Charles W. Friend House, Observatory & Weather Station
Photo courtesy of Carleen Clark
This is the site of the house and observatory of Nevada’s first weatherman, astronomer, and seismologist, Charles William Friend. Born in Prussia in 1835, Friend immigrated by way of South America to California during the 1849 Gold Rush. In 1867, he moved from Folsom to Carson City where he set up his own jewelery and optical store.
Friend built Nevada’s first observatory located southwest of his house and east of the Nevada State Capitol. Nevada’s U.S. Senator William Stewart helped him obtain the use of a six-inch equatorial mount telescope and other instruments from the federal government.
Charles Friend also established Nevada’s first weather service. In 1887, the Nevada Legislature passed authorization for a weather service station in Carson City. Friend became its director and created volunteer weather stations throughout the state. He compiled the data into reports that are still referenced today.
Charles W. Friend died in 1907. Since his death, the Association of Weather Services has recognized him as a pioneer in weather service west of the Rockies.
STATE HISTORIC MARKER No. 258
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE, NEVADA STATE MUSEUM, THE BRETZLAFF FOUNDATION,
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