By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (May 9, 2022) – In Issue 2022-082 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we learn about a different kind of little town blues.


Reno, Nevada was founded on May 9, 1868, when town lots were auctioned off starting at 3pm.

The town had been laid out in anticipation of serving as the western Nevada station for the Central Pacific Railroad.  The site was to be the place where stage and freight wagons going to and from Virginia City would begin or complete the trip to California.

Seventy lots were sold that day, ranging in price from $500 to $1000.  More land went up for sale the next day.

A week later the town had a post office, and by the 4th of July a newspaper was coming hot off the press.

Although the town never lived up to the prediction of being the largest city between “San Francisco and the Missouri River”, Reno still lays claim to “the biggest little city on the map.”

Here is Capples’s humorous pictorial map of Reno from 1935, which was four years after both gambling and divorce became legal.

Map of Reno from 1935 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.