Arcadia Publisher launches Sparks, the newest book in the Images of America Series, written by Joyce M. Cox. Explore the history of Nevada’s railroad town in this book featuring historic photos of Sparks. Purchase a copy of the book, and get it signed by the author at this book launch event.
In the late 1800s, the area now known as Sparks was ranch and farm land. It was not until the early 1900s that Sparks would become the sixth-largest city in Nevada, almost overnight. E.H. Harriman moved the Salt Lake Division of the Southern Pacific Railroad from Wadsworth to swampland four miles east of Reno, and that area would become Sparks. The railroad was the largest and most reliable employer for 54 years, before leaving in 1957. Some railroad employees were transferred and reassigned to jobs outside of Sparks, but many chose to stay. Employment was found in Nevada’s thriving hospitality industry, including John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino. Sparks became a major distribution center for national companies like S.S. Kresge and Pacific Freeport, and many manufacturing companies opened after Nevada passed the right-to-work law in 1951. Sparks is now the fifth-largest city in Nevada.
Joyce M. Cox has lived in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County off and on since 1974. Cox, a research librarian, enjoys exploring Nevada history and is the author of Images of America: Washoe County. Photographs and historic images have been selected from the Sparks Heritage Foundation and Museum, the Nevada Historical Society, and several private collections.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.