Chronicler: Mariana Goyenetche

Interviewer: Gretchen Holbert


0:00- 7:17 Her husband was French Basque. Her children aren't all that into the Basque movement. Mariana understands Basque, both French and Spanish. She never really wanted to go back to the Basque country, but her husband has gone back. About who went back, the Overland Hotel. About the handball court at the Overland, how busy hotels were in the town. Other hotels in town, about the herders who stayed with them.


Tape 2:

2:38-11:48 About whether her mother wanted to be in Basque country. Food talk. Where she buys her meat. How business is right now, talking about someone. About how business was during the last Basque festival, 61 boarders and only 14 Basques. More about her mother and father, and their trip to the Basque country. They hit an iceberg out at sea and were trapped there for over 20 days. Her father did some sheepherding, where her mother came to first (Elko). About the marriage. Her mother worked in the Overland for the Sabalas. Other businesses/people in Elko, where the Mariana and her siblings were born. The family were living on a ranch at the time. About the Spokane rooming house and who owned the Commercial Hotel then.


11:48 Ely, Nevada a small town even back then. When her father died (1930), they had built the Currie Hotel (1926). Mainly just had sheepherders in the winter, and also ran cattle for a living. Often the sheepherders would winter near Wendover. About how they brought products in, transferred sheep and wool. What the hotel looked like, dining room and general layout. Had dances there every Saturday night. Who played there, mostly young kids from the surrounding area. Card playing in the hotel, mother did most of the cooking in the hotel. Mariana helped with everything, washed all the sheets by hand in a tub. Often, they got all their provisions from Ely but grew all their own vegetables and raised pigs and cattle for slaughter. They made their own bacon. Pumped water from their own well, took baths in a galvanized tub. The whole hotel was lit with gaslights and they cooked with wood.


20:47- The family lived downstairs and the boarders stayed upstairs. Mariana's favorite room in the hotel was the kitchen, where the men played Mus. She moved out of the hotel when she got into high school and went to Ely. A few years after she left, her mother closed down the Currie. There was always somebody in the hotel regardless of the season. In town there were 2 hotels, a school and a store. The other hotel was Basque, the Poloma. About the Landa's, another family in Currie. Three girls from Currie came down to Ely to work around the same time (Mariana included). About some of the people in town, the girls all shared one place for two years in Ely. After that, her mother moved into town and bought the Spokane boarding house and Mariana moved in with her. About the food now vs. then, in the Spokane there were 12 rooms. A few of the boarders were sheepmen, but most were in construction or mining. The buildings in town, which ones were what businesses.


Side 2

0:00 Mariana got married in 1940, first business her husband was in was sheep. She lived on the ranch with her husband, and rode around on horseback. She was out on the ranch for three years (1942-1945), then came back to town and took over the Spokane rooming house. It burned down not many years after that, nobody was injured but lost everything. After the fire, she moved into the Commercial Hotel where her mother was. Helped her mother run the hotel and then went back into the sheep business. Describing the layout of the town, where some other places were. What the children did in the hotels. Bathing facilities in the Commercial then versus now. When she got back into the sheep business with her husband she stayed in town instead of moving out to the ranch.


11:56 The Uriarte's took over the Commercial after her mother. They were only in the sheep business again for a couple years, then they had a grocery store for 13 years. During that time, Mariana took correspondence courses and then she took over the Commercial Hotel when her mother died. Talking about her mother more, she died in 1961. How the hotel business has changed over time, what they charged boarders per month/per meal. She and her husband divorced in 1974, by then she had moved into the Commercial.


21:00 Who cooked for her, she tended bar and then hired a bartender. She had waitresses there, and dances after dinner. She always had special parties on occasions, and in '61 she charged 7.50/day for a room. About $90/month for boarders, for that they got lunch and dinner. Dinner was always served at 6pm, prices were raised gradually over time. After the 1970s she never had boarders anymore. She served lunch until the mid 80's and no longer has boarders. About her girls, what they did in the hotel and then got married. Where the meat, produce come from. Her menu during the Basque festival.