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Stonewall Park Collection (MS-00501)

Abstract

The Stonewall Park Collection (1983-1987) documents the Stonewall Park project, an unrealized gay community in Nevada. Material includes news clippings and ephemera, as well as financial records and ancillary documents detailing bankruptcies and litigation associated with the Stonewall Park project. Much of this material is photocopied from MS 1990-15 (Fred Schoonmaker Papers), held at the Museum of GLBT History in San Francisco, CA.

Finding Aid PDF
Date
1983 to 1987
Extent
0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)
Resource Type
Collection
Related People/Corporations
Access Note

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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Collection Type
Scope and Contents Note

The Stonewall Park Collection (1983-1987) documents the Stonewall Park project, an unrealized gay community in Nevada. Material includes news clippings and ephemera, as well as financial records and ancillary documents detailing bankruptcies and litigation associated with the Stonewall Park project. Much of this material is photocopied from MS 1990-15 (Fred Schoonmaker Papers), held at the Museum of GLBT History in San Francisco, CA.

Biographical / Historical Note

In 1983, Reno gay activist Fred Schoonmaker and his African-American husband, Alfred Parkinson, conceived a series of efforts to establish a gay town in Nevada known as Stonewall Park, named for the 1969 New York riots that inspired the Gay Liberation movement. Social and legal sexual discrimination in Nevada had reached such a pitch by the early 1980s that many in the state believed the only way they could survive was to segregate themselves from the straight population.

Schoonmaker and Parkinson attempted three times between 1984 and 1987 to found Stonewall Park: first, in the small town of Silver Springs in Lyon County, midway between Carson City and Fallon on U. S. Highway 50; second, in the famous ghost town of Rhyolite just west of Beatty, Nevada in Nye County; and, finally, on a former ranch at Thunder Mountain in Pershing County, between Lovelock and Winnemucca. Each time, the effort met resistance from the local population and active opposition from elected officials. In addition, Schoonmaker never had the financial resources needed to make Stonewall Park a reality, nor could he raise the money or inspire much interest or support in the gay community for his and Parkinson’s endeavor. Schoonmaker’s dream of Stonewall Park died when he succumbed to an AIDS-related heart attack on May 20, 1987.

Sources:

“Stonewall Park,” McBride, Dennis. Nevada Historical Society Quarterly (52:2), Summer 2009.

"Stonewall Park," OUTHistory.org. http://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/las-vegas/articles/stonewall-park

Arrangement

Material is arranged by subject.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00501
Acquisition Note

Materials were donated by Dennis McBride in 2005; accession number 2005-006.

Processing Note

Material was processed by Dennis McBride in 2005. In 2014, as part of a legacy finding aid conversion project, Ian M. Baldwin revised and enhanced the collection description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards. Subsequently, Ian M. Baldwin uploaded this information into ArchiveSpace.

Existence and Location of Originals

Much of this material is photocopied from MS 1990-15 (Fred Schoonmaker Papers), held at the Museum of GLBT History in San Francisco, CA.

Please contact the Museum of GLBT History in San Francisco, CA to publish from this collection.

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English