%> Nevada Riches: The Land and People of the Silver State
People & Life Ways
Riches, Ranching & Railroads


Establishing churches was an prominent part of community building in Nevada.  Churches marked progress for a town, and many people thought that churches were a mark of stability and permanence.  Of course, some towns disappeared from the map even if they had a church.  A variety of faiths were represented in Nevada communities; Virginia City had a number of Jewish residents, and by 1865 they had established two Jewish benevolent associations.  Other locations also supported Christian and non-Christian worship.  The churches pictured above provided a religious meeting place for people in Elko and in Wells.

St. Stephens church in Belmont was decorated with cedar and pine branches for a wedding in 1891.  A note on the back of the photograph indicates that the church was moved to Moapa.

Religious ceremonies are an important part of family and community life.  This was sometimes even more important in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  These Basque children from Elko had a formal portrait taken to mark their confirmation in the Catholic Church.

Photo Credits:
1: Nevada State Museum
2: Nevada State Museum
3: Northeast Nevada Museum