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Discovery made in Taber Building
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Discovery made in Taber Building

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ELKO – Recent renovations upstairs at the Taber Building on Railroad Street have resulted in a surprising find. A man working on the building discovered a two-compartment “vault” beneath a layer of carpet and a layer of linoleum. The spaces were covered with a wooden patch and are roughly the length of a shotgun or rifle.

“Part of the reason to pull out the old floor was because there was a ‘patch’ in the wood floor,’” said building owner Catherine Wines. “I would guess at one time there was a handle on it that they could lift up.”

It makes me think that there was still a little bit of the “Wild West“ here, Wines said about the possible gun stash.

The compartments are located right at the top of the staircase leading from the front door.

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The Taber Building was built in 1919 by James Errol Livingston Taber, a local attorney who became the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court. The structure is older than its neighbor, the Henderson Bank Building.

The Taber Building housed The Palm saloon for many years. A section of brick wall at the back of the building hosts a legacy of patrons who painted their names and sayings for posterity.

After making the discovery and pondering over the possibilities of what was stored there, Wines still had to have the floor finished. She decided to make a little history of her own and filled the compartments with memorabilia from modern day Elko.

“Hopefully, I never see in that hole again, that it’s fixed for my lifetime,” Wines said. “The next person that decides to do something, maybe in a hundred years if somebody wants to replace that floor, I just thought it would be fun to put the newspaper, the museum “Quarterly” story about the building, a real estate guide, “Everything Elko,” and a directory of who is in the building and then some pictures and business cards. It will be like a little snapshot. The last time anybody looked in this space, it was the middle of September during the year of COVID.”

Wines had the metal siding removed from the building’s lower exterior earlier this year. In the time capsule she included a photo of the progress and a written explanation saying that lots of restoration happened this year because nothing much was going on due to COVID-19.

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