YERINGTON — A ranch house that was disassembled in Virginia City and reconstructed in 1903 in the Mason Valley about 80 miles southeast of Reno has been added to the Nevada State Register of Historic Places.
James W. and Mary Ellis Wilson lived more than three decades until the 1940s in the Nordyke Ranch House they rebuilt south of Yerington near where the Walker River divides into its east and west branches.
Members of the Wilson family established ranching and mining operations there, served in the Nevada Legislature and helped develop the Walker River Irrigation District that turned the Mason Valley into an irrigated oasis in the high desert filled with alfalfa, potatoes and onions.
The Gardnerville Record-Courier reported that the Nevada Historic Preservation Office noted the home’s Italianate and Greek Revival architecture when it formally added the house to its list last week.
Historians say it’s a rare example of a house where documentation exists that establishes it as one of the “moving buildings” that sprang up in Nevada towns that expanded and shrank depending on mining busts and booms.
Wilson bought the house off a lot in Virginia City and had it shipped to Lyon County well after the last of the mining had peaked at the Comstock Lode.
The Wilsons sold the property to Alfrid Bohm, who continued to ranch at the site and made several additions to the home until he too moved on in 1950.
Tom and Judy Price of Yerington bought the home 16 years ago with plans to restore to its original condition. They said they think the Wilsons would approve of “the transformation of the house from a tired utilitarian ranch house, back to a house that reflects their status as early, influential settlers.”
Nordyke Ranch House joins 151 other resources throughout Nevada listed in the State Register of Historic Places.