Oral Histories
    These Oral Histories are posted for your enjoyment, research and education. No reproduction rights are granted. For more information please contact the Beatty Museum Research Center. The Digital Collection represents a small portion of the Museums holdings.

Interview with Irving and Dorothy Crowell

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Remarks on the elder J. Irving Crowell; J.I.'s schooling; J. Irving's railroad accident forces J. I. to leave Stanford; J. I.'s memories of summers helping J. Irving at Chloride Cliff; early railroads. Working in Los Angeles; returning to Beatty to re-open the fluorspar mine. Dorothy and her mother visit Beatty; first impressions; the floods of 1969 and 1923; raising children in Beatty; health care; the three-day drive to Los Angeles; later travels. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Dolores "Dolly" Gillette

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The family ranch in the Grapevines, and gathering pine nuts there; Indians leave Beatty when the T&T departs. Work at Janda Ribbons; raising a family; views on the nuclear waste repository; putting children through college. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Claudia Reidhead

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Claudia's parents-their arrival and meeting in Nevada; Claudia's first memories of Beatty; Beatty as a close-knit community; various types of local entertainment; old-timers and characters in Beatty; A discussion of religion in Beatty; Beatty's brothels; prospecting in the hills around Beatty; early memories of Rhyolite and of Westmoreland. Memories of communications (radio, phones, newspapers); discussion of some social attitudes in Beatty; recalling Beatty school teachers; further recollections of old-time Rhyolite and Beatty and some of their citizens. Recollections of Carrara and of other area communities-Ash Meadows, Lathrop Wells, the Amargosa Valley, Springdale, Pioneer, Furnace Creek, Las Vegas, and Indian Springs. - 2009 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Robert A. Revert

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Early Beatty deputies; enforcing the law in southern Nye County; representing southern Nye County in the Assembly -getting a phone exchange and working for roads for the county; observations on today's law enforcement; law enforcement on the Test Site; Nye County's lawsuit with the Test Site. Work on the Test Site; how the Assembly operates; views on Bullfrog County; Esmeralda County; the Verdi Lumber Company -fire!; Albert and Henrietta Revert. Sidewinders in the bar!; law enforcement in Amargosa Valley; recollections of Sheriff Bill Thomas; the structure of Nye County offices; old-time Socialists in Nye County; observations on the Nevada State Legislature; water and St. Joe. - 1988 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Ted "Bombo" Cottonwood

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Early Indian workers on the railroad and at Scotty's Castle; the Indian community in Beatty; pine nuts and other foods; trapping birds and animals; school in Beatty; Sheriff John Vignolo; World War II. Working as a miner; the ribbon factory; foreman on the county roads. Memories of Wes Moreland in Rhyolite and others; camping under the trees in the summer. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Arthur Revert

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Parents' background; lumber companies in Verdi and Tonopah; the Depression; some Nevada politicians The Reverts move to Beatty; the Shirk Estate; Beatty water; mining; stores in Beatty. Service stations in the Beatty area; bootlegging during Prohibition; law enforcement; transportation; electric power. World War II and its effects on Beatty; Reno; and Tonopah; electric power; service stations. The Cottonwood family; electric power; service stations; banking; law enforcement; transportation; tourism; the Nevada Test Site. Low-level nuclear waste; the Beatty water supply; Beatty's future. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with James C. Weeks

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Homer Weeks and the Senator Stewart Mine; working mill tailings; the John Delfs Scholarship. The Lisle hardware store; the fire department then and now; the Beatty economy. Ethnic groups in Beatty; tourism; a trip up the road. The Spicer inquest; on up the road - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Jane Cottonwood

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Growing up in the east, then Los Angeles; moving to Nye County; meeting Bombo; waitressing in Beatty; holding horse shows and problems with getting ribbons and trophies; starting a business that grows and grows . . Rewards of the ribbon company; one of Beatty's largest employers; a loyal workforce; Beatty's future. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Jack and Maud-Kathrin Crowell

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Family beginnings; J.I. and J. Irving early on in area; growing up in mining. Schooldays in Beatty in 1930s; social life centered in the bars; Hotels and other buildings in Beatty. A professional miner; into the Navy and back to Beatty all in four years. Burro races; service clubs. Community service; the volunteer spirit and pride in one's community.Rural electrification changes life in Beatty; changes in water, sewer and telephone services. Town politics; the advent of the Citizens' Advisory Council; local economy. The Test Site; the Nye County suit to collect taxes from the Site; problems of nuclear waste disposal. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Grace Davies

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Early arrival in Beatty; marriage to Fred Davies; Beatty residents. More memories of early Beatty. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with James H. "Sam" Colvin

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Family background and early days in Colorado; moving to Nevada; working at the Gold Ace mine; building a mill; Carrara in 1933; milling at Gold Point. Mining in California, then Silver Peak; work with Ralph Lisle; a flash flood in the Panamints; shift foreman at Wells Cargo; wartime duty in the South Pacific; return to Beatty; mechanic work in Beatty, Hawthorne and Gabbs; beginning what is now U.S. Ecology; work on the Nevada 'Best Site; building a garage. Depression-area Beatty - restaurants, movies, dances; early tourism; the CCC work in Death Valley; burro races; more memories of the flash flood. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Phyllis Ishmael Bell

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George Ishmael's early days; living in Ash Meadows; the Ismael family; working in Death Valley and Beatty; life on the Post Ranch; dismantling Rhyolite; the China Ranch in Tecopa; marriage; Harry Gower; the Pahrump and Manse Ranches; Devore, California; the Dick Bell family in Smoky Valley. The Ishmaels - hard-working and strong; the Tonopah & Tidewater Ranch; World War II; burial in Beatty cemetary; a meteor in Ash Meadows; an odd accident; Grandfather Ishmael and Aunt Beulah. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Fred and Edith Brockman

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Gordon Bettles' parents; Edith is raised by her grandmother; Gordon and Billie live in Fernley and Reno, then move south; developing a home on the T&T. Gordon and Billie build a home on the Mecca Road and begin the Mecca Club; Billie completes the home after Gordon's death. The Brockmans move to Beatty; Frank discovers how Nevadans do business; building a motel. An ambulance for Beatty; the brothels in town; a beef roast goes awry; promoting Beatty with a burro; Gordon Bettles as a Mason; the Meander Inn. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Ralph F. and Chloe C. Lisle

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Early days in Fernley and at the Clay Camp at Ash Meadows. Early days in Beatty; the Lisle family trip from Fernley to Ash Meadows; some mimes in the Beatty area. Stories of Dad Fairbanks and Death Valley Scotty. Mining tungsten during World War II; service in the army; returning to Beatty after the war. Fourteen years as Nye County Commissioner; how the hardware store got started. The growth of service organizations in Beatty; Bert Lemons; movie theater; Beatty in the 1930s. Beatty as a supply point; Beatty is a caring town. - 1987 - Nye County Town History Project

Interview with Robert N. "Bobby" Revert

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Bobby’s beginnings and his grandfather’s history, from France to Beatty; the Reverts’ mercantile store and fuel business in Beatty; old-time miners in Beatty; how Bobby’s mother came to Nevada, and mining at Clarksdale and Yellow Gold; fur trapping; growing up in Beatty; the can-do attitude in Nevada. - 2009 - Nye County Town History Project
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