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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gardnerville in Douglas County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The French Hotel and Bar

1437 Highway 395

 

—Mixed Architectural Style —

 
The French Hotel and Bar Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 25, 2009
1. The French Hotel and Bar Marker
Inscription. Owned at one time by Baptiste Borda and later leased to the Mitcheo family. Raymond Borda, upon returning from World War II, owned and operated the hotel for many years. The French Hotel was one of the three main Basque hotels in Gardnerville during the 1930's.

In what is now the parking lot to the rear of this building, a pilota court stood with a large fronton, or wall. Pilota is a traditional Basque handball game. In the mid 1930's, teams from as far away as San Francisco would come to play in championship tournaments. The prize money of $1000 (1930's value) gives a clear indication of the caliber of play that was seen here.

In the upper left corner of the marker is seal of the city of Gardnerville, while in the lower right hand corner is the seal of the US Forest Service.
 
Erected 2004 by Town of Gardnerville.
 
Location. 38° 56.472′ N, 119° 44.943′ W. Marker is in Gardnerville, Nevada, in Douglas County. Marker is on U.S. 395 north of Eddy Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1437 Highway 395, Gardnerville NV 89410, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adaven Building (within shouting distance of this marker); East Fork Hotel Building
The French Hotel and Bar image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, May 25, 2009
2. The French Hotel and Bar
In Home Away From Home: A History of Basque Boardinghouses, Jeronima Echevarria lists the more than 60 Basque boardinghouses that were present in Nevada at one time or another, including the French Hotel. The boardinghouses were set up, for the most part, to provide room and board for the Basque shepherds that would periodically come into town, and were spread throughout Idaho and the northern part of Nevada.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Sharkey's Nugget (within shouting distance of this marker); J & T Basque Restaurant Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Gardnerville Branch Jail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Arendt Jensen Merchandise (about 300 feet away); Airtanker 130 Is Headed West (about 400 feet away); Record Courier Building (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Gardnerville.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted to the immediate right of the front door.
 
Also see . . .
1. French Bar. The Realdevildoll's photo of the French Bar's neon sign lit up at night. (Submitted on December 9, 2009.) 

2. Popularizing Basque Pelota. EusakalKazeta.com's article (11/10/09) on the popularization of pelota in the US, including the possibility of building a pelota court in Gardnerville. (Submitted on December 10, 2009.) 

3. Mary Micheo Abbot. The University of Nevada Reno's Basque Oral History Project Interview Page for Mary Micheo Abbot, whose
The French Hotel and Bar Neon Sign image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, September 15, 2012
3. The French Hotel and Bar Neon Sign
parents (mentioned on the marker) ran the hotel for a number of years: "In this interview Mary shares her memories of growing up in a Basque hotel in the days when the boarders were mainly sheepherders who became family friends. She speaks also of her childhood friendships with the children from the other Basque hotels and some of their activities. Mary recounts the transition of the Gardnerville Basque boarding houses to restaurants and remembers some changes in menu items and prices over the years." (Submitted on December 10, 2009.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 945 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   3. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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