2010-2011 Our Story, Inc. Annual Report

Our Story, Inc
P. O. Box 34292 Reno, Nevada 89533
775 747-3007

“Busy Tellin It In 2010 – 2011”

Our Mission: To seek out, preserve and exhibit the heritage, culture, contributions and accomplishments of the unsung heroes in Northern Nevada.

Men Of Second Baptist Church, Reno Nevada 1980s

Welcome to our annual report of over a year “Tellin” the stories of the unsung history makers in Northern Nevada whose accomplishments continue to positively impact the community where they have lived and/or served.  However, there are many still unaware of these contributions and the price paid to make life better for all in Northern Nevada. Our Story, Inc. delights in uncovering these hidden treasures of history and encourages the public to learn more about the rich history of Northern Nevada.  We also urge the citizens of the Silver State to research and share the trials, tribulations, accomplishments and joys of their Nevadan ancestors. We encourage everyone to get busy telling it!

Table Of Content

Oral History

Jack Johnson

Website

Finances

Reno/Sparks Historic Sites Maps

Thank You

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Shayne Del Cohen and Jeanetta Scott

Our Story, Inc.  Busy Tellin It Through Oral History We were pleased to arrange and present two oral history sessions in 2010. It is often said that there are a thousand stories in the Naked City. Every house has a bag of untitled pictures, a box of papers stored under a bed or in the back of a closet, to say nothing of those with storage sheds out back, containing untold treasures. “Our Story, Inc” is all about the stories heretofore untold being brought out, dusted off and shared with the community. Our first oral history interview for the year was with Jeanetta Scott who moved to Reno, Nevada in 1946 as a little girl. She vividly recalled not being able to walk down the main street of Reno because of the color of her skin and having to live in a chicken coop that her mother manage to make into a cozy and presentable home because housing opportunities for blacks were scarce.  Her story has caused many like her to think back to their early years living in Northern Nevada and to consider sharing their experiences as well.

Our second oral history involved members of a Northern Nevada community who had to tenaciously pursue citizen privileges that neighboring communities enjoyed with little effort or thought, such as paved streets and sewage systems.  Blacks Springs, Nevada, was and continues to be an example of fortitude and pride.  Their stories of over coming in spite of injustice and making “a way out of no way” is an inspiration and lesson to history seekers of all ages. Their hard-earned community accomplishments are enjoyed by those who live in the community today and should not be forgotten. Our Story, Inc. believes that it is important to remember whose shoulders, and sometimes backs, we stand…. And that the shortest distance to peace between cultures is “Our Stories”.

 

One Of The Sessions During Our Story, Inc. Month Long Celebration Of The One Hundred Anniversary Of “The Fight Of The Century”

Our Story, Inc.  Busy Tellin It Through Remembering Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries and “The Fight Of The Century” On July 4, 1910, folks arrived from far and near to Reno, Nevada, to witness the fight of the century between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries. One hundred years later Our Story, Inc., through a project we called “At The Sound Of The Bell“ in collaboration with other local organizations, celebrated the accomplishment of Jack Johnson becoming the first African American Heavy Weight Champion of the Capital World. It was a month-long event that brought together boxing enthusiasts, authors, history seekers and relatives from all over the world. Hundreds came to learn more about and celebrate the one hundredth anniversary.  A portion of the month-long event took place at a historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopalian Church  in Reno, Nevada,  appropriate because the process for this church began the same year that the historic fight took place.  At this location Our Story, Inc. hosted panel discussions, art and artifacts exhibit, author lectures and book signings.  It was a educational and inspirational event for the Northern Nevada community. In commemoration of the event a rock monument and brass plague was dedicated at the intersect of Mayberry and Robin Hood Drive (Reno).  The monument was consecrated by the relatives of Jack Johnson.

 

Our Story, Inc.  Busy Tellin It Through Our Website Established in 2009 In 2010 we continued sharing historic information on our website by integrating twenty-one new unsung historic figures/events and twelve months of historic dates that have helped shape Northern Nevada as we know it today.  This has been a useful tool for students throughout the world, from elementary  to the college level.  For example “Our Story, Inc. received this email from a teacher in Maryland, “I wanted to let you know that I’ve been using your page: (http://ourstoryinc.org/history_links) for my students………….. I’m a teacher working on resource pages and your page had a lot of great stuff I could use.”  We have also received comments from site visitors that were reminded of past Northern Nevada events they personally witnessed and desired to contribute  their stories as members of the Great Basin Community.  One such person wrote, “My best friend………sent me this article about Hawthorne, Nevada. We met while stationed there in the early 70′s. While NAD was a naval base it was guarded by US Marines. Eanes and I have stories to tell about Hawthorne too, that is if you’re interested“.

 

Our Story, Inc. Displays Exhibit Valuable Northern Nevada Unsung History Information

Our Story, Inc.  Busy Tellin It Through Finances In order to help fulfill the accomplishments 2010, Our Story, Inc. received limited funding from private donations and grants of which all were used toward the storage of artifacts/display equipment, website/domain, board meetings and administration.

 

Our Story Inc Map of Forgotten Historic Sites in Reno Nevada

Our Story, Inc.  Busy Tellin It Through our Reno/Sparks Historic Sites Map We published a second edition map that highlights the seldom shared historic sites in the Reno/Sparks area such as the location of Jack Johnson’s training camp as he prepared for the “Fight of the Century” or the location of  “Beckwourth Pass” founded by Jim Beckwourth, an African American guide in the 1800s who route is used by thousands of  travelers today.  Our Story, Inc. Historic Sites Map has proven to be a wonderful visual aide and discussion starter for many.

 

Kenneth Dalton Founder and President Of Our Story, Inc At Nevada’s Capitol

Our Story, Inc. Busy Tellin It At the Nevada State Capital We annually exhibits artifacts, videos and printed material at the Legislature in Carson, Nevada one weekend in February. It is always rewarding to share the stories of the unsung in Northern Nevada with our community representatives.  It is also a great opportunity to show that Our Story, Inc. strives to be a positive influence to those who can play a big part in making these important moments in history a permanent part of all municipal venues, such as schools and libraries, in Northern Nevada.

 

Paul R. Williams, Architect Of Many Buildings In Reno Nevada Including The Lear Theater

Our Story, Inc. Busy Tellin In the first annual “ Etnic Reno Tour” In collaboration with the Reno Historic Preservation Society during the summer of 2011, Our Story, Inc. shared the location of some unsung historic sites, such as the Lear Theater located on 536 West First Street in Reno, which was designed by African American architect, Paul R. Williams in the 1950’s during a time of segregation and racial unrest  . Mr. Williams famously remarked upon the bitter irony of the fact that most of the homes he designed, and whose construction he oversaw, were on parcels whose deeds included segregation covenants barring blacks from purchasing them.

 

Our Story, Inc Displays With Help From a Volunteer

Thank You Our Story, Inc. would like to extend a heart felt thank you to all who contributed their time, finances, artifacts, stories, muscle, and encouragement as we pressed through 2010 – 2011.  Your contributions, large or small were and will always be greatly appreciated.

 

Our Story, Inc. Display

Taken It To Another Level Our Story, Inc is proud to be a vessel that shares the historic accomplishments of individuals seldom mentioned and rarely taught in public venues.  We will continue to strive to seek out, preserve and exhibit the heritage, culture, contributions and accomplishments of the unsung heroes in Northern Nevada by improving our internet presence, incorporating lesson plans for educators to utilize, sharing more unsung historic events, producing more unsung history videos and unveiling more oral history treasures.