"Owl Club" screwdriver

Small green flathead screwdriver
Small green flathead screwdriver

I was fortunate to know my great-grandmother for much of my life.  She was a first generation Basque American settled in Battle Mountain, Nevada for most of her life.  Many decedents of Basque immigrants remain in that area of the country - rural Northern Nevada into Idaho.

I would visit her in her large white  house at the center of town, near the train tracks, many times a year.   I didn't understand at the time that it was one of the largest houses in town, a reflection of the life she and my great-grandfather had built running the The Owl Club and the grocery store.  Many Basque immigrants to Northern Nevada were sheepherders, and stemming from that, Basque lodging establishments were a central part of the community.  

I remember the meals my great-grandfather would make at the Club and my great-grandmother's jazzercise classes.    I remember the way she would speak quickly and genially in Spanish to her neighbors and the way we would crowd the street in front of the Club for the 4th of July Parade.  After they sold the Club and moved to Reno to be with our family later in life, it still stayed a central place for us.  I have snapshots of memories and many pieces of memorabilia, like this little screwdriver which lives in my desk drawer.

The Owl Club and Motel is still operating today, under different owners, and it only occurred me recently to see if they had an online presence.  One review on Trip Advisor flashes back to the time my family owned it.  It says:  "The Owl is Still The Owl.  We have been coming to the Owl for over 30 years... It hasn’t changed much!"

Place(s): Battle Mountain, Nevada

– Ciera Iveson

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more