Preserving The History of
Big Smoky Valley
Our Society & Mission:
The Sunnyside Museum is owned and operated by The Sunnyside Historical Society, a non-profit organization whose objective is to preserve the history of Big Smoky Valley, its Founding Fathers and Central Nevada. It was named for the first claims filed on Round Mountain’s rich resources.
The museum is located on Highway 376, just south of the rest area, and state highway maintenance department. It is housed in the Round Mountain school house built in 1936 and relocated to it’s present location in the 1990's.
We're located within just a few miles of the geographic center of Nevada, 57 miles northeast of Tonopah, Nevada (Hwy 6) and 60 miles southeast of Austin, Nevada (Hwy 50). We are half-way between Reno and Las Vegas nestled in the beautiful Big Smoky Valley, between the Toiyabe and Toquima Mountain Ranges.
You can view our map here.
The Round Mountain Elementary School built in 1936 now houses the Sunnyside Museum in Round Mountain, Nevada. It was a 1st through 12th grade two-classroom school.
When a new school was built in the subdivision of Hadley, the old one was moved to its present home, which is approximately 12 miles from its old home.
During the booms and busts of mining in the area there were two teachers responsible for the task of covering the span of learning abilities. The school was used until the mid-1990s.
The Berg brothers, Jack, Karl, Will, and Elmer, came to Big Smoky Valley in 1906. Originally from Ohio, they spent time in Alaska before heading to Nevada. Will developed the Round Mountain water system, expanding it from a small operation to a complex system piping water fed from four springs to supply water to the mines and the town. Will was also a pharmacist, assayer, inventor, dairy farmer, and rancher.
Karl W. Berg, a second generation Berg in Big Smoky Valley, had the vision to relocate the building and transform it into a museum. The building was moved to its current location and the Sunnyside Historical Society was formed.
Most of the items capturing the rich history of the Valley have been collected from the Berg family.
Besides many interesting bottles, books and tools, our museum has three pianos, one of which is a player piano. The items reflect the frugal, tough living that one had to have to live in rural Nevada in the early 1900s where mining and ranching were the mainstays for many families.
Another building houses a myriad of antique cars, tractors and gas pumps. Behind the building are numerous mining artifacts.
In the nearby ghost town of Round Mountain, where the museum was originally located, are some of our State and National treasures.