When the cottages were all “Jay’s” the mail came to one place 1313 Idaho Street.

Today, the “Budget Inn” is at 1349 Idaho Street, and the shopping mall is the lucky one with the historic 1313 Idaho Street address.

There are twenty known post cards that mark the history of Jay and his family building “the largest accommodation in the City of Elko for the traveling public.”

A special family to reflects the history of “Mom and Pop” motels.


[i] “Jay’s Motel In Elko Sold,” May 24, 1964, Nevada State Journal, page 37.

[ii]  “Jay’s Cottage,” post card, December 1, 1947, Curt Teich Company, Chicago, Illinois.

[iii]  “Rewrite!,” July 8, 2000, Elko (Nevada) Daily Free Press, page A4.


[v]  “Camp Ground Leased To Woman by City,” March 28, 1936, The Salt Lake Tribune, page

[vi]  “Rewrite!,” Elko (Nevada) Daily Free Press, July 20, 1996, page 11.

[vii]  “Cottage Building Planned In Elko,” August 5, 1948, Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal, page 8.

[viii] .

[ix] .

[x] “13,” May 8, 1938, Nevada State Journal (Reno) page 9.

[xi] “Building Permits High for Elko,” September 27, 1949, Reno (Nevada) Evening Gazette, page 7.

[xii]  “Photography,” Summer, 2007, Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, page 175.

[xiii] “140 Unit Motel For Sale,” Classified advertisement for “Jay’s Cottages,” October 10, 1957, Los Angeles Times, page 21. “140 Unit Motel for sale,” Classified advertisement for “Jay’s Cottages,” October 12, 1957, The San Francisco Examiner, page 31.

[xiv]  “Motel Owner Rites held,” March 12, 1960, Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal, page 3.

Nevada Post Cards 1907 to 1911 by H. G. Zimmerman & Company

Nevada Post Cards

Published by

H. G. Zimmerman

by Robert Stoldal
(Updated  October 25, 2020)

The Chicago, Illinois based “H. G. Zimmerman & Company,” printed postcard views of at least seven Nevada communities between 1907 and 1911.

The Nevada towns include Blair, Ely, Goldfield, Hawthorne, Imlay, and Sparks.  The seventh Nevada town is Tonopah, however, the two cards with Tonopah images are mistitled “Goldfield.”

There are twenty-four different known Zimmerman post cards of Nevada. It is likely there are between five and 10 more.

Before Zimmerman moved to Chicago he was a  cartoonist who worked out of Horseheads, New York.

The following was found in the “Annual Edition 1981” of the “Post Card Collector’s Book;”  Zimmerman was a “popular and caricaturist who enjoyed a nice standard of living from his freelance commercial art for newspapers, “Judge” magazine, and the postcard media.  Hs lovely residence in Horsehead, New York, served him well as a summer studio and was a popular gathering place for his many friends and relatives.”

The “Post Card Collectors” magazine was published and written by Bernard Stadtmiller.   The Zimmerman story is found on page 768.

In his 1981 Zimmerman article, titled “Sappies and Snppies by Zim,” Stadtmiller says “one of Zim’s most successful” post card series was titled “Now What would you do in a case like this?”

At the time, Stadmiller said  Zimmerman’s “cards are quite popular with today’s collector as many of his creations are still in vogue.”

In an interesting ending to his brief article on Zimmerman, Stadtmiller wrote, Zimmerman’s Chicago “business thrived and “Zim” published a variety of interesting type cards which other publishers had successfully pioneered.”

Zimmerman’s Nevada views were printed in color and black and white but no view was printed both ways.

The Nevada post cards are smaller than the standard size at the time, of 5 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches. Most of the Zimmerman’s post cards are only 5 ¼ by 3¼.

Alpha-numeric Code on Zimmerman Post Cards

Most Nevada Zimmerman post cards have an alpha-numeric code printed on the card. For example, “B1669A7.”

So far this code has been found only on the face of the post card.

The first alpha could represent the year, “A” meaning 1907, “B” 1908 etc.

The first four numbers may represent the overall series topic or location, while the last three characters represent the sequence within the series.

Possible series sequence. For example in the Goldfield series.
The first card is A921A10, the second card is A921B10, the third card is A921C10 and so forth.

Or, the code has nothing to do with the location and instead it is either a printing or order code, or both or something else.

A later Zimmerman card, showing the hotel at Imlay,  does not have a printed code.

The earliest known postmark on this post card is March, 1911.  Based on order and shipping times, it is likely the Imlay Hotel post card was first order late in 1910 or early 1911.

In addition not have an alphanumeric code, the size of this postcard matched the standard size of post cards being issued at the time by other publishers.

Unique Nevada views on Zimmerman Post Cards

The images on most of the Zimmerman post cards of Nevada provide views of well covered topics.  There are two Nevada locations, where “side pocket” salesmen were able to make a sale for Zimmerman in communities passed by other post card publishers.


It is likely Zimmerman printed a series of color views of Hawthorne Nevada in 1908-1909.

Early printed color post cards of Hawthorne, located on the southern tip of Walker Lake in west central Nevada, are scarce.

While the community was a stop on the way to the boom towns of Tonopah and Goldfield, apparently few postcard salesmen got off the train.

One agent likely got off the train and made a sale.

The Hawthorne series and we should put the word “series” in quotes as only one post card, B2377B2 titled “E Street, Hawthorne, Nev.” has been uncovered.

But, the alphanumeric code indicates there is a B2377B1, and likely a B2377B3, and possibly more.  The question is, are the post cards views of Hawthorne?


An unnumbered Zimmerman postcard titled “Hotel and Depot, Imlay, Nev.” is the only known printed color post card of the Southern Pacific Railroad Hotel.

The hotel and depot are long gone.

The small community of Imlay is located 34 miles west of Winnemucca and 40 miles east of Lovelock just off Interstate 80.


One Zimmerman post card, from Sparks, B155A1, titled “Harriman Avenue, Sparks, Nev.” is known to exist.

The titles of two Nevada post cards from Zimmerman have location errors.

The titles of two of the post cards, A921B10 and A921C10, showing  houses made of bottles and one made of barrels  Both titles place the structures in Goldfield, when in fact the homes were built in Tonopah.

How many Zimmerman post card with Nevada views were printed.

The price and the minimum number in an order would change during the six plus years Zimmerman was printing post cards.

The price would of course also depend on the type of post card Zimmerman was selling or the retailer wanted.

One post card with a Chicago postmark April 23, 1910 showing the Zimmerman building offered; “This is a sample of our Zimochrome cards which we make to order from local photographs. Price in quantities of 500 of a subject $6.50; in quantities of 1,000 of a subject $7.50. Time required for delivery is three weeks.”

Another Zimmerman postcards, number 9827B2E says “This is a sample of the cards which we make to order from local photographs in hand colored work. Price in quantities of 500 of each subject, $6.50; in quantities of 1,000 of each subject, $9.00. Time required for deliver 3 weeks.

Nevada Orders

Based on the number of publishers already providing post cards to central Nevada boom towns, it is likely the Nevada retailers ordered 500, rather than 1000 Zimmerman view cards.

Based on post cards with different backs featuring the same views, it is also likely Zimmerman received a second order for a some of the Goldfield black and white post cards.

Retailers, Photographers. Publishers?

It is possible that Zimmerman was connected with two Goldfield business, the Allen Photo Company and the Polin Brothers.

The two firms could have ordered the post cards, or in the case of Allen Photo, simply supplied Zimmerman with the images on the post cards.

Allen Photo Company

Two Zimmerman post cards have views connected with the “Allen Photo Company” of Goldfield, Nevada.

The company was owned and operated by photographer Arthur Allen. He arrived in Goldfield in 1904 and took over the operation of one of the camps pioneer William Irving  Booth.

Booth left the photography business selling his “set up” to Allen.  He likley also sold the rights to his photographs.

Even though Booth took several of the photographs used for post cards by Allen, only Allen’s photo company appears on the post cards indicating Allen bought Booth’s entire operation.

Booth continued to work in the central Nevada area for many years, not as a photographer but in real estate and mining.

The image on Zimmerman post card A921B10 titled “House made of 10,000 Beer Bottles, Goldfield, Nev.” was also released by Allen with the title “Made of 10,000 Beer Bottles, Goldfield, Nevada.”

The house was built by William F. Peck in late summer, early fall of 1903. In December of 1903 a story was sent out to newspapers around the country.

On January 2, 1904 The Times-Democrat in Lima, Ohio published the story with the photograph of the two children in front of the house that appears on the Allen and Zimmerman post cards.

The photograph taken by pioneer photographer Booth shows Peck’s two children, Wesley three years old and Mary seven years old, standing in front of the building.

A second Allen connected image, Zimmerman A921C10 “House Made of Barrels, Goldfield, Nev.” was also released by Allen’s company titled “House Made of Barrels, Goldfield, Nevada.”

Beyond those two images, no other known relationship has been established between Allen and Zimmerman.

E. H. Mitchell

At the time Zimmerman entered the Nevada post card arena, major publishers and distributors,  from E. H. Mitchell to the Newman Post Card company, were already on the scene.

Several of the images found on a Zimmerman printed cards are also found on post cards published by other including Mitchell. For example;
1. A921D10 “Mohawk Mines, Goldfield, Nev.” Released by Mitchell divided back, in color, “808 Mohawk Mine, Goldfield, Nevada.”
2. A921E10 “General View of Goldfield, Nev.” Released by Mitchell, divided back, in color, 807 “General View of Goldfield, Nevada.”

Polin Bros.

The Polin Brothers, Harry and Louis, operated newsstands and soda foundations in several western towns including Goldfield and Tonopah.

Their hand stamped credit line is found on the back of “A921J10 High Grade Ore for Deposit in Safety Vaults, Goldfield, Nevada.”

Beyond the hand stamp, and the facts that the two brothers retailed the views of different post card publishers and printers,  no other relationship has been established between the Polins and Zimmerman.


There are three types of known Zimmerman backs on Nevada post cards.

One thing that is common to all the backs is the Zimmerman logo: a man carrying a package with the letters “ZIM.”

All the same logo, just different colors? Or Hat vs Cap? Front foot up, front foot down?

