Casinos: Con Funk Shun feels the old-school groove at Cache Creek

05/15/2014 4:00 PM

05/14/2014 12:02 PM

Fans of Con Funk Shun have been waiting for the group’s new album, “The Sound of Grown Men,” but several years have passed since it was announced and a full record has yet to be released.

In the meantime, they will have to be satisfied with the group’s shimmering live outings and previously recorded material, which had a solid presence on the R&B charts from 1977 to 1986. Their engagement Saturday at Cache Creek finds them not too far from their Vallejo origins. (8 p.m.; $25, $35; cachecreek.com)

Also this week

The Bowers Mansion, located between Reno and Carson City, Nev., has reopened, bringing back one of the great stories of the old Comstock.

It was built in 1863 by Eilley and Lemuel “Sandy” Bowers. Eilley Orrum Bowers, a native of Scotland and part of the Mormon migration to Nevada, had run a boarding house in Gold Hill. When some of the miner tenants found themselves unable to pay her, they left her parts of their mining claims, which, when later combined with that of her third husband, Sandy, made her a fortune.

Back then, ostentation reigned, especially among the Comstock giants. Eschewing San Francisco or other major California cities, the Bowerses chose to build their Georgian revival/Italianate architectural masterpiece on the eastern slopes of the Sierra in Washoe Valley. Their designer was architect and former California Gov. J. Neeley Johnson.

Sandy Bowers died in 1868, and for a time Eilley took advantage of the new railway link between Reno and Carson City and ran the mansion as the place to go for outings and parties. Eventually, she sold the stone mansion to the founder of Reno, Myron C. Lake.

Eilley spent some of her later years being the Famous Washoe Seeress, telling fortunes in both Nevada and California. She was to become destitute and a ward of the state. She passed away in an Oakland care home in 1903. Her remains were, after some fundraising, moved back to the mansion where they are buried near Sandy’s and daughter Persia’s.

After many alterations and then a return to its original look, the mansion is now in the hands of the Washoe County Parks Department. Over the past several years, it has undergone refurbishing. It opens Sunday for the summer season. (4005 Old Highway 395; Saturday and Sunday tours through Sept. 28; $8 adults, $5 children and seniors; 775-849-0201)

 

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