NHS Changing Gallery

Nevada Families in Focus Exhibition

April 1, 2017 – March 13, 2018
Reception – Saturday, April 1st, 2017 – 4:00-7:00 pm.

Two of Nevada’s pioneer families – the Currys of Carson City and the Mayers of Elko County – are the subject of the first in a new exhibition series at the Nevada Historical Society.

Nevada Families in Focus will debut with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on April 1 with “The Currys and the Mayers.” The reception is free to NHS members and $5 for non-members. Admission is free for children 17 and younger.

The exhibit includes photographs, documents and artifacts, which combine to tell the stories of these families, how they came to settle in Western and Eastern Nevada and their contributions to the development of the state.

The Mayer family moved to Fort Halleck, Elko County, in the early 1870s from Missouri. Once the fort was abandoned in the mid-1880s, the family moved to the town of Elko where Charles Mayer operated the Depot Hotel and Mayer Hotel.

Abe Curry is often referred to as the father of Carson City for his role in the city’s development and growth from its founding in 1858 to his death in 1873.

The exhibit follows the two families around the mid-19th century, and uses their photographs and artifacts to show who they were, how they came to Nevada, and what they did once they arrived. Photographs are a key component of the exhibit, as the photos within the collections allow us to see the not only the growth of the two families, but also the growth of early photographic processes from daguerreotypes to the more familiar paper-based prints.

The Nevada Families in Focus Series will alternate between families from Nevada’s past and present to examine how these families help shape our sense of individuality, community and cultural heritage.


Portrait of Charles Curry, son of Abe Curry; San Francisco, Calif., circa 1860.
Nevada Historical Society.