1. (ZB1) Black ZIM man left hand corner of back. With credit line that reads “H.
G. Z. & Co.” on the upper left edge of the back of the card.
2. Black ZIM. Moved up about 25% on the bottom left side and move 5/16
of an inch towards the right.
3. Green ZIM man moved to the top left corner. No credit line right
4. Brown ZIM bottom left corner with credit line “Published by H G.
Zimmerman & Co.” “T” divided back is differ Appears to be an open
book design on the top of the vertical line on the back.

With the exception of the ZIM post card with the Imlay Hotel  all of the rest of the Nevada postcards have a message on the left side that read;
“This side may have a message written upon it for
The right hand side must be reserved for stamp
And address.”
1907 marks the year the U.S. Post Office allowed messages to be written on the address side of post cards.   Up until that time senders had to write their message around the edges of the face of the post card.
There are many different backs on Zimmerman post cards, divided and undivided, including different colors, the following  four back types are found on the known post cards with Nevada views.

ZB1 no Zimmerman credit line


ZB2, Published by “H. G. Z. & Co.” credit line



ZB3, No Zimmerman credit line.



ZB4, “Published by H. G. Zimmerman & Co. Chicago” credit line


Known Chronology of “H.G. Zimmerman & Co.”

From leather, to silk to two card panoramas, from comic to holiday, to views across the United States, “H.G. Zimmerman & Co.” was a full service post card creator between late 1906 and early 1912.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, late in 1906 or early in 1907 Zimmerman opened a west coast office in San Francisco.

At this point, it is not known, if Zimmerman was renting a print shop in Chicago, or using a local printing operation to make his post cards.

By winter of 1907 Zimmerman had was doing well enough to lease a large building.

Stadtmiller said Zimmerman made th move to Chicago, feeling “this area was not as competitive as his native New York.”

In November of 1907,  according to the Chicago Daily Tribune issue of November 17, 1907, Zimmerman leased a new two-story brick building on Michigan Avenue for  two years and four months at a term rental of $8,550.”

The June 30, 1907 San Francisco City Directory lists “Zimmerman H. G. & Co, pubrs souvenir post crds, 915 Van Ness av, S.G., tel Franklin 2688.”






Based on a review of post cards with images of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Zimmerman issued a series in black and white, with undivided backs and then the same views in color with divided backs.

At one point, a relative, Charles Zimmerman, took over the San Francisco office, but by November of 1909 the west coast operation was closed.








By the end of 1907, Zimmerman’s operation was located in a two story building named “THE HOUSE THAT ZIM BUILT.”

On November 15, 1907 the public was informed “the new two story brick building at 3021-3023 Michigan Avenue has been leased” to “H. G. Zimmerman & Co.”

The lease ran until March of 1910 at a total rental cost of $8,500. Zimmerman is still at this address as late as April 1912.

Based on classified newspaper advertisement Zimmerman placed in newspapers around the country it is clear that much of his business was based on the work of “side pocket” aka “vest pocket” salesmen.     (Anaconda Montana Standard, 2-21-1909)

Then in the spring of 1911 Zimmerman took another approach to sell his post cards.

With the exception of a law suit over stock in his post card company, Zimmerman and his publishing company disappears from sight. At about the same time, an H.G. Zimmerman appears as an automotive accessory salesman. This H.G. Zimmerman quickly moves up the ladder and becomes a major player with the General Motors Corporation. The same H.G. Zimmerman? Likely, but more information is needed on the closure of “The House that Zim Built” on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

“H. G. Zimmerman & Company” becomes incorporated public publishing, manufacturing and merchandise business.

In June of 1910, the Zimmerman post card company was incorporated as a “publishing, manufacturing and merchandise business.”
With capital stock of $250,000.
The company’s incorporators were Charles Center Case Jr., James V. Hickey and Frederick Second.”
Zimmerman was listed as President and “A. Hansen” as Secretary. Zimmerman listed his home address as 3743 Indianan Avenue, not far from his office.

American Post Card Association

In May of 1908, Zimmerman was named vice president of the newly formed American Post Card Association.
According to the association’s press release the goal of the associations was “eliminating many present evils” in the post card trade “with the hope that the movement will become national for the protection of the industry as a whole.”

A central issue, at the time, was the imposition of tariffs on imported post cards. The U.S. Congress was holding hearings on the issue in 1908.
For Zimmerman and has American Post Card Association other important issues included “the matter of censorship of post cards” and the establishment of “some standard by which manufacturers can guarantee cards to be immune from prosecution.”

Also of concern to the newly formed post card association credit lines on post card and the challenges trying to “control salesmen.”

For a variety reasons the post card industry fell on hard times; over stock, prices dropped, too many publishers and the public’s slipping interest.

Late in November of 1911 Zimmerman placed an classified advertisement in a Chicago began looking for twenty “girls’ for “counting post cards.”

Zimmerman Stock Subject of Law Suit

In 1912 stock in the Zimmerman post card company was the subject of a suit involving trading stock in his post card company for land. According to the suit Zimmerman said his company was “importing from foreign countries and manufacturing post cards, which it was selling in great quantities and at enormous profit.”

The response to the suits, Zimmerman had “not foreseen the failure of the post card and mail order concerns.”
It appears the suits were settled out of court.

It was time for Zimmerman to change trades. It is possible he became a representative for automotive products. First selling carburetors.

Zimmerman shifts from cards to cars?

Then he worked for the “foreign sales department of the Studebaker Corporation then he moved over to the Dodge Brothers automotive team where he was in charge of advertising.

He next stop was General Motors where he was put in charge of the company’s Australian division. And in early august, 1922, Zimmerman is off to Copenhagen where he as G.M.’s representative.

With his move to Denmark, Zimmerman’s role as a post card publisher was now a decade behind and would not be in his future.

Are Zimmerman the post card publisher and Zimmerman the world traveler for General Motors the same person?

And whatever happened to the American Post Card Association?

More work needs to be done.

Zimmerman Nevada
Post card Checklist

Unless listed as color, all the post cards in the check list are black and white.


No # “Hotel and Depot, Imlay, Nev.” (color) ZB4.


A921A10 “Nixon Block, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1 & ZB2.

A921B10 “House made of 10,000 Beer Bottles, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1 & ZB2.
• The photograph for this post card was taken by W. I. Booth.   Allen purchased Booth’s studio in late 1904.

This bottle house was in Tonopah, not Goldfield.
• This image was printed by Zimmerman with two different backs.
• Same error in the title; “Made of 10,000 Beer, Bottles, Goldfield, Nevada.”

A921C10 “House Made of Barrels, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1 & ZB2.
• This barrel house was in Tonopah, not Goldfield.
• Same error in the title; “House Made of Barrels, Goldfield, Nevada.”    Allen with the title “Made of 10,000 Beer Bottles, Goldfield, Nevada.”

A921D10 “Mohawk Mines, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1 & ZB2.
• This view was first released by Edward H. Mitchell, with an undivided back in 1906, as post card number 808 titled, “MOHAWK MINES, GOLDFIELD, NEVADA.”  A popular post card, Mitchell printed a version with a divided back.
• This view was released with two different ZIM backs.

A921E10 “General View of Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1.
• This view was also released by Edward H. Mitchell, as card number 807 titled “GENERAL VIEW OF GOLDFIELD, NEVADA”. The Mitchell card was released first with an undivided back, and later re-released with a divided back.

A921F10 “Labor Day, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1.

A921G10 “Freighting by Team Before Advent of Railway, Goldfield,
Nevada.” ZB1.                                                                                                                                  – Note, Nevada spelled out.  Only one in this series no abbreviated.

A921H10 “Combination Mine and Mill, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1.

A921I10  “Ore Dump, Combination Mine, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1.

A921-I-10 “Ore Dump, Combination Mine, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB2.
• A second version of a ZIM back.
• Also the alphanumeric on this card has dashes. Likely to separate the letter “I” and the ones.

A921J10  “High Grade Ore for Deposit in Safety Vaults, Goldfield, Nev.” ZB1
-Hand stamped, in purple, “POLIN BROS., GOLDFIELD, NEVADA” is found on the back, left edge of some ZIM post cards with this title.

A921K10      ?

Sparks, Nevada

B155A1 “Harriman Avenue, Sparks, Nev.” (ZB1)

B155A2 ?


B601A1 “Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Co.’s 100-Stamp Mill, Nev.” ZB4.

B601A2 ?

B1394A1 “Latest Extinct Volcano in America, Blair, Nev.” (color) ZB4.

B1394A2 ?

Ely, Nevada

-Note, all Ely post cards have a type ZB4 back.

B1669A7 “Train of Copper Ore, Ely, Nev.”

B1669B7 “Interior of Power House, Ely, Nev.”

B1669C7 “Squaw Race in Ely, Nev.”

B1669D7 “Veteran Shaft, Ely, Nev.” (color)

B1669E7 “Steam Shovel at Work, Ely, Nev.” (color)

B1669F7 “Alpha Shaft, Ely, Nev.” (color)

B1669G7 “Copper Flat, Ely, Nev.” (color)

B1669H7 ?


B1693A2 “Depot, East Ely, Nev.” (color)

B1693B2 “Aultman Street, Nev.” (color)

B1693C2 ?


B2377A2 ?

B2377B2 “E Street, Hawthorne, Nev.” (color) ZB4.

B2377C2 ?

Known Post Marks on ZIM Nevada post cards

While no 1907 post marks have been seen, it is believed that both the order and the shipment of the Nevada Zimmerman post cards took place in late 1907.

Goldfield February 20, 1908
Goldfield, April 12, 1908
May 8, 1908 handwritten
Goldfield, July 30, 1908
Goldfield September 15, 1908
Goldfield, November 9, 1908
Goldfield, December 25, 1908
Goldfield July 17, 1909
Goldfield August 3, 1909
Tonopah RPO Feb 27, 1910
Goldfield, August 31, 1910 type 2 back
Goldfield November 29, 1910

Sparks March 23, 1908
Sparks December 21, 1908

Reno & Goldfield RPO June 19, 1908

B1394                                                                                                                                                  Blair, July 3, 1909

Ely, March 29, 1909
Shafter April 28, 1909
Ely, May 8, 1909
Ruth, May 10, 1909
Ruth, May 20, 1909
Kimberly May 22, 1909
Ruth, May 27, 1909
Shafter June 2, 1909
Hawthorne, Sept 1, 1909
East Ely, Dec. 10, 1909
East Ely, December 12, 1909
East Ely, December 14, 1909
East Ely, December 19, 1909
East Ely, December 25, 1910
Cobre & Ely March 18, 1911 RPO
Imlay, March 20, 1911
Ely, June 17, 1911

RPO Cobre & Ely, Mar 18, 1911

No number
Imlay, March 20, 1911, Imlay October 25, 1912.                                                                                                   Imlay December 12, 1912


Nevada 1905-1910 The American News Company Story

American News Company  Images of Nevada from 1905-1910           From Goldfield to Ely 

By Robert Stoldal   updated January 9, 2019

Between 1905 and 1910 the American News Company of New York published several post card series featuring images of at least five different communities in Nevada.

