Flick Ranch: Local Landmark Slated For Move Or Demolition By: Ed Pearce - Email
Updated: Wed 8:03 PM, Feb 25, 2015
By: Ed Pearce - Email
An historic ranch house which has a long history of public service is in the way of a flood control project and will be demolished if not moved.
Flick Ranch Project
RENO, NV - A big two-story building sits alongside the Truckee on East McCarran Boulevard.
It's a familiar building, one thousands pass every day. It's unlikely many know its full history.
The site itself dates back to the days before statehood, a working ranch on the Glendale townsite.
The building we see has been in its time, an historic ranch house, home to three of the area's prominent families, the first home of Manogue High School, a monastery and an adolescent substance abuse treatment center.
The building was, in the first half of the 20th century, the home of the Mapes, then the Flick and Kimlick families , all prominent in local affairs.
Then passing into the hands of the Catholic Church it became the area's first parochial high school.
Every corner holds memories for members of its first graduating classes, like retired attorney and former state Adjutant General Tony Clark, Manogue graduate, class of '55.
"I got a great education here," he says looking around. "The basics. Reading, writing and arithmetic." Mostly taught, he notes, by a faculty of nuns with a measure of discipline that prepared him well for his military career.
"I knew how to stand at attention," he jokes.
When the high school moved to new quarters, the ranch house became home to the Brothers of the Holy Rosary. Then until 2007, it was Sagewind or Bristlecone, where area youth struggling with substance abuse were treated.
It's empty now, vulnerable to break-ins by transients and metal thieves, but still, we're told, the original part of the building is structurally sound. The woodwork still shines under a layer of dust. The fireplace in the great room is still impressive. But it's in the way.
The land is now owned by the Truckee River Flood Management Authority, which plans to remove all structures and terrace the area, giving the river room to spread, taking the force out raging waters the next time the Truckee floods.
But some say there's too much to be lost here even if it means moving the building elsewhere.
"If it were a person we would give it lots of awards ," says Kelly Rigby of the Flick Ranch Project, a non-profit launched to save the original part of the building, "because it's given a lot to the community over seven decades in ways that have been very good for us."
She once worked here as a counselor in the treatment center. It wasn't until long after she left when she heard the building might be lost that she started researching and discovered its remarkable history. Now she's dedicated to saving it.
Clark agrees it's worth the effort. "I think it's got a lot of historical value. It could be used for public uses is what I'm thinking."
In fact, Rigby imagines the core of the building standing on undetermined property nearby as a cultural and historic center, hosting events and offices of other non-profits.
The move is possible, she says, and affordable ... in the neighborhood of $150,000. Renovation and updating the building will be costly, but she and others would argue, worth it.
"It's beautiful. It's unique and it's irreplaceable."
How much time she and others have is unknown. The flood control people have gotten approval of the project, but it hasn't been funded.
Meanwhile the ranch house itself is under consideration for a listing on the National Register of Historic Places and Kelly Rigby's group is raising money.
March 12th they will be holding a rally at the A an Art Gallery downtown across from the bowling stadium in conjunction with the Nevada's Big Give online effort to raise money for non-profits.
On February 25th, 2015 Flick Ranch Project was featured on KOLO 8 News Now. Feature story covered by Ed Pearce. Take a look.
Flick Ranch Project on KOLO 8 News Now