The Barn
207 North Center Street
1941 - 1944

Mark Englebretson
Grade 4
The Barn
Photo from the Mark Englebretson Collection

In December 1940 the Barn officially opened, but gaming wasn't licensed until January 1941. The Barn was located at the site where the famous Northern Club, operated by Felix Turillas, Sr., had been in business in 1931.

Owners Jack Fugit and Walter Oswald completely remodeled the property in a rustic style. The club had a bar, gaming tables, pinball machines, and numerous other amusements.

In August 1941 Mike Micheletti, a well known Reno gambler, took over the gambling operation and featured all types of poker and pan games as well as the established pit games.

Late in 1941 Jack Fugit and Walter Oswald sold their interests in the Barn to George Hilliard. Hilliard soon sold his interest to Irving Cowan. By August 1942 the Barn was under the management of Larry Brady, Mike Micheletti, and Irving Cowan.

In November 1942 Larry Brady got into an altercation in the Bank Club, drew a gun and threatened to kill Harry Bond and Hugh Smithwick. Brady, who had recently sold his interest in the Barn, was given probation with the provision that he be out of Reno and in the Merchant Marines within 48 Hours. He was also ordered to never return to Reno.

Brady's troubles were not over. In April 1945, a few days before he was to have started serving a six year sentence in a California Prison for transporting narcotics, Brady committed suicide.

The Barn was sold in 1944 to Wilbur Clark(who later gained fame at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.) Clark renamed the Barn the Bonanza. The Bonanza had several owners before beginning the Frisco Club in 1951 and Harrah's Bingo in 1953.

The former location of the Barn is currently part of Harrah's main casino on the west side of Center Street, between 2nd Street and Douglas Alley.

According to Dwayne Kling