Eureka, Nevada, was once in the movies, in 1919. Films which had been taken of the U.S. Army Motor Truck Transport that came through Eureka the month before were shown in theaters in Oakland, California and other theatres around the country.
The Sept. 6 issue of the Eureka Sentinel ran the story on page 3. “The Oakland Tribune of August 31 contained an extended account of the Army Motor Truck Train’s trip through the desert section of Nevada, and pictures of the troop train taken on Main Street in Eureka, on the flat west of town, and views of the trucks as they wound their way over the rough and rugged pass of Devil’s Gate, 9 miles from Eureka.”
The road trip, undertaken in midto-late August, was part of a long distance convoy (described as a Motor Truck trip with a Truck Train) carried out by the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps that drove 3,000 miles on the Lincoln Highway from Washington D.C. to Oakland, then by ferry over to the Presidio in San Francisco.
Lt. Col. Charles McClure and Capt. Bernard McMahon were the respective expedition and railroad commanders.
One of the other officers on the trip note in the official Army report was then Brevet Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The article in the Sentinel noted, “Tribune-Kinema motion pictures filmed in Nevada August 26, were the first actual movies taken while the Army train was making its transcontinental trip and again old Eureka has been brought before the eyes of the public, for the views are all of this locality. They were shown all this week at the Kinema Theater in Oakland.”
In the same issue, the Sentinel printed a letter received from a former, although unnamed former resident. “What do you think? I went down to Oakland last Sunday to the Kinema Theater that announced to show pictures of the Motor Truck Train. At first it showed a few of the trucks in Austin. Then it said, ’Members of the Motor Truck Train being entertained at the Red Cross in Eureka.’
It showed the men all lined up in the street opposite the Europa Hotel receiving the stuff from the Red Cross. The only person I saw I knew was Mrs. Hooper at the stand…There seemed to be so many soldiers there.”