Publication History:

Place of Publication:  On Southern Pacific Railroad near Reno

Frequency:  Irregular daily, “every week-day afternoon”

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.1, No. 1, Jan. 31, 1890-Feb.1890?

Size and Format:  Four pages; outside pages were printed in blue ink, inside pages were written in pencil; manila paper.

Editor/Publisher:  “S.P. Prisoner in Car No. 36, blockaded at Reno, Nevada,” aka George T. McCully

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Snowbound, as its names suggests, appeared after a blizzard blocked the pass routes through the Sierra Nevadas for 600 passengers aboard a Southern Pacific train.  According to Lingenfelter, passenger George T. McCully “sought to relieve the anxious weeks of waiting by printing a newspaper for his fellow passengers.”  Highton claims, however, that the printer of The Snowbound was unknown and that the paper printed before the train left Reno Jan. 30, although it was dated Jan. 31.

In any case, the first number of The Snowbound aspired to be “issued every week-day afternoon by S.P. Prisoner in Car No. 36, blockaded at Reno, Nevada” as “A Souvenir of the Sierra Nevada Blockade 1890.”  It was both printed and handwritten:  the outside pages were printed in blue ink; the inside pages were written in pencil.  It is not known if the paper continued after its first number.

“The Two Inside Pages”–contain the matter which appeared in original issue of “THE SNOWBOUND” published on manilla paper and written with lead pencil.  The outside pages were made up to complete a four page paper, which we take pleasure to issue, at the request of the passengers as a souvenir of the blockade.  in addition to regular copies, we present them with one “proof” copy on plate paper…. (p.4)

“The editor [thanks] the Reverend William Appel, messrs. L.W. Harmons, P.S. Heffleman, Ernest Block, H.K. Pratt and others who kindly assisted to make entertaining to those especially who were in the blockade, the columns of our little souvenir, “THE SNOWBOUND.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Phillip I. Earl, “Unique newspaper born of 1890 snow blockade in Reno,” Sparks Tribune, Nov. 30, 1983, p. 4; Jake Highton, Nevada Newspaper Days:  A History of Journalism in the Silver State (Stockton, Calif.:  Heritage West Books, 1990), pp. 97;  Richard E. Lingenfelter, The Newspapers of Nevada (San Francisco:  John Howell-Books, 1964), 72-73; Richard E. Lingenfelter and Karen R. Gash, The Newspapers of Nevada (Reno:  University of Nevada Press, 1984).  (p.4, col.2) in article “SP No.38”–“…N.J. Weaver correspondent of the New York Herald, has done his part towards enlightening the world, giving the Herald  three solid columns of our misery.”

Locations: Jan. 31, 1890:  CHi; CSmH; CU-B; NvHi