The post cards, printed in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany, include one of the earliest, if not the earliest series of color post cards of Goldfield, Nevada.

The New York based company published both undivided and divided back post cards of Nevada.

The earliest known post mark on American News Company post card of Nevada is  A 1403     with a title of “Bird-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.” postmarked Goldfield September 1, 1906.

A.N.C. sent out post cards with divided backs, printed in Germany, in advance of the official legal date for use in the United States.   Post cards can be found where the sender followed the law and only put the address on the back of the divided back post cards, while others ignored the law and wrote a message on the backs of the post cards.

Postcards were just a sideline to the American News Company.   As the new mining boom was taking place in Nevada, A.N.C. dominated the national distribution and sales of printed material.   At one point it had 300 branches selling everything from newspapers to magazines to books and post cards.  In addition the company also distributed tobacco products, candy and novelties.

The American News Company offices in New York City


The American News Company was founded in 1864, the same year Nevada gained statehood.  Over the next several decades, the primary players that controlled or were key participants in A. N. C. included William Randolph Hearst and Moe Annenberg.

It also supplied goods to west coast companies that had the contracts to sell items on trains and at depots, including the Dennison News Company.

By 1957 A.N.C. had all but closed and ceased to operations.   Still, the company held stock in other wholesaler and retail outlets of printed material including newsstands.   Today that company is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

While the vast majority of American News Company post cards, issued before 1908, feature scenes of east of the Mississippi River, A.N.C. did produce post cards of western states.

Goldfield and Tonopah images highlight the A.N.C. production of Nevada views.  Others feature images of Manhattan, Ely, and Delamar Nevada.


The photographs of two well-known photographers, E. W. Smith, of Tonopah,







and Pers Edward Larson from Goldfield, are seen in the series.


Counting both black and white and color post cards, it is likely more than fifty and less than 70 A.N.C. post cards with views of Nevada were published.

American News Company also produced two double-card panoramic Nevada Views “Birds-Eye” views; “Birds-Eye View, Tonopah, Nev. 1908,” and “Birds-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.”

Rare Views of Ely Nevada

    Two post cards, D 7020 and D 7021 are rare views of a social club in Ely, Nevada.

The post cards are rare as is information about the “University Club.”

The club’s beginning dates back to late 1907.

Part of its history is found at the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City.

Started by a mining company, the University Club, over the years the club would have among its members, a governor, and attorneys.

Apparently the only requirement to join was a degree from a recognized University.

The late Nevada historian and author, Russell R. Elliott, who was born in White Pine County, wrote   “One of the earliest social activities” in Ely was “the formation of numerous social clubs. Some of these, such as the “Good Time Club” of Ely, incorporated in November 1907 were devoted entirely to having a good time. Some clubs, like “The Strollers”, emphasized dancing activities.  Others, such as the Caledonian Club, and -the Greek and Serbian Societies, and the University Club, added to the above purposes the desire to get together with people of similar race and background.”[i]

The Club was organized by The Step Toe Smelting Company of Ely in late 1907.[ii]

One of the founders was C.B. Lakeman who at the time held “a responsible positon of mine superintendent” in Ely according to a January 1908 alumni report from the University of California, Berkeley.

While Yale reported in February of 1908 there the University Club’s membership stood at fifty-eight with three members from Yale, Lakeman reported the new club was “composed chiefly of Stanford and California men.”[iii]

By the end of 1908 it membership topped 100.  In early 1909 the University Club was incorporated as a nonprofit private social club.   At which point, with H. R. Plate as president, the seven member board approved the official sale of liquor.

As a private club the group felt it did not have to secure a liquor license from the city of Ely, or the county of White Pine.

A local district judge disagreed and ordered them to pay for a liquor license.  The University Club said no and an appeals process began that led to the Nevada Supreme Court.

In January of 1913, the Nevada Supreme court ruled “A bonafide social club, which disposes, at its clubhouse, of liquors to members and guests at a fixed charge as an incident to the general purposes o the club, the profit on the sale going to pay the general expenses of the organization, is not required to take out a license.”[iv]

The social club promoted White Pine county and its mining industry from creating mining exhibits to providing information to visiting journalists.

In September of 1913, Darwin S. Hatch, on assignment from Motor Age magazine wrote “we found Ely to be a very thriving little city, with particularly wide-awake inhabitants.  There is a University Club whose headquarters are an old residence fitted up in metropolitan style.  Here we were taken in charge by the boosters of that town and supplied with more dry data and wet refreshments than either our stomachs or our brains could assimilate.”

The “wet refreshment” aspect of the club has lived long beyond the club with the ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court ruling that private social clubs didn’t need a local liquor license.

Denver S. Dickerson, the eleventh governor of Nevada, was a member of the Ely “University Club.”[v]

The full history of the club, its members and role in turn of the century Nevada needs to be uncovered.

[i]  “History of Nevada Mines Division, Kennecott Copper Corporation, 1956, Russell R. Elliott (1912-1998) University of Nevada, page 35.

[ii]  “Science Notes, February, 1908, The Yale Scientific Monthly, page 191.

[iii] “Science Notes, February, 1908, The Yale Scientific Monthly, page 191. “The Alumni,” January, 1908, The University of California Chronicle, page 225.

[iv] State of Nevada, respondent, v. University Club a corporation, appellant, January, 1913, Nevada Supreme Court, number 2005, page 475.


Printing Process

     Nearly 100 years later, the colors in the Poly-Chrome post cards are still vivid and the images are still sharp.   This is due to the type of paper and the printing process the company used.

Charles Wallace, in his book  “The Catalogue of Ply Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany “describes the printing process; “View post cards usually were produced by offset lithography. When viewed though a magnifying glass they have a screed or dotted appearance.  That is not true of Poly Chrome postcards, for they have a clean, clear cut, unobstructed appearance that sets them apart from the usual litho chromes.  In their day they were considered the finest quality view post cards available.  The method by which they were produced was called colortype or gelatin process.”[1]

A.N.C. Brands

       The American News Company used at least a dozen other brand names.   A.N.C.  and used different logos for each of these brands.   The A.N.C.  three-leaf clover is incorporated into each of the brand’s logos.

The American News Company cards were printed by various German firms under several trade names including:

  1. Excelsior
  2. Poly Chrome
  3. Litho Chrome
  4. Newvochrome
  5. Mezzochrome
  6. Photochrome
  7. Americhrome

At this point, the following A. N.C. brands can be found with Nevada images:

  1. Excelsior
  2. Poly Chrome
  3. Litho Chrome
  4. Newvochrome


Goldfield, Nevada

Undivided back, black and white printing.

No local publisher listed


A.N.C. number                     Title

A 1393     Unknown

A 1394         Main Street, Goldfield, Nev.

EKP Goldfield, November 11, 1906.*

A 1395       First Baby Born in Goldfield, Nev.

Also published in color by A.N.C. as A 6341.

Larson took the photograph of the burro  used in  A.N.C.’s  A 1395 and A 6341.  Using the Newman Post Card Company, Larson published his own divided back version of the image, number 134/30.


In the  undivided back, A.N.C. version, the burro in the upper right hand corner disappears.

A 1396     Prospectors outfit, Goldfield, Nev.

EKP   Goldfield, September 7, 1906.

This was also released by Larson through the Newman Post Card Company, 135/19,titled “Prospectors Outfield.”   Note spelling error  “outfit” is spelled Outfield.

A 1397     Goldfield Maidens, Goldfield, Nev.

EKP  Goldfield April 27, 1908.

A 1398     Goldfield, Nev.

EKP Goldfield October 23, 1907.

A 1399     Unknown -Likely Nevada

A 1400     “Gambling at the Gold Fields”

A 1401     En Route to Goldfield, Nev.

EKP Goldfield, June 2, 1908.

A 1402     Pioneer Buildings, Goldfield, Nev.  

EKP   Goldfield, September 13, 1906.

This was also released by Larson though the Newman Post Card Company, 134/23 with a divided bck

A 1403     Bird-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.

EKP  Goldfield, September 1, 1906.

A 1404     “Exhausted Stampeder” –  –  – Found a Place of Safe Deposit.                                  Goldfield, Nev.  

 A 1405     Birds-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.

EKP  Goldfield, October 8, 1906.

A 1406     Birds-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.

This is a panoramic double card.

EKP   Goldfield, November 11, 1906.

A 1407      Unknown- Not likely Nevada.


Manhattan, Nevada

black and white

Published by Nelson Rounsevell, Stationer, Manhattan, Nevada.  

A.N.C. #           Title

A 2830     Unknown

A 2831     Main Street, Manhattan, Nev.

EKP Manhattan, June 3, 1908.

A 2831    Unknown



Divided back,  Printed in Germany, color

C 3110 Series, Litho-Chrome

Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely

This series of four Ely post cards has both a C followed by a four digits starting with 3115 and ending with 3118.  In addition, a six digit number is also found on the back of the post card in the lower right hand corner.

 C 3115     unknown

C 3116    Aultman Street, Ely, Nevada     119030

EKP   Ely, November 9, 1907.

C 3117    Robinson Canon, Ely, Nevada    119031

EKP  Ely, November 9, 1907.

C 3118    Ely, Nevada

EKP  Ely, November 11, 1907.

C 3119    Unknown



Undivided backs, black and white

No publisher listed other than A.N.C.

A 3298     Unknown

A 3299       Ely, Nevada

View of the town taken from nearby hill.

Known postmark, Ely, December 11, 1906.

