Nevada Historic Markers in Washoe County: Bowers Mansion
Nevada Historical Marker 166
4005 Old US 395 South
17 March 2016
(Click Photos to Zoom)
Bowers Mansion recalls the wealth of the Comstock Bonanza. Lemuel S. "Sandy" & Eilley Orrum Bowers were probably the first millionaires produced by the famous find in Gold Canyon. As strangers, they had adjoining claims. After a rich vein was struck, they were soon married and had the mansion built.
Misfortune followed fortune and soon all was lost. The richness of their vein gave out, a new mill was destroyed, financiers balked, and then Sandy died in 1868. Maneuvering to make the property self sustaining, Eilley struggled on. Finally, in 1878, she lost the mansion by foreclosure to Myron C. Lake.
After that, the property had a succession of owners including Henry Ritter, who managed it as a popular resort from 1903 to 1946. Eilley Orrum Bowers died in poverty and unwittingly, she and Sandy left a legacy to Nevada.
State Historic Landmark No. 166
State Historic Preservation Office
Bowers Mansion Restoration Committee
The Bowers Mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
When we photographed the property in March 2016, it was owned and operated by the Washoe County Parks Department.