Gun Play at Convict Lake is the story of the events following the escape of six of the 29 felons from the Nevada State Prison in September 1871. It chronicles their specific activities and details the fate that awaited them. It is based on actual newspaper accounts spanning a period of approximately four years. Few actual pictures of the participants exist. Therefore, the personal photographs in the book are based on the “Pen Portrait” descriptions written by the journalists of the era. Other pictures were created for the book to help depict the actions described. The events noted herein are based upon accounts given by the participants as noted in the periodicals of the time.
In developing the story, a thorough search was made of the Nevada State Prison records, a variety of documented newspaper reports of the time, Nevada State Library Historical Archives, Nevada State Museum and the Nevada Historical Society at the University of Nevada, Reno. Other sources included the Mono County Museum, Bridgeport, CA; Mono County Historical Society, Bridgeport, CA; the Eastern Sierra Museum in Independence, CA; and the Laws Railroad Museum in Bishop, CA.
The author would like to thank the following for their contributions toward making this story as factual as possible. Kent Stoddard, Mono County Historical Society; Terri Gessinger, Bodie State Historic Park Historian; Kathy Edwards, Research Librarian, Nevada State Library Archives; Jeff Kintop, State Archives Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, Nevada State Library and Archive; Robert Nylen, Curator of History, Nevada State Museum; Tim Purdy, Lassen County Calif. Historian and Erin Delaney, Proofreader. Read Chapter One