A 3300    Ely, Nevada

Street scene with Palm Restaurant building in center of image.                          “Greetings from Ely Nev.” in gold script was added to the face of the post card.

EKP  Ely, Nevada, February  10, 1907.

A 3301       Unknown

Tonopah, Nevada

Divided back, black and white

Published by A. H. Rounsevell,

Tonopah, Nevada


A 3644    Birds-Eye View Tonopah, Nev. 1906

This is a double card panoramic view of Tonopah from near-by mountain.  Known post mark Tonopah, April 2, 1907.

A 3645     The House that Made Tonopah Famous, constructed of 10,000 beer bottles

EKPs known.                                                                                                                                  Tonopah Flag cancel, July 22, 1908.                                                                                      Reno & Goldfield RPO, December 21, 1908.

A 3646     The Barrel House, Tonopah, Nev.

Pioneer Tonopah photographer, E.W. Smith, took the photograph used for this post card.  Smith’s dog is seen sitting in front of the door to the Barrel House.  Smith’s dog was his way of signing his photographs.

With this undivided back post card, A.N.C. also left room on the right side of the post card for the message.

A 3647    Piute Indians Playing Poker, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP  Tonopah flag cancel, July 2, 1907.

A 3648   Native Daughters of the Desert, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP   Tonopah Flag Cancel, August 4, 1907.

A 3649    Tonopah Prospectors off for the New Strike

A 3650    Unknown- Likely Nevada

A 3651     High School, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP   Tonopah March 2, 1907.

A 3652     Mizpah Shaft of the Tonopah Mining Co., Tonopah, Nev.

Pioneer Tonopah photographer, E.W. Smith, took the photograph used for this post card.  Smith’s dog is seen lower left side of post card.

A 3653     Nye County Court House, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP   Tonopah Flag cancel April 5, 1907.

A 3654     Tonopah Extension Mine, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP Tonopah Flag cancel, March 7, 1907.

A 3655     A Piute Indian’s Private Residence, Tonopah, Nev.

EKP   Tonopah flag cancel, February 26, 1907.

A 3656     unknown


De Lamar, Nevada

Divided back, black and white

Published by M.C. Kelly,  De Lamar, Nev.


A 4337      Unknown

A 4338     Joshua Park,  De Lamar, Nev.

EKP  Delamar, Nevada, October 2, 1908.

A 4339     Unknown


6300 Series Goldfield

There are 15 color views of Goldfield in this 6300 series.    The undivided back post cards in this series, were first sold sometime between September of 1906 and February of 1907.[2]

Pers Edward Larson

     While his name is not listed on the back pioneer Goldfield photographer Pers Edward Larson either was the publisher of the series, or sold some of his photographs to A.N.C. to use in the 6300 series.

Possibly all of the photographs for the 6300 series were taken by Larson.  So far five cards in the series have been identified using Larson photographs.

Larson arrived in Goldfield opened up his own photography and souvenir store, The Palm Studio, about the same time that the 6300 series went on sale.



Goldfield, Nevada

Undivided back, Color

No local publisher listed

A 6330   Bird’s-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.

Two panel panoramic view.

EKP   Goldfield, August 1, 1910

A 6331     Bird’s Eye View. Goldfield, Nev.

This same view was issued as Mitchell number 907 titled, “GENERAL VIEW OF GOLDFIELD, NEVADA.”

A.N.C. also issued a black and white version of this card with the number 1405.

A 6332     “Exhausted Stampeder.”    Found a place of Safe Deposit.    Goldfield, Nev.”

Also released  by A.N.C. as A 1404 black and white.

A 6333      Bird’s Eye View.                              Goldfield, Nev.

A.N.C. also issued this image in black and white card, A 1403.

EKP Hazen, Nevada, January 11, 1907.

A 6334     Pioneer Buildings.                          Goldfield, Nev.

Pioneer Goldfield photographer P.E. Larson issued his own version of this image, photograph number 347 titled, “PIONEER BUILDINGS GOLDFIELD, NEV.”


A 6335     En Route to Goldfield, Nev.

The card shows a load of lumber being pulled by a large team of mules.

A.N.C. also issued this card in b & w, number A 1401.

The same view was published by the Denison Post Card number, number 4, titled “Goldfield in 1905.”

Curt Tiech published the same view in 1933.   The CT post card has no title, location, or publisher listed on the post card.

It is one of a series of four untitled Goldfield postcards, 3A166, 167, 168, and 169 that Curt Tiech published in early 1933.

EKP  Goldfield, February 5, 1916.

A 6336     Gambling at the Gold Fields.

EKP   West Exeter, New York, December 25, 1911.

A 6337     Shipping Ore. Goldfield, Nev.

A 6338     Goldfield, Nev.

This view, a long line of mules hauling freight was was also issued by A.N.C.  in black and white, A 1398.

A 6339    Goldfield, Maidens, Goldfield, Nev.    

A black and white version of this view was also issued by A.N.C., card A 1397.

A 6340     Prospectors Outfit. Goldfield, Nev. 

This is a Larson photograph number 322.

 A 6341     First Baby born in Goldfield, Nev.

This view of a burro was also published by Larson.  Larson sold both a color and black and white version of this card, titled “FIRST BABY BORN IN   GOLDFIELD, NEV.”

A.N.C. also produced a black and white version of this image, A 1395.

EKP  Goldfield, April 9, 1916.

A 6342       Main Street. Goldfield, Nev.

This was also issued by A. N. C. in black and white, A 1384.

EKP  Niverville, New York, April, 21, 1908.

A 6343       U.S. mail Coaches in the Rocky Mountains. 

This was a popular image.   After A.N.C. used the image, Larson put out his own post card titled, “A holdup U.S. Mail Coach en route to Bullfrog Nev.” Number 333.

Again using Larson’s photograph this image is also found on a Newman post card number 134/15.

The image was also used by the Dennison Company.  This was post card three in the Dennison series. the card is titled “U.S. Mail Coach En Route to Bullfrog, Nevada.”

The image was also sold as a ‘real photo’ post card with a title that provides additional information;  “1907 O’Keefe Bros. Stage Co. Leaving Bull Frog Heading for Goldfield Nev.”

A 6344     The Yucca Palm on American Desert.

This was also released by Larson.  The negative of the photograph is identified with the number 634.

A 6345     (This is a New York view card.)





Divided back, color, No local publisher listed

A 6955     This is a Texas view card.


A 6956     Mizpah Gold Mine. Tonopah, Nev.


A 6957    Unknown


D 7000 Series

Divided, back color

Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely, Nev.


 D 7018      Unknown

D 7019     St. Bartholomew Church and Rectory, Ely, Nev. (v)

EKP  Ely, February 21, 1910.

D 7020    Entrance to University Club, Ely, Nevada.

EKP  McGill, June 9, 1910.


Two rare views of the University Club in Ely, Nevada.

D 7021     University Club, Ely, Nevada.

EKP, East Ely, June 11, 1910.

D 7022   School, Ely, Nevada

While this has a divided back, there is room for a message on the right side of the face of the post card.

EKP  Ely, October 31, 1910.  Note, mailed on Nevada birthday as s state.

D 7023   General view of Ely, Nevada

EKP   Ely, April 22, 1910.


                 EKP  Ely, September 24, 1909

  D 7025      Unknown


U.S. Monitor  “Nevada”

color-divided back.  No local publisher listed

While not an image of the state, the American News Company produced a color card, titled, “A7292 U.S. Monitor “Nevada” at Anchor.  New London, Conn.”

The monitor “Nevada” was built in 1900 originally named the “Connecticut.”  It was later renamed the “Nevada,” and in 1909 the ship received its third and last name; the “Tonopah.”

After serving as a submarine tender during World War I, it was sold by the government in 1922.


A 7292    U.S. Monitor “Nevada” at Anchor.  New London, Conn.



Divided back,  Printed in Germany, color

C 14230  Ely

Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely



C 14231    unknown

C 14232   Corner Aultman and Murray Streets, Ely, Nev.

Note the Northern Hotel on one corner and the R. A. Riepe Building on the other corner.  Riepe of the infamous Riepetown.

C 14233   Richmar Apartments, Ely, Nevada

C 14234   Nevada Northern Depot, Ely, Nevada.

EKP  Lane, Nevada, June 30, 1010.

C 14235   unknown




  • EKP   Earliest Known Postmark
  • V        Vertical




[1] Wallace, Charles L., “The Catalogue of Ply Chrome Post   Cards Made in Germany 1905-1906-1907.”

[2] Wallace, Charles L., “The Catalogue of Poly Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany 1905-1906-1907.”

Post Cards of Southern Nevada by the Bobbe Lithographic Company of New York (updated April 18, 2022)


Bobbe Lithographic Company,

Post Cards of Southern Nevada.

“Three trains is a Crowd”

Delayed in Caliente, Nevada on September 3, 1915, by a train wreck, William spent time at John Shier’s Drug Store located just up the street from the train depot.

He bought several post cards of Caliente published by Shier.

On one card William wrote a friend in Massachusetts “held here on account of a washout.”   He dropped his post card at the Caliente Post Office.

William then headed back to the depot to get a status report on his train which was headed to California.

He found out the wreck occurred halfway between Caliente and Las Vegas.

William wrote “we are tied up here today. We have been here since two o‘clock last night and this is in the afternoon.  The train ahead of us went into the ditch.  We don’t known when we will go.  But I suppose tonight three trains here so you know it’s a crowd.”

William, the pessimist, dated his post card 9-4-15.   He deposited his post card at the Caliente railroad depot.   Soon after he mailed his card the train left the station heading to Los Angeles.   William’s post card is postmarked Ogden & Los Angles R.P.O. TR 2 Sept. 3, 1915.

The first post card, the one he dropped off at the post office, did not make it on the train until the next day.  It is postmarked “Caliente, Nev. Sep 4, 1915.”

When the delayed trains, heading south, made it to the spot of the wreckage, a newspaper reported “the passengers beheld a locomotive almost buried in the sand.  It had left the track when it hit the washout, but the passenger train behind it was not wrecked.”[i]

While the backs of the post cards William in Caliente bought are the same used by the Bobbe Litho Company of New York, there is no credit line on the back other than “Pub. by John Shier –K. 1318.”

In addition to the back design, the type of font used for the caption, Bobbe also used the letter K to identify its post cards.

