One of the best things about Eureka, Nevada, and what sets it apart from the other towns in rural Nevada, is that it’s no “ghost town.” The Eureka, Nevada Historical Society want residents and tourists to have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with some of the oldest Nevada buildings; a great way to do this is to develop a self-guiding tour around town. Folks can pick-up a guide at any of the main businesses to tour through the original structures of the town.
Due to multiple natural disasters, including both fires and earthquakes, many of the buildings have been rebuilt and/or reconstructed…possibly more than once! The sites on the tour map are privately owned and most are still in use. All three properties considered part of the Owl Club Bar & Steakhouse are on the self-guiding tour: Numbers 21, 25 and 26.
Number 21 is the Foley-Rickard-Johnson-Remington Building located just east of the Owl Club front doors. This is the site of Eureka’s first adobe house, then a two-story brick structure in 1879 built by M. D. Foley and Richard Rickard. For the late 1800’s, this structure was occupied by many small businesses and offices-the Remington, Johnson and Company hardware store, a bookstore, stationery store, and the Masonic and Odd Fellow’s Hall just to name a few. Although the second story of the building was demolished in 1983, the original iron columns still remain. The site is vacant as a main street storefront.
Number 25 was originally a two-story structure as well, and is what customers know today as the Owl Club Bar & Steakhouse. The C. P. Brewery was downstairs and the Palace Saloon above, but destroyed in the 1880 fire. The one story structure that replaced the original building has been owned by the Carrion family since 1981. In 2001, Ron Carrion purchased and combined Numbers 25 & 26, the business next door known as the Nevada Club.
The Nevada Club was also a popular saloon called the Tiger Saloon, and fought a good fight to stay in business. The building burned down twice in the same year, being re-built in just 13 days in between, and was destroyed yet again. A new structure was built in 1930, and the saloon and dance hall was owned by Pete Laborde during the 40’s & 50’s. The two buildings now share a horseshoe wrap-around style bar which gives the Owl Club Bar & Steakhouse over 10,000 square feet.
As an interesting side note, the Carrion family resided in Eureka, Nevada in one of the tour map buildings, too. Number 19, the Ryland Building, sits on the same block as the Owl Club. Amongst the other original structures, it burned down in 1880 and the second structure has been used as apartments, offices, and a restaurant. The Carrion’s own the private residence and considered it home for over 30 years.
These are only 4 of 47 spots on the self-guiding tour in Eureka. The best part about this adventure is that most buildings, most everywhere in Eureka, is within walking distance. It’s a great way to see the town and catch up on some exciting Nevada history. Without a doubt, the locals can tell you some good stories to add to your tour. Check out http://www.rainesmarket.com/eureka_selfguiding_tour.htm for more information on the complete self-guiding tour.
With unique natural resources and beautiful scenery, Eureka has been the host to some rare events over the years. We stumbled across some pictures of an event held in the late ’90’s that Ron was always very enthusiastic about. Even though Eureka only hosted it for 3 years, the Louis Gibellini Single-Jack Mining Competition made a lasting impression.
If you’ve never heard of a mining competition, it’s worth a lookup. While the contestants are usually rather serious about their entry, it’s a fun-loving and exciting spectators’ event. Some events can take some time to get through, but it’s still fascinating and diverse. Some contestants enter the Ore Mucking, Single-Jack, Jackleg, or Swede Saw. All money collected went to the winners. Louis Gibellini was known for his single jack skill, which is why his daughter Janelle pushed for a way to honor her then recently passed father.
Even though Eureka hasn’t made the Mining Competition an annual event since 1998, you can still lookup some national-level competitions as well as collegiate matches. Hopefully in the next few years, the community can rally for a return and get the competition up and running once again. It’s a great way for Eureka to front its mining history and bring people together in the great outdoors.
The summer is jam-packed full of events for the small town of Eureka, Nevada. Every month presents an annual get-together of some sort, which brings people from all over to celebrate. August 1st represents the coming of the Eureka County Fair next week, ending with the 4th Annual Ron Carrion Memorial Mud Volleyball Tournament on August 11th.
Starting out as somewhat of an idea, the Mud Volleyball Tournament has progressed into an all-out battle. There are now 2 courts with a double-elimination tournament setup. Just because it’s August doesn’t mean it’s nice weather in the high desert; but it’s nothing a few beers won’t solve. It’s a friendly rivalry between some of the greatest friends and family. It sits close to our hearts as any opportunity to celebrate the life of a great man is welcomed. Ron Carrion loved a good party and any excuse to get some people to come to town.
Rain or shine, the Fair and Mud Volleyball Tournament continue. Visit http://www.co.eureka.nv.us/fair.htm for a list of events this year at the Eureka County Fair.
Thank you for visiting the Owl Club Bar and Steakhouse’s website! Come here for information regarding events happening in the area, photos, and updates with our bar and restaurant. We stay pretty busy on the loneliest highway, so please visit as often as you’d like.