Land of the Buckaroo: Historic Ranches of Western Nevada

9780930083489: Land of the Buckaroo: Historic Ranches of Western Nevada

"Land of the Buckaroo" is an exciting history of the first ranches to be established in western Nevada and how they contributed to the economic success of the Silver State's booming silver mines and the transcontinental railroad that linked Reno with San Francisco and Chicago. Particular focus is on the Mormon settlements in Carson Valley, later taken over by farmers from Northern Europe, and on the early ranches in the valley where Reno and Sparks would eventually be found. Several ranches are portrayed in detail, illustrated by family photographs from the late 19th century. A special section on the contributions of Italian immigrants includes their treatment during World War II and how they sharecropped the fields of the Truckee Meadows, turning abandoned fields into productive acres of vegetables and fruit. Prominent Italians of the 20th century are highlighted. The Prologue adds the origin of cattle -- from the mighty aurochs in prehistoric Europe -- and the American cowboy, whose predecessor was the Mexican vaquero. One chapter is devoted to the Goldlen Era of ranching and farming in western Nevada, explaining the importance of alfalfa -- the "miracle plant" -- to the arid conditions of the American West. Various types of planting and harvesting machinery are depicted. The Epilogue sums up the current status of ranching and farming in western Nevada, where concrete and asphalt now cover many of the once-green fields of the valleys at the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada.

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