Tribal Historic Preservation Office; Former Field Matron's Cottage (1926)
The Field Matron's Cottage was built in 1926.
Backstory and Context
As stated above, the colony was established in 1917. The Indians who lived there were "non-reservation" and homeless, meaning that they did not live on reservations created by the federal government. Usually, these individuals lived on what they considered their traditional lands or on the edges of towns and cities as a result of being forced out of their original territories. Such was the case with the Paiute and Washoe Indians who lived in the colony.
Life in the colony was difficult. The land wasn't suitable for farming and, despite an irrigation ditch dug by the Bureau, drinking water had to be collected from a nearby spring. Additionally, the Indians' homes were generally poorly constructed with collected materials, and few had electricity. The federal government was very slow to provide funds for the colony, and at least one Indian agent held racist views of the Indians and as such was had little sympathy for them (ironically, however, it was during his tenure that the colony received the funds to build the Cottage in 1929, ten years after the money was first requested).
A matron worked at the Cottage until the late 1930s, at which point the Indian Health Service assumed control and assigned a public health nurse to served the community. Eventually, the Cottage housed Tribal Police Department for several years. The Tribal Historic Preservation Office moved into the building 2013. Given its long history with the local native community and its unique architecture, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
"Cultural Resources." Reno-Spark Indian Colony. Accessed August 27, 2019. http://www.rsic.org/rsic-services/planning/cultural-resources.
Harmon, Mella. "Field Matron's College." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. May 16, 2003. https://catalog.archives.gov/OpaAPI/media/63816793/content/electronic-records/rg-079/NPS_NV/03000416.pdf.
Harmon, Mella. "Field Matron's College, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony." Reno Historical. Accessed August 27, 2019. http://renohistorical.org/items/show/98.
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Field_Matron%27s_cottage_(Reno,_Nevada)