By Jim Grant, Record-Courier, November 25, 2017
A journey with the intent to get to know her new home state turned into a historical and memorable experience for local artist and musician Nancy Raven.
“When I first moved here from California, I wanted to see more of the state,” Raven said. “A friend suggested that I take pictures of all the towns, but I wanted more of a focus. Then I read an article about how many post offices are closing and that became my focus, to visit and show the post offices throughout Nevada before they’re gone.”
Raven’s journey is documented in her new book “A Postal Journey: Discovering Nevada Through it’s Post Offices” with pictures, sketches, a song and a journal of her travels capturing a unique exploration of the state she and many call home.
Raven set out from Douglas County in 2010 in the comfort of her Chevy Van Camper and the company of her German shepherd, Sadie across Nevada in search of remaining post offices.
Raven mapped out where each post office was located starting with Gardnerville, Genoa, Zephyr Cove and Washoe before journeying further to Mountain City and Las Vegas.
“Usually you just have to look for the American Flag, that’s how you know where the post office is,” Raven said.
Raven said she covered at least 5,000 miles breaking the journey out into 17 different trips during a two-year period.
“I mapped out all the post offices and would cover as many as possible in one trip. If one on the map was a little further, I’d camp for a night or so and explore the town a little more,” she said.
Along the way she sketched, photographed and recorded what she saw and experienced.
“If there was a certain place someone suggested I see, I made a point to visit it, especially if I hadn’t been there before, like the new walkway along the Hoover Dam,” said Raven.
Many post offices had been rebuilt, but sometimes postmen knew where the old ones were and were eager to help.
“People got really excited about what I was doing and wanted to either help or travel with me.”
Raven photographed all the post offices she came across including the original buildings if possible.
“They all have something very unique about them,” Raven said. “I did like the small towns, the ones just out in the middle of nowhere. Meeting the people and just talking with them was fascinating. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
“A Postal Journey: Discovering Nevada Through its Post Offices,” can be purchased at Sundance Bookstore, 121 California Ave., Reno; Buy Nevada First, gift shop & Visitor Center, 4001 S. Virginia St., Reno; The Carson City Museum, 600 North Carson St., Carson City; GadZooks, 1492 Highway 395 No. 104, Gardnerville; and the Copeland Gallery, 1572 Highway 395 #A, Minden.
Also, an exhibit of Raven’s work can be viewed 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Copeland Gallery now through Jan.1.