Reveille sounds again

Eric Moody

PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS

Since retiring as a Nevada Historical Society staffer, author Eric Moody has tried different projects to promote Nevada’s history, including publishing Nevada in the West magazine for eight years with historical community colleagues. Back in mid-20th century Nevada, residents would sometimes encounter copies of the Reese River Reveille, published in Austin, Nevada, and bearing the then-slogan “Nevada’s oldest continuously published newspaper.” Other than the Territorial Enterprise, it was probably Nevada’s best known frontier newspaper. But after 130 years, the Reveille finally folded. Recently, Austin residents were jolted to see the Reveille’s reappearance.

How did this come to pass?

The fact that we—Nevada in the West Publishing—are publishing the Reese River Reveille is sort of a fluke. About five years ago, Edward Slagle came to me to find out if I was interested in acquiring the trade name of the Reveille. So I acquired that. … And we had to do something to keep the trade name alive. So we came up with reviving the Reveille as a tourist-oriented publication, just twice a year now, maybe a little more often later on. Everybody in our company’s interested in Nevada history, and we hope that besides doing something of interest to us, that it benefits the community our there in Austin.

How long did the Reveille publish?

It was continuously from 1863, the first years in Austin, to 1993. It varied from daily to weekly some of that time, but it came out on a regular schedule.

What utility does putting it out twice a year serve other than keeping the trademark current?

Well, I have to admit that was our main concern. But it seems to be welcome in Austin, and, as I said, it’s a tourist publication. It’s got information on historic sites and buildings in each issue, stories about the town and the area. It’s available in motels—for guests coming in—and restaurants and shops around town. There is a book store in one of the shops, the Trading Post.

When you say it could go more frequent, what decides that?

We just have to see what the reception is. Obviously, people in Austin like it, but Austin is a very small place these days, and we have to see how it appeals to tourists coming through Austin or along that U.S. 50 corridor, if there is an interest. We could go to three to four times a year. I don’t realistically expect to see it more frequently than that.

How do you suppose it stayed going as long as it did? Austin has been a very small town for a very long time. How did it stay alive in the ’60s, for example?

Well, Austin was still a county seat. They lost the county seat in 1979—but up until that time, it was the seat of Lander County and with all of the government and legal notices and all of that, even though the population of Austin was quite small, being the county seat, the newspaper was able to survive.