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Capitol tree planting ends Nevada’s 150th anniversary celebration

CARSON CITY — Nevada’s 150th anniversary came to a ceremonial close Tuesday in Carson City with the dedication of a tree on the Capitol grounds and the awarding of memorabilia from a yearlong series of events to state museums.

Gov. Brian Sandoval held his 1845, first edition copy of explorer John C. Fremont’s journal as he helped dedicate the incense cedar tree outside the Capitol with several dozen people looking on and a herd of deer lounging on the grass. Incense cedar was first documented by Fremont in his western journeys, and bark from the tree was used by the Washoe Tribe to build winter shelter.

The trees can live for 500 years, and Sandoval quipped the latest edition to the statehouse complex will be towering when Nevada celebrates its quincentennial in 2364. The trees grow to a height of 130 to 200 feet, with a 10-foot diameter.

“Truly this was a remarkable celebration that we will remember forever,” Sandoval said.

Nevada will be celebrating its 151st year of statehood this weekend.

Nevada became a state on Oct. 31, 1864. To mark its 150th milestone, Sandoval established a commission, which organized 500 events held around the state for a full year, beginning in 2013.

After the tree ceremony, the governor, members of the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission and the public convened in the Old Assembly Chambers on the second floor of the Capitol to dedicate a permanent exhibit showcasing the celebration with memorabilia from the events.

A highlight was the “legacy saddle,” designed and hand-tooled at the J.M Capriola Co. in Elko. The saddle bears the “stamp” of legendary saddle maker G.S. Garcia, whose craftsmanship in saddle making won him first place at the 1904 World’s Fair. That saddle, adorned with silver, gold and diamonds, is housed at the Nevada State Museum.

Garcia’s granddaughter, Dee Dee Garcia White, allowed her grandfather’s stamp to be used on the intricate legacy saddle, which includes silver adornments and medallions, and the “Battle Born Nevada Proud” 150th logo.

Memorabilia from all the events will remain on temporary display in the Old Assembly Chambers before being moved to the old Senate Chambers, which has been renamed Battle Born Hall.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901. Find her on Twitter: @SandraChereb

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