Lecture tells story of Gold Hill News resurrection

Lecture tells story of Gold Hill News resurrection

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Legends on the Comstock Lode have a way of coming back to life and that’s exactly what happened in the mid-1970s when the Gold Hill News was resurrected after a 92-year slumber.

The staff of the Gold Hill News in 1975 included: (seated) Rob Maximov and Jack Feliciano; (standing, from left) Dave Moore, Leanna McNeilly, Jan Maximov, Dan Murray and Barbara Herman; and (back row, from left) David Toll, Lila and Jimmy Crandall, Darlene Hickerson, Susan and Bill Germino. Provided by David Toll

The staff of the Gold Hill News in 1975 included: (seated) Rob Maximov and Jack Feliciano; (standing, from left) Dave Moore, Leanna McNeilly, Jan Maximov, Dan Murray and Barbara Herman; and (back row, from left) David Toll, Lila and Jimmy Crandall, Darlene Hickerson, Susan and Bill Germino. Provided by David Toll

In 1974, Virginia City newsman David Toll, whose family history in Gold Hill dates back to 1867, put together a talented and energetic staff and began publishing the Gold Hill News, which quickly established itself as the paper of record in Storey County.

The original Gold Hill Daily News had published from 1863 to 1882, with Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame journalists Alf Doten and Wells Drury reporting on daily life on the Comstock. But like many a newspaper in the boom-and-bust cycle of mining camps, the News faded with the silver boom.

Like its historic predecessor, Toll’s Gold Hill News was a bright flash in the journalistic pan of Nevada history. It’s a story he will share as part of the Frances Humphrey Lecture Series on Thursday, May 25 at the Nevada State Museum. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30.

Toll’s Gold Hill News operated from June 1974 until October 1978 and the staff took great pride in the slogans “Mark Twain Never Worked for This Newspaper!” (Twain worked at the nearby Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City) and “None Just As Good!” Printed weekly, the News was an award-winner and boasted an impressive circulation.

However, like the original Gold Hill News, financial woes set in. The News published a farewell edition on Nevada Day in 1978 with the words, “Hooray for our friends, to hell with our enemies, and we’ll see you in 92 years.”

Toll is a noted Nevada author and publisher. His books include “The Complete Nevada Traveler” and a biography of notorious Mustang Ranch owner Joe Conforte. He and his wife, Robin, operate nevadatravel.net, an online resource for visitors and travelers in the state.

The cost of the lecture is $8 for adults; free for museum members and children 17 and younger.

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