The color printing process is the same one used by Bobbe.  For example see Bobbe Litho K430 Caliente.

It is likely the post cards at Shier’s drug store had been on the rack for several years, and it is also likely they were printed by Bobbe’s  former  partner M. S. Kraus.

  The Bobbe Lithographic Company’s connection to Nevada

The Bobbe Litho Company connection to Nevada started five years earlier when it announced plans to begin selling post cards directly to retailers. [ii]

In addition to Shier in Caliente, a retailer in Las Vegas responded to Bobbe’s news business plan.   Both retailers would order post cards that would mark key historic event.

Note, this post card from Bobbe Litho and printed for the Wilson Drug Company of Las Vegas used an Albertype post card Wilson had published earlier.  Bobbe Litho not only copied the image, the company simply used the Albertype post card, including the original caption.

What Bobbe Litho did block out, just to the left of the tracks in the left-hand corner is where the Wilson Drug Company credit line was found on the Albertype post cards.

It is clear where the credit line was blocked out when you compare the two post cards.

In Caliente it was drug store owner Shier who sent in an order.  He soon received the shipment of post cards, despite limited communication with the outside world.

Caliente was one of the main Nevada stations on the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad, now the Union Pacific, that ran between California and Utah.

A massive storm hit southern Nevada on New Year’s Eve, 1909, knocking out more than 100 miles of the railroad with Caliente almost in the middle.  It took nearly six months to completely re-open the rail line.

Mail and supplies were brought in by wagon from Pioche, twenty-five miles north of Caliente.

Shier was clearly one of the first to order printed post cards of the event.  He used Bobbe as he received his post cards in early April, 1910.  The earliest known Bobbe card post mark Caliente, April 27, 1910 a month before the rail line reopened.

When the railroad line reopened in mid-June 1910, John Shier’s drug store had a ready supply of storm related post cards.

It was Bobbe’s March announcement that caught Shier’s attention.  The price was right and he didn’t have to order thousands of post cards. He also he knew there would be a demand for post cards once the rail line reopened.

Up to that date Bobbe Litho, which both manufactured and imported post cards, primarily sold only to wholesalers.[iii]

Bobbe’s move was the result of action by the Federal Government.

With the approval by the President and the U.S. Congress of the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909, the U.S. post card industry was looking at an uncertain future.

In late 1909 Bobbe was looking for a new revenue stream.

With his partner and longtime friend, Maurice Albert Kraus, they made a decision and sent out an press release to a target audience; drug stores.

Several trade magazines including The Pharmaceutical Era, the American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, and the Canadian Druggist printed the announcement.

The company’s press release modestly described itself as making “a bold move…best explained in the words of S. Bobbe, the well-known lithographer, whose plants in American and Holland are world renowned.”

Before the new tariff on post cards from Europe wholesalers around United States had stocked up on post cards.   Wholesale prices dropped, and Bobbe said the situation was “very sad indeed.”

To this point in time Bobbe said he had kept his companies post card work quiet; “We have sunk our identity for many years” by “printing other names on them as publishers.” [iv]

Now he said the post card part of his company was going public with a new sales plan; “we find that our post card business is best conserved by direct contact with the retailer.”

Bobbe’s enticement to the small shop owners was financial.  The company announcement, said it was sending out a catalogue with prices so “low as to give the dealer the benefit of the jobbers’ profits and the salesman’s commissions.” [v]

Not only would be wholesale price be attractive, Bobbe said his company had “perfected a glazed view which our foreign house formerly made and we now make them equally.”

Bobbe went on to compare his cards to the ‘real photo’ post cards.  He said his post cards have “a photo finish that far excels many of the photographic views cards that are sold throughout the country.” [vi]

Bobbe’s announcements included another inducement for small retailers, he sell his postcards “in lots of 500” and would “deliver views in two weeks’ time.” [vii]

Two southern Nevada drug stores, one in Las Vegas and Shier’s in Caliente  responded to the offer.

           Bobbe and Kraus knew each other                  for more than 30 years

In addition to being his partner and friend, M. Albert Kraus was Bobbe’s naturalization sponsor. [viii]

Bobbe arrived in the United States from England in September of 1876.  He was sixteen.

On October 15, 1885 he became a citizen of the United States.   A year later he listed his occupation as “bookbinder.”[ix]

By 1910, Bobbe had become one of Kraus’ partners, along with Simon Goodman in the Kraus Manufacturing Company, a printing house in New York.[x]

Despite orders from Caliente and Las Vegas as well as responses from retailers around the country, including Lake Tahoe, this was Bobbe last known post card effort.

Kraus Continues on in the Post Card world


Kraus Post Card for Broadway show “Mutt & Jeff”  1911-1912. Has Kraus back, not Bobbe.

Kraus on the other hand, using the same back found on the Bobbe post cards, would print at least one Nevada post card, and would go on to create post cards for both silent film stars and Broadway shows.  Kraus’ credit line would often appear on the backs of his post cards he created.

“The Lilac Domino” opened on Broadway October 28, 1914.  Post card published by Kraus, with Bobbe back.


 Caliente, John Shier  Las Vegas, Warren Wilson

Shier and Warren Wilson of Las Vegas, owned and operated the major stores in southern Nevada.

Shier had been a drug store owner and operator in the south-east part of Nevada for several decades..

Starting in Pioche in 1880 he opened “Shier’s Hesperian Drug Store.”[xi]  By 1894 he had moved to De Lamar, Nevada and had set up shop as a “pharmacist.”  His new operation was called the “Prescription Drug Store.”

In 2012, a 5 1/8 inch tall bottle from his De Lamar drug store sold for $1,000. [xii]

When the railroad was built between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles the town of Calientes, with an “s” was created.  As De Lamar would soon turn unto a ghost town Shier opened the Caliente Drug Store.

Front page advertisement in July 27, 1906 issue of

The Pioche Weekly Record

Shier, originally from Ringwood, Hampshire, England was 62-years-old when he ordered post cards from Bobbe in 1910.

A few months after receiving is post cards from Bobbe, Shier announced his plans to run for the Nevada Assembly representing Lincoln County.[xiii]  Two decades earlier he had served in the Nevada Legislature.

Late in 1910, after the rail line had been restored Shier, and Charles Squires, publisher of the Las Vegas Age newspaper were named in to the Platform Committee, of the Nevada State Republican Party.[xiv]

Not likely the two men discussed Bobbe post cards.  Although, Squires did use Bobbe post cards to promote his campaign for the Nevada Legislature representing Clark County.

The Squires state senate campaign mailers are the first known use of post cards in a Las Vegas election.

Both Shier and Squires made it to the November general election.  Both lost.

Wilson Drug Store – Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, Warren Wilson had just turned 22 years old when he moved to Nevada in 1906. [xv]

He would soon become part owner and managed the only drug store in Clark County new county seat, Las Vegas. [xvi]

Wilson’s drug store was located on the first floor of the building located on the North West corner of First and Fremont Street.

Wilson Drug Store  Las Vegas.  Albertype Post Card     ca. 1910

It is likely Wilson ordered post cards from Bobbe Litho early in 1907.

Two post cards, without captions, and only with the credit line “Pub. by Wilson Drug Co.” were printed in 1907.

While Bobbe Litho’s name does not appear on the post card, the printing company is identified by the back design as the one the printing company used.

It would be several years before Wilson used Bobbe Litho again, and based on images and post cards, it appears the New York City company likely printed the first and last post cards for Wilson

While Wilson used several post card publishers while he operated the drug store, his company of choice was Albertype of Brooklyn, New York.  He used Albertype starting 1907, as did his processor.

Wilson was sick most of 1910 and was either in the hospital or at home recovering.

In mid-March of 1910, the news hit; “New Drug Store.”  The newspaper reported “Las Vegas is to have another business house on Fremont Street.  The name of the new enterprise is the Las Vegas Drug Company.  The store will be neatly fitted up and will be ready for business within the coming week.  In addition to drugs the concern will carry a stock of optical goods and jewelry.”[xvii]

The store, which specialized in “eye glasses, eyes examined, glasses made and repaired,” also started selling real photo post cards of southern Nevada.[xviii]

Within days of the new drug store opening, Wilson became “quite ill” and was “confined to his house”[xix]     After being “confined to the house by illness for over a week,” Wilson was sent to Los Angeles, and “will stay in the southland some time for recuperation.”   Neither Las Vegas newspaper, while reporting on the Wilson’s illness many times, every mentioned the exact nature of his illness.

At the end of April 1910 the Age reported that Wilson, after being confined to a “California hospital for several days, he is now able to be out.”[xx]

Several weeks later, Wilson after a “sojourn of several weeks returns much improved in his health, and is once more attending to business at the drug store.”[xxi]

It is during this period Wilson probably ordered as many as ten different views of Las Vegas from Bobbe.

Whatever was causing Wilson’s ill health, it hit again 60 days later.  The public was informed at the end of July their primary pharmacist “has been ill for a week past, went to Los Angeles. It is hoped that the change of climate and rest from business will soon restore him to health.”[xxii]

He returned a month later, “much improved in health and spirit from his sojourn in Los Angeles.”[xxiii]

Wilson’s “spirit” did not last long. Less than 30 days later he called it quits.  His mysterious malady was given for his departure.  One report said that “Mr. Wilson has been in ill health for the past year, and on this account felt the need of a change, and will take a much needed rest on the coast.”  The headline to the story simply said Wilson “Disposes of Drug Business.”[xxiv]

Within weeks, the new owner and a new name for the business was announced.  “E.S. Wharton, of Rhyolite has purchased the interest of W. B. Wilson in the Wilson Drug Company and will assume the management of the business.  He has a large stock of goods at Rhyolite which will be moved here and combined with the stock of the local store.”[xxv]

The Wilson Drug Store became the Wharton Drug Store.  Like Wilson, Wharton  ordered his Las Vegas post cards from Albertype.  However, Wharton never placed an order with Bobbe.

Bobbe Nevada Post Cards 1910-1911

The Bobbe post cards were likely produced over a one year period beginning in the spring of 1910. The dates of printing and likely re-orders, are based on Bobbe’s announcement, postmarks and the images and titles of the Nevada post cards.

