Charles W. Friend recognized by Carson history buffs

The battle is heating up between Carson City's east and west sides, yet turf wars are few as both are supported by the same gang of history buffs.

At just before 9 a.m. Saturday, groups of historians will mark their spots for watching the Nevada Day parade and head east to the 100 block of Stewart Street where the group will pay homage to the state's first weatherman and oldtime Carson City jeweler Charles W. Friend.

The gang of historians have developed a tour of east Carson City that rivals that of the Kit Carson Tour on the west side and is yet another reminder of those who came early to Nevada.

The dedication ceremony that will name the grass and lawn area east of the State Library & Archives the Charles W. Friend Park begins at 9 a.m.

Friend was the first weatherman in the state and built an observatory and weather station at his home.

Guy Rocha, the assistant administrator for the Nevada State Library & Archives, said Friend purchased his home at 406 E. King St. from one of Nevada's earliest Jewish leaders Rabbi Jacob Sheyer.

The Charles W. Friend Trail, with 26 sites of historic interest, begins at the Capitol and the map and tour booklet will be available at the Nevada State Museum and the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

Friend came to Carson in about 1875 and built his observatory that contained a 6-inch refracting telescope that he secured from the federal government with the help of U.S. Sen. William Stewart.

In a story told of Friend, Fred Dangberg, from Carson Valley, asked Friend if he needed to rush to get his hay in. Friend said a major storm was coming in a few days. Others were skeptical of Friend's prediction because it was the off season for storms, but Dangberg heeded his friend's warning and saved his crop.

Friend was born in Prussia in 1835, from there he came to California with his father stopping in Folsom. He moved to Carson in 1867 and opened a jewelry store across from the Capitol at 104. N. Carson St. where he sold diamonds, watches, cigars and pianos.

He was also an amateur astronomer and seismologist. He had a seismograph set up in the basement of the Capitol and recorded the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.


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