Mayor Ken Tedford Jr. vaguely remembers the first years of the Lariat Motel, which once stood where today’s Maverick serves customers.
It was altogether fitting that the city’s top elected official turned on the switch Thursday to light the neon signs of the motel to signal the beginning of Fallon’s events to honor Nevada’s year-long celebration of its sesquicentennial.
Ray and Dee Dee Ferguson donated the sign to the Churchill Arts Council in 2005. The sign was perched on two poles at the Arts Council where the re-lighting ceremony occurred.
“The 150th celebrations starts right now and also on Nevada’s real birthday,” said Tedford, who described himself as a traditionalist for honoring the state’s birthday on the official day. “This sign is iconic. People who traveled through Fallon would remember the sign and the rope that the cowboy lassoed around the motel sign.”
Valerie Serpa, executive director of the Arts Council, said when the motel and its land were sold, she said the Fergusons wanted to ensure the sign did not go away. Volunteers placed the sign on a truck and hauled it to one of the hangars at the Fallon Municipal Airport for storage. Over the years, Serpa said it cost $16,000 to restore the sign.
“It has the original neon,” Serpa said minutes after the re-lighting. “It is really unusual for a sign to have the original tubing.” Read more...