It is possible that Shier placed an order for a panoramic view of Caliente in 1914.   A post card with a Bobbe Shier back, with only a “Pub by John Shier –K1318” is known to exist with the title “Birdseye View of Caliente, Nevada.”

Known Postmarks.

  • Caliente, Nevada, April 27, 1910.
  • Caliente, Nevada, June 20, 1910.
  • Caliente, Nevada, July 12, 1910.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada August 30, 1910 A.M.
  • Los Angeles, California, September 10, 1910
  • Caliente, November 6, 1910.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, November 11, 1910.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, February 16, 1911.
  • Caliente, March 1, 1911
  • Caliente, Nevada, April 11, 1911.
  • Caliente, May 10, 1911.
  • Las Vegas, November 11, 1910.
  • Caliente, Nevada, June 26, 1911.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, June 29, 1911 A.M.
  • Las Vegas, July 6, 1911.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, August 3, 1911
  • Las Vegas, September 21, 1911.
  • Las Vegas, October 2, 1911.
  • Las Vegas, December 16, 1911.
  • Caliente, July 1, 1914.
  • L. City & Los Angeles, TR 2 R.P.O. June 30, 1914
  • Caliente, Nevada, August 5, 1915.
  • Caliente, Nevada, August 20, 1915
  • Ogden & Los Angeles, R.P.O, September 3, 1915
  • Caliente, Nevada, September 4, 1915.



Bobbe Post Card Backs

There are two known Bobbe backs on Calientes and Las Vegas post cards.

Bobbe Litho  Back  Version One


Bobbe Litho Back  Version Two

Check List of known Bobbe Litho Nevada Post Cards


Series 86,  Also reissued as Series 140

This is a vertical card with three views damaged railroad tracks from the storm of 1910. Each of the three images has its own title.

  • There are two horizontal views on the face of the card and one vertical view.
  • Horizontal “Caliente, Nev.”  Shows twisted railroad tracks.
  • Vertical view “Two Miles above Caliente.” Shows more twisted tracks.
  • Horizontal “One & One Half Miles above Caliente.” Shows washed out track and trestle
  • No publisher listed. Earliest known postmark is Caliente, April 27, 1910.
  • This same view was produced under Bobbe’s Series 140. Version 2 of the back was used.   Possibly a re-order of a popular post card.




Series 95


  • This is a black and white view look south from the west side of the tracks towards the business section of town and the depot.
  • Earliest known postmark is June 12, 1910. Published for John Shier.



Series 148

A multi view post card of Caliente.  Each view has a title within the image.

  • The images on the post card appear on post cards printed earlier by other publishers..


Series K.205

Title, “Caliente, Nevada, 1910”

  • This post card was issued with three different Bobbe Litho numbers,
    • 205
    • 238
    • 1042
    • All three have the same back.
  • All three post cards were “Pub. By Bobbe Litho Co., New York City for John Shier.”
  • Shier’s name is misspelled ‘Ghier’ on the first issue, K.205.
  • On the last print run, K.1042 a small water pond lower right has been colored in.


Series K 430

This card, is titled “Caliente, Nevada.”

  • The view shows the town and mountains in the distance from an almost ‘birds-eye’ view.
  • A light green color was added to the sky, a brown to the desert and a dark grey to the town.
  • “Pub. By Bobbe Litho Co., N.Y. for John Shier”



Series K 1296

  1. A vertical post card with two images of Caliente.
  • Each image has its own title; “Main St. Caliente, Nev.,” and “Depot, Caliente, Nev.” and “Round House,” and “Across the track, Caliente, Nevada
  • Published for “John Shier” by Bobbe.
  1. A vertical post card with two images of Caliente.
  • Each image has its own title; MAIN ST. CALIENTE, NEV.,” and ‘DEPOT, CALIENTE NEV.” However, the second view shows seven men standing at the front of a steam engine number 19.

 Bobbe backs, but no Bobbe credit line.

One has the credit line “Pub. By Kraus Mfg. Co., N.Y.” the other card with the same back has a credit line “Pub. By John Shier- K1318.”

Based on the backs, the “K” number, it is likely that Kraus purchased Bobbe sometime between 1911 and 1914.

 K 1318

  1. This is a color post card titled “Birdseye view of Caliente, Nevada.”
  • The colors are identical to those found in K430 “Caliente, Nevada.”
  • Published by John Shier
  • Earliest postmark is July 1, 1914.

No number.   Kraus Mfg. Company.

  1. The title is “Caliente, Nevada.”
  • This post card has the credit line “Pub. By Kraus Mfg. Co., N. Y.”
  • This is a view of the business district next to the tracks on the depot side of the railroad.
  • The earliest known postmark is December 14, 1916.
  • The post card has an early Bobbe Litho post card back.


Check List of Bobbe Las Vegas

Post Cards

Series 140

Another post card printed by Bobbe  records  an important moment in Las Vegas’ history.   

In 1910, Charles P. Squires, who owned and operated the Las Vegas Age, one of communities two weekly newspapers campaigned for the office of State Senator representing Clark County.

In February of 199, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a series of articles on historic Las Vegas figures.   The late journalist K.J. Evans wrote, “If there is any individual who deserves the title “The Father of Las Vegas,” it is Charles Pember Squires, a native of Austin, Minn., who spent more than 50 years here, building, boosting and ballyhooing his city. Fellow citizens who knew him during that time in Las Vegas greeted him with the sobriquet of “Pop,” and his wife, Delphine, as “Mom.”[xxvi]

As part of his 1910 campaign, Squires sent out post cards in the primary election seeking the Republican nomination.

He used a Series 140 post card from Bobbe Lithographic Company titled “Views at Las Vegas, Nev.”.

The multi view has three images, the Salt Lake Route railroad depot, Fremont Street looking west, and an image of the First State Bank.

On the back of the card, most mailed in August, before the September primary, Squires printed “Dear Sir:  I am asking the republicans for the nomination for State Senator.  I believe I am the man you want.  If you think so too, your vote at the primaries will be appreciated as a personal favor.  I have the interests of the County deeply at heart, as you may know through my paper, The Las Vegas Age, and will esteem it a high honor to represent you.   Yours Very truly, Chas. P. Squires.”

The card was addressed “Dear Sir,” as women were not allowed to vote in 1910.

Other Bobbe Series 140 Las Vegas Post Cards.

The 140 Series use a Bobbe Litho post card back, and series number, but Bobbe does not have a credit line on the back, only “Pub. by Wilson Drug Co., Las Vegas, Nevada.”


  1. “VIEWS OF LAS VEGAS NEV.” In a small triangle in the center of the post card.

This post card has three untitled views on the face of the card.

  • The First State Bank building.
  • The railroad depot
  • Fremont Street look west from Second Street.

Earliest known postmark, Apr. 30, 1910.

  1. “DESERT SCENES LAS VEGAS, NEV.” In a small triangle in the center of the post card.

There are three views on the face of this post card.

  • Two men on horses with three pack mules loaded with prospecting Equipment.  The Newman Post printed this same view for Wilson Card Company, card 2, titled “On the Desert, Las Vegas, Nevada.”
  • A view of two dozen burros, near a creek, with Sunrise Mountain in the background. The same view was printed for Wilson by the Albertype Company of New York, and titled, “Burros, Stewart Ranch, Las Vegas, Nevada.”
  • This is a view of seven burros with backpacks, with what looks like Frenchman’s Mountain in the background. Earliest known postmark is September 10, 1910- Los Angeles, California.

This post card has the separate views of the two churches in Las Vegas in 1910-1911.

Earliest known postmark is July 6, 1911 – Las Vegas.


Earliest known postmark Feb 16, 1911- Las Vegas.


Note, different font used for title, and Nevada not abbreviated.

Series 166 and Series 1004

Both the Series 166 and 1004 have credit lines “Pub by Bobbe Litho. Co., New York City,” and “For Wilson Drug Co.” on the back.


Earliest known postmark is November 11, 1910- Las Vegas.

 Series 1004


Earliest known post mark is October, 1920-Las Vegas.

The Clark & Ronnow Ranch were front page news in April of 1910.   The Las Vegas Age reported on April 30 in a story titled “Paradise Valley,”  “Where less than two ears ago was only the gray of the desert may now be seen…little bunches of greenery.”   the story went on to say there were “several acres of sugar cane,” as well as corn, and barley” and Clark and Ronnow said “we have 480 acres of land…of this we will probably have 120 acres under cultivation by the end of the season.”  The story ended with the note the Clark and Ronnow Ranch provides an example of why “it is little wonder that the Vegas valley is receiving much attention.”                                     It is possible the story and the publishing of the post cards of the ranch was part of a marketing effort to sell land in Las Vegas.

How many post cards of southern Nevada were produced by Bobbe-Kraus?

It is likely the Bobbe Lithographic Company of New York City, New York printed more than twenty different card images of southern Nevada in 1910.

There are nine known Bobbe cards of Caliente, and 8 of Las Vegas.  Included in the known total of seventeen post cards are 9 multi view cards.  There are a total of eighteen views on the 9 multi view cards.

It is possible the images on the multi view cards were also produced as individual view cards.

For example an untitled three image multi view card of the 1910 New Year’s track washout in Meadows Valley contains three titled views; A card titled “Caliente, Nev” that shows only twisted railroad tracks, a view titled “Two Miles Above Caliente,” that shows more twisted railroad tracks, and a third view titled “One & One Half Miles Above Caliente,” that shows track and a washed out trestle.

On the other hand three image multi-view cards tilted “VIEWS OF LAS VEGAS, NEV.” Shows views that had already been released as individual cards by other post cards producers.

No Bobbe post cards from other parts of Nevada have been uncovered.  There are known Bobbe post cards from the California side of Lake Tahoe.



[i] “Marooned Artists Give Charity Show,” September 6, 1915, The Salt Lake Tribune, page 8.

[ii] “Bobbe Litho Co. to Sell Director to Dealers,” March 1910, “The Pharmaceutical Era, magazine, New York, Page 292.

[iii] “Bobbe Litho Co. to Sell Director to Dealers,” March 1910, “The Pharmaceutical Era, magazine, New York, Page 292.

[iv] “Direct to the Retailer,” March 1910, The Canadian Druggist magazine, Toronto, Canada, Page 175. “The Retailer Gets the Bottom Line,” June 27, 1910, American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Page A 24.

