NoeHill Travels in the American West: Nevada

Nevada Historic Markers in Washoe County: First Public Library

Nevada Historical Marker 247
First Public Library
South Virginia and Mill Streets

First Public Library

In 1895, Washoe County District Attorney Frank H. Norcross, later a Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court and a Federal Judge, began a drive to establish Nevada's first free public library in Reno. That year, he persuaded the Nevada Legislature to enact a law establishing Nevada's public libraries.

Nevada's first public library building was erected on this site in 1904 with $15,000 donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on land originally donated to the City of Reno by pioneer Myron C. Lake. It remained in service until 1930, when growth forced its relocation to the site where the Pioneer Theatre Auditorium now stands. The library was sold for $1 and demolished in 1931.

In 1966 the library was relocated to a new building at Center and Liberty Streets, three blocks south of this site.

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