Nevada Historic Markers in Carson City: Observatory and Weather Station

Nevada Historical Marker 258
Observatory and Weather Station
100 North Stewart Street
Carson City

Nevada Historic Marker 258: Observatory and Weather Station in Carson City
Nevada Historic Marker 258: Observatory and Weather Station in Carson City

7 August 2008
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Charles W. Friend House, Observatory, and Weather Station

This is the site of the house and observatory of Nevada's first weatherman, astronomer, and seismologist, Charles William Friend. Born in Prussia in 1835, Friend immigrated by way of South America to California during the 1849 Gold Rush. In 1867, he moved from Folsom to Carson City where he set up his own jewelry and optical store.

Friend built Nevada's first observatory located northwest of his house and east of the Nevada State Capitol. Nevada's U.S. Senator William Stewart helped him obtain the use of a six-inch equatorial mount telescope and other instruments from the federal government.

Charles Friend also established Nevada's first weather service. In 1887, the Nevada Legislature passed authorization for a weather service station in Carson City. Friend became its director and created volunteer weather stations throughout the state. He compiled the data into reports that are still referenced today.

Charles W. Friend died in 1907. Since his death, the Association of Weather Services has recognized him as a pioneer in weather service west of the Rockies.

Nevada Historical Marker No. 258
State Historic Preservation Office, Nevada State Museum, the Bretzlaff Foundation,
Nevada State Library and Archives, the Carson City Preservation Coalition,
Buildings and Grounds

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