[v] “Bobbe Litho Co. to Sell Director to Dealers,” March 1910, “The Pharmaceutical Era, magazine, New York, Page 292.

[vi] “Direct to the Retailer,” March 1910, The Canadian Druggist magazine, Toronto, Canada, Page 175. “The Retailer Gets the Bottom Line,” June 27, 1910, American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Page A 24.

[vii] “Bobbe Litho Co. to Sell Director to Dealers,” March 1910, “The Pharmaceutical Era, magazine, New York, Page 292.

[viii] “Co-partnership and Corporation Directory of the City of New York,” March 1910, Trow Directory, Printing & Bookbinding Company, New York, Page 93.

[ix]  “Throw’s New York City Directory,” May 1, 1886, The Grow City Directory Company, New York, Page 167. “Petitions for Naturalization” New York City,  Samuel Bobbe, Records of the District Court, 1685-2009, Record group Number, RG21.

[x] “Co-partnership and Corporation Directory of City of New York, March 1910, Trow directory, Printing & Bookbinding Company, New York, Page 449.

[xi] Display advertisement for Shier’s Hesperian Drug Store, June 21, 1890, The Pioche, Nevada Record, page 4.


[xiii]  “Political Announcement,” July 23, 1910, The Pioche Nevada Record, page 4.

[xiv]  “Republican Party stands United in Convention,” September 28, 2910, Reno Evening Gazette, page 2.

[xv] Las Vegas Age, November 11, 1906

[xvi]  “Thomas Block Leased, November 24, 1906, Las Vegas Age, page 1.

[xvii].  “New Drug Store,” March 18, 1910, page 1.

[xviii]. Clark County Review, June 11, 1910, page 6

[xix]. Clark County Review, April 16, 1910, page 6

[xx]. Las Vegas Age, April 30, 1910, page 5.

[xxi]. Clark County Review, May 21, 1910, page 6

[xxii]. Las Vegas Age, July 32, 1910, page 5

[xxiv].. “Disposes of Drug Business,” January 21, 1911, Las Vegas Age, page one..

[xxv].   “Local Notes,” March 11, 1911, Las Vegas Age, page 5.



Who was AP, the pre World War Two California photographer who created several series of Nevada post cards?

The California Photographer who is listed twice in the 1940 U.S. Census in different cities.  And who produced real photo postcards of Nevada.  Who is A.P.?

(Answer, Asher Photo's not Associated Press!)

by Robert Stoldal

(Updated  October 25, 2021)

In the late 1930’s, a California photographer who used the initials AP to identify his work, produced a series of post cards of Nevada towns along U.S. highways 40 and 50.

No name, just an A and a P attached to each other was the only clue as to who the photographer was.

Who was AP?

Continue reading “Who was AP, the pre World War Two California photographer who created several series of Nevada post cards?”

Chapter Two.   Northern Hotel and Bar. Raids, Illegal gambling and alcohol.

In late 2017 the site of what is arguably one of the most historic gambling site fell into the deep hole of ‘Who Cares?’  Add to that, what history is available, is often buried in the fact-fantasy land of the internet.

Yet with names like the Stockers, the Stearns, and Siegel, the Northern Hotel Bar and Club in downtown Las Vegas has a fact based history that will surprise most.  That includes the role the owners had in legalizing gambling in Nevada.

At this point there appears to be no effort on the part of todays’ operators of the property, or the Fremont Street Experience, or the City of Las Vegas to let locals and visitors know of the important and colorful history of this site and the rest of Fremont Street.  (April 3, 2018 I’ve been quietly told, this will change.  The when and how is still a question.  But, at least the discussion has begun.  Will stay on top of it.)

From the day the Northern Hotel and Bar opened in 1912 until he fled town, Lon Groesbeck operated both floors of the building.  His energy was focused on money making possibilities of the first floor, alcohol and gambling.

Six years later, after Nevada and Clark county voters, in 1918 overwhelmingly  approved legislation outlawing the sale of liquor, the future for Groesbeck, whose health was already failing, turned from clouded to clearly dark.

But when the Northern opened, like Las Vegas in 1912, it a welcome oasis on the northern edge of the Mojave Desert.

Las Vegas is also about half way between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City which, with the abundant of water at the time, made it an ideal place for a railroad to build a massive maintenance plant. 

Las Vegas, 1912, Author’s collection

 And with the plant hundreds of men came to Las Vegas, most of them single.

Despite the 1910 statewide ban on gambling, Las Vegas with its red light district-Block 16, (the east side of the 200 block of North First Street.) was at best a controlled “wide open town.”

After operating both floors for two years, in the late fall of 1914, Groesbeck transferred his “saloon license” to Fred Van Deventer.”

Details limited other than the transfer was approved by the Las Vegas City Commission. [i]

Then, not long after the town celebrated its tenth birthday there was a call to clean up the town both literally and morally.

In May of 1916, Clark County District Court Judge Charles Lee Horsey convened a grand jury with specific instructions to look into vice and law enforcement in Las Vegas. Arthur Jerry Stebenne

Judge Horsey would later become a Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court.

At the end of June, the grand jury issued its report.  “Upon the subject of gambling” the report said “the neglect of duty on the part of peace officers, we have found for a long time past, illegal gambling has been openly conducted, with the knowledge of the peace officers who have made no effort to prevent the offense.”[ii]

And in regard to the sale of alcohol, still legal in 1916, the jury’s “Committee on Public Morales,” wrote, “We find upon investigation that for the years 1915 and 1916, 85%of the indigents were made such directly through indulgence in liquor and gambling.” [iii]

And, the grand jury did not stop at gambling and alcohol telling the judge “it is apparent that there are cases of illicit cohabitation in Clark County, particularly in Las Vegas and stringent laws should be enacted over this disgusting offense against public decency.”  [iv]

The grand jury also handed down eight indictments for violations of the gambling laws.

Among those indicted was Groesbeck. He was charged with conducting an illegal casino operation at the Northern.[v]

Groesbeck was specifically charged with taking a percent, a “rake-off” for setting up tables where men could play poker for money.

Groesbeck and his crew, which included early versions of “pit bosses,” ran the games.

Nevada state law at the time allowed people could gamble at poker, but did not allow the house to take a piece of the action.

A poker game at the Northern.  The tables were all line up on the west side of the club, with the bar running north and south on the east side of the building.

Three months after he was busted Groesbeck was found guilty of allowing gambling at the Northern.  The case, at the time, was described as under the new law the “first successfully prosecuted case against illegal gambling in Nevada.”

Clark County District Attorney, A. S. Henderson, in his colorful closing arguments compared Groesbeck to a spider; “When once a man is in its clutches it suck out his life blood.  Like a spider, he grabs the fly and sucks the living blood out of him and leaves him to suffer the torments of hell.  That’s what the gambler does, sucks the living blood until the man is fleeced of everything. [vi]

After Groesbeck was found guilty, the other defendants all pleaded guilty.

The next month, Judge Horsey sentences all six to one to five years in the state penitentiary in Carson City. But, with overall public opinion running against the “actual imprisonment of the offenders,” to the surprise of few the judge suspended sentence of each of the gamblers. [vii]

As far as Groesbeck, the Judge said, “I do not say, I have no sympathy for the defendant.  I say, I have no sympathy for his business of far as his business relates to gambling.  If I had the power” there “would not be any gambling in Clark county or anywhere else.”[viii]

With sale of liquor still legal Groesbeck went back to running the Northern Hotel and Bar for both men and for a while, for women.

The Northern catered only to men in the bar and the poker tables.  In an effort to expand business “Six ‘wine rooms’ were established in the rear which ladies could patronize through a ‘family entrance’ off the alley.” [ix]

(We have been unable to find a photograph of women in the wine room or an image of the ‘family entrance’ to the Northern.)

A year after Groesbeck’s bust for gambling, he was in financial trouble.

In October of 1917, Liddie Groesbeck, his wife, (who lived in Salt Lake City) borrowed $2,800 from Fred T. Van Derventer, aka Fred Van Deventer.[x]

She agreed on October 17, 1917 to pay off the loan in fourteen equal payments of $200.

To “secure payment,” Mrs. Groesbeck put up “all the furniture, bedding, rugs, carpets and utensils of every description now in or about the second story of the building known as the Northern Hotel situate on Fremont Street between Main and First Streets,” also “the safe, desk, cash register and tables and chairs on the first floor.” [xi]

The loan document is signed only by “Mrs. Liddie Groesbeck” and says she “hereby acknowledge myself to be indebted.” [xii]

Ten days later, a notice appeared in the newspaper, “Fred VanDeventer has sold his interest in the Northern Hotel to Lon Groesbeck.”[xiii]

The changes at the Northern appear to be in preparation for the Salt Lake Brewing Company selling the land and the building.

Looking for a buyer in the middle of the winter of 1917, the company didn’t have to go far.

Fred and Nellie Cullen Leonard, who owned several business in Utah, would become the short term owners.

Leonard, in 1912,  was the brewing company’s key representative in Las Vegas.  He negotiated the deal for the brewing company to buy lot 27 in Block 3.

In addition to beverage, candy and hotel operations the the Leonard’s  owned the Cullen Investment Company of Salt Lake City which became the new official owner of record of the Northen. [xiv]

Initially, the Leonard’s kept their friend Groesbeck on as manager of the property.  That would soon change.

At its first meeting in 1918, Groesbeck asked the Las Vegas City Commission to transfer the “retail liquor permit” back to him from Fred Van Deventer.  The request was approved. [xv]

Groesbeck resumed control of both floors of the Northern.

Weeks later, Van Deventer moved to Long Beach with his family.  Instead of opening a bar, Van Deventer was reported “doing his bit” for the war effort in a “shipbuilding plant.” [xvi]

The last half of 1918 was a challenging for Las Vegas and its’ residents and would begin Groesbeck end.

Las Vegas ca. 1912, looking west from First and Fremont Streets.  Author’s collection. The Northern is seen on the left side half way up the street with the extension from the top of the second floor.

Hit hard by the flu that killed millions around the world, dozens died in Las Vegas.

Many of the community’s young men had been drafted and were in France fighting in World War One.

And in November, the issue of banning the sale of alcohol was on the ballot.

