Time & Place

We are shaped in large part by when and where we live, and every combination of locale and era sets the stage for a new story. In this regular segment, professional historian Alicia Barber presents an engaging array of narratives and voices from the past, focusing on the rich and diverse heritage of Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. In the process, she brings historical perspective to our own time and place, shedding light on who we are as a community, how we got here, and where we might be headed.

Alicia Barber, PhD, is an award-winning writer whose work focuses on the built environment and cultural history of Nevada and the American West. Learn more about her here.

A black and white image of four showgirls on a stage.
Courtesy of Barbara Davis.

Decades before Nevada was known for its casinos, it was world famous for offering quick divorces. In this segment of Time & Place, historian Alicia Barber explains how the process worked for those who traveled to the Silver State to end their marriages.

A black and white photo of Frank Sinatra between two other women.
Courtesy Special Collections Department, UNR Libraries

Nevada’s casino industry is one of the most tightly regulated in the world, but it takes a lot of legislation and enforcement to keep it that way. In this segment of Time & Place, historian Alicia Barber describes one of the earliest challenges to the state’s strict gaming laws.

A black and white image of a hospital room with a nurse and a row of beds.
Courtesy U.S. Library of Congress

Every autumn, we brace ourselves for the onset of another flu season. In this segment of Time & Place, historian Alicia Barber takes us back one hundred years, when one of the biggest influenza pandemics in history had western Nevada in its grip.

men shaking hands
Courtesy of University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno.

If you have the feeling that election season is getting longer and longer, you’re not wrong. Even on the state level, political candidates often announce their intentions at least a year before Election Day. In this installment of “Time & Place”, historian Alicia Barber takes us back to a time when running for office required much smaller investments of time—and money.

Parade, music, crowd, Nevada
Nevada Historical Society

Nevada is one of only a handful of states to commemorate its statehood with an official holiday. Historian Alicia Barber explores the event at the heart of the annual celebration--the popular Nevada Day parade--in this segment of “Time & Place.”

A black and white image of a cellar, with hunks of meat hanging from the ceiling and a table with stacks of cheese.
Nevada Historical Society

The farm-to-table movement has been gaining in popularity, with restaurants throughout Northwestern Nevada promoting their locally sourced meats, produce, and other ingredients. In this segment of Time & Place, historian Alicia Barber takes us back to our region’s agricultural roots, when eating farm-to-table was just a part of everyday life.

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries.

The property surrounding Lake Tahoe is some of the most sought-after real estate in the region, but how that property is used has changed dramatically over time. Historian Alicia Barber tells the story of one family’s longtime association with Lake Tahoe in this segment of Time & Place.

Courtesy of the Nevada State Museum, Carson City.

Every school strives to give its students an education, but many have additional goals beyond just academics. In this segment of “Time & Place,” historian Alicia Barber discusses one type of government-run Nevada school created not just to give its students something, but also to take something away. 

Photo courtesy of UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The great American road trip is a cultural institution, with cars full of travelers touring the country every summer. But for some, it’s the car itself that’s the main attraction. Historian Alicia Barber explains in this segment of “Time & Place.” 

A black and white photo of a man sitting at a desk turned to his left, shaking the hand of a man standing. Seven other people stand behind the two men shaking hands, all formally dressed.
Courtesy of Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno

The federal Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, but for years before that, activists across the country were campaigning for equal rights in their own communities. Historian Alicia Barber takes us back to one important Reno campaign in this episode of “Time & Place.”