Sunday, June 22, 2008

Unusual Nevada Newspaper Names

Eureka Sentinel Building

More than 800 newspapers have been published in Nevada since the mid-19th century. Most have sported traditional names—like Lahontan Valley News or Las Vegas Review-Journal—but a few have had decidedly more colorful monikers.

The following, taken from the classic book, “The Newspapers of Nevada,” by Richard E. Lingenfelter and Karen Rix Gash, are perhaps the most bizarre newspaper names ever to grace the printed page. Perhaps with good reason, none are still published.

1. Spark of Genius: The modestly named Spark was a monthly, eight-column newspaper published in Austin in 1879. It was the brainchild of Vienna Dollarhide, a local schoolteacher, and its stated goal was to inspire the "literary genius of the youthful climbers of the ladder of learning." The ladder may have been too steep for her readers, however, since the paper folded after only a few issues.

2. Measure For Measure: This Battle Mountain weekly, started on November 23, 1874, derived its nomenclature from a Shakespearean play of the same name. Erudite publisher-editor William J. Forbes attempted to be original when naming his publications; his previous papers were the New Endowment (in Salt Lake City) and the Trespass (in Virginia City). Measure For Measure tried to measure up to its readers’ expectations until Forbes' death in 1875.

3. True Fissure: With a name reflecting its mining-town roots, Candelaria's True Fissure started on June 5, 1880, as a Republican weekly. It served the role well, helping owner-editor John Dormer get elected Nevada's secretary of state in 1882 and reelected four years later. By then, Candelaria was in decline, and the paper folded on December 4, 1886.

4. The Cupel: The Cupel took its name from the cup used by an assayer. This daily was published for four months in 1874. Unlike most of the state's defunct papers, which died for economic reasons, the Cupel's demise was due to an act of nature. On July 24, a flash flood swept through Eureka, destroying or wrecking 30 buildings, including The Cupel's offices. While Editor William Taylor survived the disaster, reporter Roger Robinette drowned, as did 15 others. The rival Eureka Sentinel (offices pictured above), however, survived and lasted for another century.

5. Co-operative Colonist: This newspaper was founded to promote a socialist utopian colony being developed at Nevada City, four miles east of Fallon. Published sporadically from March 1916 to September 1918, the Co-operative Colonist was first edited by C.V. Eggleston, one of the colony's boosters, and later by R.E. Bray after Eggleston was ejected from the colony for being more interested in personal profit than communalism. The paper folded when the colony disintegrated in 1918.

6. Las Vegas Hangover: A case where the name says it all. The Hangover was a Las Vegas-based weekly entertainment magazine published from January 1946 to February 1946. Publisher Harriet Merry claimed circulation in 11 Western states, but that was apparently not enough to prevent the Hangover from "passing out" of existence.

7. Potosi Nix Cum Rouscht: Nevada's strangest named newspaper, the Nix Cum Rouscht, was a handwritten manuscript sheet, published in February 1861 in the Southern Nevada mining camp of Potosi by the town's founder, J.E. Stevens. The paper lasted only one issue—possibly due to writer's cramp or because no one could pronounce its name or knew what it meant.

8. Rochester Paycrack: Another newspaper named for a mining term (a "paycrack" is a rich vein of ore), the Paycrack was published for less than a year in the mining camp of Rochester (100 miles east of Reno). The paper was owned and edited by Joe T. Camp, described as "one of the last of Nevada true tramp printers" by Lingenfelter and Gash. Camp, who carried his press with him from town to town, started no less than seven newspapers in Nevada between 1910 and 1920. None lasted longer than two years.

9. Betty O'Neal Concentrator: The Concentrator commenced publishing on February 9, 1924, to serve the citizens of the mining camp of Betty O'Neal, located 14 miles south of Battle Mountain. Financially wobbly from the start, the Concentrator was first published by N.W. Cockrell and then was taken over by the paper's creditors. In its final days it boasted it was "the only newspaper edited and published by the citizens of any mining camp in the state." But even that didn't help it stay afloat; the Concentrator folded in mid-1925.

10. Aurora Borealis: The cleverly named Aurora Borealis, first appeared in the mining camp of Aurora on November 18, 1905. Published by the owners of the nearby Bodie Miner, the weekly Borealis was published for seven months, and then faded with the town's fortunes. The press used to print the Borealis ended up in Mina, where it was used until 1930 to produce the Western Nevada Miner.


MoJo_ofthedoomed said...

This is very interesting piece. "Las Vegas Hangover"? "Potosi Nix Cum Rouscht"? Oddest names for newspapers if I ever saw any.

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