In Las Vegas the question of whether to elect a sheriff who would enforce any such ban, or one whose record as sheriff was soft on the saloon crowd was also on the ballot.

As campaigning started, the flu epidemic hit Las Vegas.

By the time it was over the epidemic became a pandemic, killing millions of people around the world.   More than fifty deaths were recorded in the small community of Las Vegas with an estimated population of less than 25-hundred.

Business was bad, travelers stayed on trains that were passing through Las Vegas, school were closed, sick people were confined to their homes, political rallies cancelled.

For the most part, local newspapers reported the 1918 election was quiet.

The most noise came from the ‘wet’s and the ‘dry’s battling over the question of banning the ‘booze.’

Post card cartoons of the day carried the message.

 When the votes were counted in Las Vegas, Clark County, and the state, 22,308 people voted on the prohibition initiative.

Statewide 59% of the voters cast their ballots in favor of the statewide ban.

In Clark County the ‘drys’ whipped the ‘wets’ by a 69% to 31% margin.  In Las Vegas the vote was similar, 63% in favor of the ban to 37% against.

On the flip side, voters elected former sheriff Sam Gay, a former bouncer in the red light district, who had been forced out of office earlier.

For a few days after the election and into the New Year it was still easy to get a drink at the Northern and other saloons, but slowly liquor went under the bar and into the back room.

Saloons along bock 16 began closing their doors and reopening as soft drink parlors. But there was little trouble in securing liquor.

Saloons were located along Block 16 with the two-story Arizona Club leading the pack.                           Author’s collection.

The hotel “bars” along Fremont Street were, less public about their illegal offerings.

Sheriff Gay, recalled, once “the church folks got busy and voted” for the ban, “me being Sheriff, had to dry the town up.  So I sent around word to all the barkeeps to close or start selling buttermilk.  And all but one did.  I had to go in and help drunk up what he had left.”[xvii]

 The Sheriff also took out an ad on the front page of one of the local newspapers;  “I am going to enforce the prohibition law to the letter,” starting on January 6, 1919.[xviii]

He added a warning, “Mr. Bootlegger this is your first and last notice from me.  Your next notice will be a warrant of arrest.” [xix]

Six weeks later, Sheriff Gay would make his first arrest under the new law.

But, it was not a local person.   The suspect, A. P. Chamberlin, had just driven into town from Utah and got a room at the Northern.

The Sheriff went to Chamberlin room in hotel, found several bottles of bonded whiskey and arrested the out-of-towner.


Chamberlin was found guilty on February 26 and sentence to 90 days in jail and fined $125 and court costs and left town.

Through the rest of 1919, the saloons, said Sheriff Gay,  “The town was dry for a year” he said “there was “no bootlegging then.” ”[xx]

While there were no desert stills, not yet, the Sheriff said  the liquor that was sold came secret stashes left over from before the Nevada ban,as well as alcohol brought in from states where it was legal.

While the sheriff thought the town was ‘dry’ most would have described it if not ‘wet, a least very ‘damp.’

Reflecting on 1919, the Las Vegas Age reported, there were people “who have been almost openly, and notoriously selling whiskey in this city.” [xxi]

When the next bootlegging arrest was made, it was the district attorney, not the sheriff who filed the charges.

On the evening of Friday, January 2, 1920, Clark County D. A.  Arthur Jerome Stebenne led a raid on the Northern to find the “King of the Bootleggers.”

Unable to find Sheriff Gay, the Stebenne secured the services of a deputy sheriff and the Las Vegas Constable.

Arriving at the Northern they found Sheriff Gay was already there.  The D.A. “demanded” Gay participate in the raid.  [xxii]

The four law enforcement officers found Groesbeck in bed in a back room of the first floor. [xxiii]

A half empty bottom of whiskey was in plain sight.   Groesbeck, according to published reports, pointing to the bottle, told the four lawmen, “There is all I have, you can use that against men if you want to.” [xxiv]

But the D.A. said he had information that there was more whiskey. 

At which point, Groesbeck got out of bed and opened a nearby trunk containing twenty-three pint bottles of McBrayer whiskey. [xxv] 




Las Vegas Age January 3, 1920, page one.

Calling Groesbeck the “King of Bootleggers” Squires wrote in the Age, “the illicit sale of whiskey has been going on in this city ever since the prohibition amendment went into effect.  Groesbeck has been suspected of being the chief violator of the law.  It has been common knowledge that whiskey could be secured there by paying the price.  Numerous cases of drunkenness have been traced to whiskey secured at the Northern.”[xxvi] 

A few days later, Groesbeck pleaded guilty to “the charge of having whiskey in his possession.  He was fined $400 and court costs of $22.50 and to serve three months in the county jail.  The judge suspended the sentence if Groesbeck paid the fine and left town.

Groesbeck paid the fine and quickly left town.

But the district attorney, working quickly, forced a change in the suspended sentence and ordered Groesbeck arrest.  In the few hours  between paying the fine and the district attorney getting the jail time reinstated, Groesbeck left for Utah. [xxvii]

At the end of year Las Vegas newspapers were reporting on Groesbeck death in Salt Lake City.  He was 62.

When Groesbeck fled town early in 1920, and with both alcohol and gambling illegal, it was the Cullen Investment Company turn to begin looking for someone to take over the Northern.

Groesbeck, before he left town, told authorities he had leased the gaming operations to James Germain.

At that moment, January, 1920, Germain aka German had another job, the official Las Vegas Enumerator for the 1920 U.S. Census.

At the end of January, 1920, he interviewed the Stocker family and filled out the census forms for the five members of the family.   [xxviii]


The five Stockers were Oscar the father and his wife Mayme, and their three sons, Lester, Clarence and Harold.

Oscar listed his occupation as a “brakeman” with the railroad, which would be the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad, also known as the “Salt Lake Route.” [xxix]

When it came to Mayme “none” is listed under occupation. [xxx]   Under the 1920 Census guidelines given to German Rule 158 says, “in the case of a woman doing housework in her own home and having no other employment the entry should be “none.”

Both Clarence and Lester listed their “occupation” as “salesman” in a “cigar store.” [xxxi]

And, finally, Harold, like his father was employed at the rail yards.  He was listed as a “Machinist Helper.” [xxxii]

Before 1920 called it a day, the Stocker family would begin a nearly century long relationship with lot 27 of Block 3 of Las Vegas.

 Coming up, Chapter three.  The Stocker Era Begins.         ‘Three wild and crazy guys!” arrive in Las Vegas.

[i]  “City Board,” October 10, 1914, Las Vegas Age, Page two.

[ii] “Grand Jury Indicts Nine for Gambling,” June 10, 1916, Clark County Review, Pages one and three

[iii] “Grand Jury Indicts Nine for Gambling,” June 10, 1916, Clark County Review, Pages one and three

[iv] “Grand Jury Indicts Nine for Gambling,” June 10, 1916, Clark County Review, Pages one and three.

[v] Grand Jury Indicts Nine for Gambling,” June 10, 1916, Clark County Review, Pages one and three.

[vi] “First Gambling Case Results in Conviction,” September 30, 1916, Clark County Review, page one.

[vii] “First Gambling Case Results in Conviction,” September 30, 1916, Clark County Review, page one.

[viii] “First Gambling Case Results in Conviction,” September 30, 1916, Clark County Review, page one.

[ix] “Poker, Whist, Bridge Only Games Allowed in 1st Gambling Club,” May 16, 1948, Las Vegas Review-Journal & Age, Section B, Page four.

[x]  “Chattel Mortgage,” between Liddie Groesbeck, and Fred T. Van Derventer,” October 17, 1917, Clark County Recorder Office, Las Vegas, Nevada document 10829.

[xi]  “Chattel Mortgage,” between Liddie Groesbeck, and Fred T. Van Derventer,” October 17, 1917, Clark County Recorder Office, Las Vegas, Nevada document 10829.

[xii]  “Chattel Mortgage,” between Liddie Groesbeck, and Fred T. Van Derventer,” October 17, 1917, Clark County Recorder Office, Las Vegas, Nevada document 10829.

[xiii]  “Local Notes,” October 27, 1917, Las Vegas Age, page three

[xiv] “Groesbeck landed by Dist. Atty. Stebenne,” January 3, 1920, Las Vegas Age, Page 1.

[xv]  “Regular Meeting of City Commissioners,” January 5, 1918, Las Vegas Age, Page one.

[xvi]  “Local Notes,” May 18, 1918, Las Vegas Age, Page three.

[xvii] “The old west live, Las Vegas, A desert bloom,” 1930, Illustrated Daily News. Clipping, no page number.

[xviii] “Sheriff-elect gives notice and warning,” January, 1920, Las Vegas Age, Page 1.

[xix] “Sheriff-elect gives notice and warning,” January, 1920, Las Vegas Age, Page 1.

[xx] “The old west live, Las Vegas, A desert bloom,”  1930, Illustrated Daily News. Clipping, no page number.

[xxi] “Groesbeck landed by Dist. Atty. Stebenne,” January 3, 1920, Las Vegas Age, Page 1.

[xxii] “The ‘Northern’ In liquor raid,” January 3, 1920, Clark County Review, Page one.

[xxiii] “The ‘Northern’ In liquor raid,” January 3, 1920, Clark County Review, Page one.

[xxiv] “The ‘Northern’ In liquor raid,” January 3, 1920, Clark County Review, Page one.

[xxv] “The ‘Northern’ In liquor raid,” January 3, 1920, Clark County Review, Page one.

[xxvi] “Groesbeck Landed By District Atty. Stebenne,” January 3, 1920, Las Vegas Age, page one.

[xxvii] “Lon Groesbeck Flees From Jail Sentence,” January 10, 1920, Las Vegas Age, Page one.

[xxviii]  1920, United States Federal Census, Place, Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, Roll: T625_1004; Page 23A; Enumeration District:3 .

[xxix]  1920, United States Federal Census, Place, Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, Roll: T625_1004; Page 23A; Enumeration District:3 .

[xxx]  1920, United States Federal Census, Place, Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, Roll:T625_1004;Page 23A; Enumeration District:3 .

[xxxi]  1920, United States Federal Census, Place, Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, Roll:T625_1004;Page 23A; Enumeration District:3 .

[xxxii]  1920, United States Federal Census, Place, Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, Roll:T625_1004;Page 23A; Enumeration District:3 .