Reno Card Room

by Gene Trimble

Reno Card Room, Reno, Nevada, 1956.

The FAW chips were found by fellow club member Wayne Murphy. I noticed them scanned in one of his posts on 'The Chipboard'. Wayne mailed me a couple of the red 25 chips. I sent a scan to Dennis O’Neil at TR King. They came back as Frank Weaver, Reno Nevada, 1956. I did a phone number search in CA and Nevada for Frank Weaver. After calling and eliminating all possibilities, I was ready to give up. As an after thought, I emailed Larry Hollibaugh in Reno and asked him to check old phone books to see if Frank had a phone number in 1956. The answer was, YES.

Frank lived at 592 California Ave in 1956. Larry checked the Polk Criss Cross directory and found that Frank Allen Weaver was also listed as sole owner of Reno Card Room, 20 E. Commercial Row, Reno. The Reno Card Room is listed in Harvey Fuller’s, Index Of Nevada Gaming Establishments, March 3rd to March 31, 1956, poker only. I called Harvey. He said his information had come from the Washoe County Tax Commission records. I decided it was time for a trip to Reno.

Larry and I spent two days in Reno and Carson City looking to prove that Reno Card Room had a gambling license and had in fact, actually opened. Scanned are excerpts from the minutes of the Jan 25, 1956, NV Gaming Control Board meeting. Also (below) the Grand opening ad for Reno Card Room that appeared in the Nevada State Journal, (Reno daily newspaper) on March 2, 3, and 4, 1956 and a portion of the Polk criss cross directory, listing all business’s in the 1st block of E. Commercial Row in 1956. This entire block of business’s is now part of Harrah’s. Harrah’s has re-written the history of E. Commercial Row and Douglas Alley. A number of business’s on E, Commercial and Douglas Alley had common walk throughs. Reno Card Room was one of them. We also found a NSJ grand opening ad for Johnny’s Bar, March 6, 1956. We believe Reno Card Room, saved the expense of a liquor license by forming a partnership with Johnny’s Bar. Interesting that one of the owners of Johnny’s had the same last name as Weaver’s lawyer, that appeared with him before the NGCB, in Jan 1956. At the Prospectors Club in Harrah’s, I found an old timer that remembered Reno Card Room. He called some friends for me, but could not add any further information.

We were unable to find out why Reno Card Room was only opened for one month. At this point we feel, the idea of a card room only, just did not work, and Weaver went broke. There are no listings for Weaver in the Reno area for 1957.

76 sets of the Reno Card Room 5, 25, $1, and $5 chips were found. The yellow $5 is the chip with only 76 pieces.

The Reno yellow pages ad is from the phone book which came out in August 1956. We feel the RCR was already closed when the book came out. We feel this is one of the best documented Nevada obsolete chip finds to be offered in the hobby.


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