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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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April 24, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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April 24, 1997
 

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e Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, April 24, 1997 19 Gazette on the street... What is your cure for spring fever? England % Pahrump LES WENHAM -- Civil DOUGLAS MILLER -- Site engineer -- "Sunshine and fresh supervisor--"Fishing." air." "Where its warm" DAN CROFTS -- "Construction -- "I just stay where its spring all the time." Pahrump CANDY CAMERON-Food service -- "Go riding on my motorcycle." MINI PATHRIA - Physician - "I don't think it's curable." Compiled by  staff photographcrs i i i 482-301 6 No to Abuse 751 - 111 8 Tonopah 24 Hr. Crisis Line Pahrump Nevada-then and now Rain Dance Deluge by Phillip 1. Earl Nevada Historical Society he summer of 1931 was as dry as any in recent memory. Water from Lake Tahoe pumped into the Truckee River was supplemented from Independence Lake and Donner Lake, but there was little for either domestic use or irrigation by the time the flow reached the Truckee Mead- ows. In other sections of the state, ranchers were drilliug wells, di- verting streams and etherwise do- ing whatever they could to save their crops and cattle Many joked about hiring the local Native Americans to put on a rain dance, but only the Shoshone of central Nevada took them seriously There had been little work for them that summer and they were as concerned as their employers. According to newspaper sources, Shoshone leaders were planning on staging a fandango near Austin in August while choosing a new captain to re- place the recently deceased Joe Gilbert. An elderly tribal mem- ber, Wagon Jack, suggested that Oscar Mike, to keep order. That weekend, the to Marshal Canyon where they set up tents Indians began to migrate south for families and prepared the ground for dancing. Over the week, they feasted on wild game, held political meetings and danced. Many residents of Austin drove out each evening to watch and take part and a local rancher, James Hayden, promised tribal leaders a whole beef if they brought rain. On Wednesday, August 19, the skies clouded over and the rain began coming down in tor- rents, washing out sections of rural roads and parts of the Lin- coln Highway, flooding homes and businesses in Austin and iso- lating J'anches across a wide area, but also filling reservoirs, run- ning creeks and raising the water table for wells. The storm con- tinued intermittently for four days, slacking off on Monday, August 24. As road crews labored to repair the Lincoln Highway at Hickison Summit and they devote some time to a rain dance. Younger tribal members were skeptical about the powers of such ancient rites, but the old man persisted "We can try it," he was quoted as saying and pointed out that dancing to encourage rain had worked before. Shoshone from Smokey Valley, Monitor Valley, Reese River Valley, Elko, Ely, Round Mountain and Fallon began showing up in Austin on August 14. Sheriff James F. Moore deputized two local tribal members, Frank Sam and i II IIII ranchers dug out, the Indians were taking full credit. Bronco Jim, the newly elected leader, promised deep snow the next winter. Editor Doug Tandy of the Reese River Reveille was also congratulatory, although his press was swamped for two days. On the other hand younger tribal members expressed their doubts. Wagon Jack was happy anyway, and said he looked forward to dining on Jim Hayden's beef.