Author describes life at Nevada Orphan’s Home |

Author describes life at Nevada Orphan’s Home

Staff Reports

Author Bonnie Boice Nishikawa will speak on her book “The Nevada State Orphans/Children’s Home: My Life as a ‘Home” Kid’” at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park 10 a.m. Aug. 6.

Author Bonnie Boice Nishikawa will speak on her book "The Nevada State Orphans/Children's Home: My Life as a 'Home" Kid'" at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park 10 a.m. Sunday.

The Nevada State Orphans Home at Carson City was authorized in 1869 by the legislature with construction beginning the same year. The first child was admitted in October of 1870.

In 1903, the first building was replaced by a larger one, constructed of sandstone from the State Prison Quarry east of Carson City. In the 1940s, its name was changed to the Nevada State Children's Home and during the 1950s, the name Sunny Acres was also used. In 1963 the stone building was demolished and replaced with modern cottages. Until the building's demolition, it was widely considered a Carson City landmark.

This event is part of the park's Dangberg Summer Festival and is sponsored by Soaring NV, Douglas County, Carson Valley Accounting, Horsetales Magazine and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. Alpen Sierra Coffee Company will provide complimentary coffee and 88 Cups & More will provide baked treats.

Nishikawa, along with her brother and sister, were admitted to the Nevada State Orphans/Children's home in 1942 after the death of their mother and when their father was unable to care for them and work full time. Nishikawa was 5 years of age when she entered the home and lived there until graduating from high school in 1955 at the age of 18. After graduating from Reno Business College, she returned to Carson City and worked for the State of Nevada until her retirement in 1997.

In her book, Bonnie Boice Nishikawa shares many historic photographs, as well as memories of her childhood and the positive experiences she had growing up as a "Home kid."

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"This book tells a wonderful story about a part of Nevada's history, which few people are aware of. To hear a happy story from someone who grew up in an orphanage, is encouraging," said the park's events manager, Kim Harris.

The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. This is an outdoor event, and visitors should bring their own seating. Dogs are not permitted at this event. For more information, visit

Upcoming speakers include author David Antonucci who will speak on his book, Fairest Picture: Mark Twain at Lake Tahoe, on August 12 and author Melba J. Ray-Leal who will give a presentation on her book Women and the Pony Express, on Aug. 19. The park's full 2017 event schedule is available at the park's website.