Teri’s Notebook: The birds that shape our lives

You guys, my column is going to the birds.

I was taking a walk through west Carson City this week and came upon the historic Eagle Station. Of course we all know Carson Valley is south of us and that we actually live in Eagle Valley. But I never knew why this was called Eagle Valley.

Do you? It turns out not many people do.

According to the plaque — and verified in former Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha’s Myth 24 — the valley got its name from the station on the corner of what’s now Fifth and Thompson streets.

The station was the first structure built by white settlers. It was a log cabin built by four men in Nov., 1851.

They killed an eagle and had it stuffed and mounted, which led settlers and emigrants passing through to California to refer to it as Eagle Station. In the same vein, the surrounding area became known as Eagle Valley.

Pioneers here farmed and traded with others passing through. In 1858, a city was formed at the behest of Abraham Curry, F.M. Proctor, B.F. Green and J.J. Musser.

Back then it was bounded by the streets now know as King, Minnesota, Washington and Stewart.

The community was named for the nearby Carson River, which was named by explorer John C. Fremont in honor of his principal scout, Kit Carson.

I wouldn’t consider myself a history buff, but this was a fun tidbit to stumble upon, and really tied up Carson City’s early history.


In other, not-so-good bird news, former Nevada Appeal reporter F.T. Norton was struck by a kamikaze bird while driving from her home in Wilmington, N.C., to Fayetteville.

She had her window partially rolled down to flick her cigarette as she drove. Out of nowhere, she said, she heard a loud bang and felt something strike her in the side of the head.

Stunned, she had no idea what happened. Until she noticed the feathers floating down around her.

“I just hit a bird,” she said to herself.

On her Facebook page she wrote,:

“I sat frozen for a moment and took inventory. There was blood on my shoulder and blood on my upper left chest. There were feathers and blood stuck to the window frame. With every movement I made, little tufts of feathers would float up.

“Fortunately, the window was intact.

“I hopped out and sheepishly looked into the car. There on the driver’s seat was (the dead) bird.

“If I didn’t have a long shirt on, it would have fallen into my pants.”

She ended up having to change her blood-and-gut-splattered shirt on the side of the road.

But I don’t think she thought to have it stuffed and mounted. Which is too bad. You never know what might change the course of history.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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