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[graphic] Three Historic Nevada Cities Carson City, Reno, Virginia City A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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[photo] Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Locomotive House and Machine Shop, next to the depot
Photo by Charles Miller, courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Nevada-California-Oregon (NCO) Railroad was the 20th century's longest narrow gauge railway, although only 25 miles of it were in Nevada. In May of 1889, a major fire destroyed a large section of Reno, including the NCO's holdings. Construction of the NCO locomotive house was undertaken quickly, completed in September of 1889. The building was the second locomotive house to be built in Nevada and is now the oldest remaining engine house in the state. It is a one-story rectangular brick building, with a gable roof that originally contained four skylights. In 1901, the locomotive house was divided so that a portion of the building could be used as a machine shop. A small brick addition was constructed in the 1940s.

[photo] Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot
Photo by Charles Miller, Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office

The NCO Railway Depot was built in 1910 by the Burke Brothers and designed by Frederic DeLongchamps. The two-story red brick building cost $35,000 to build and reflects the eclecticism that early 20th-century architects often employed, incorporating a variety of design features. The depot combines Italianate bracketed cornices, Mission style facade elements, Roman arches and red Spanish roof tiles. The most striking feature of the depot is the extensive use of concrete in its construction, including the quoins at all exterior corners, window sills, and accents on the curvilinear gable and molding of the front entrance. The peak years of the railroad were from 1906 to 1912, and it was during this period of prosperity that the depot was built. By 1914, however, the railroad took a downward swing, and by 1917, NCO was forced to sell 64 miles of the main line and all of its Nevada holdings to the Western Pacific Railroad. In 1918, the last NCO narrow gauge train pulled out of this depot. From 1917 to 1937, the depot served as a Western Pacific passenger and freight depot, and from 1937 to 1975 it served as offices for the railroad. In 1975 it was sold to a liquor distributor.


The Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad Depot/Locomotive House and Machine Shop are located at 325 and 401 East Fourth St. in Reno. The depot was renovated and is now a craft brewery and distillery. Visit their website for more information.

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