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Lake Mansion: Home to Reno's Founding Families

Patty Cafferata

December 2006 978-0-9746996-3-9


Lake Mansion owners played a significant role in Reno's history.  This story is told through mini-biographies of the prominent owners of the Lake Mansion and describes their important roles in Reno's history.  Learn about Ria and Jerome Marsh, Jane and Myron Lake, Tina and Carl Otto Herz, Viola and Olin Ward and Agueda and Felix Turrillas and what they contributed to the settlement of Reno.  The story includes descriptions of the construction and architecture of the building from 1876 to present day.  The book concludes with a description of how the Lake Mansion was saved from the wrecking ball.  Included in the book are 48 photographs and illustrations, and a map of the sites of the Lake Mansion.


The Lake Mansion was built for the Marsh family.  When wealthy rancher, land developer and entrepreneur (Washington Jerome) "Rome" Marsh and his wife Maria or "Ria" pronounced with a long i, as she preferred to be called, moved to the Truckee Meadows, they needed a house large enough to accommodate their children, Wilber, William, Charles, Laura, Mary Alice, Warren and Edna.


"Stories about the prominent Lake Mansion families provide insight into Reno's history." — Guy Rocha, Assistant Administrator, Nevada State Library & Archives.

"A subject that appeals, in language that reveals, and style that proceeds to the end." — Clara Turrillas Oroz, who grew up in the Lake Mansion.

"VSA arts at the Lake Mansion is thrilled to have this well-researched and interesting account of its families and the building's journey from 1876 to present. — Mary Ellen Horan, Executive Director of VSA arts at the Lake Mansion.

"A welcome contribution which adds enlivened meaning to the historic significance of the Lake Mansion."— Margaret Turrillas, who grew up in the Lake Mansion.

"Informative and easy to read story about some of Reno's important settlers." — Barbara Goff, Jane Lake's great-granddaughter.