## ## What are people from Sparks called
Question: My wife and I retired tothe area this year. Weare residents of Sparks. Before that we lived in Woodbury a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota. Residents of the State of Nevada are called Nevadans. Residents of the city of Reno are called Renoites. Residents of the city of Sparks are called what?Answer: The historical answer to this question would be “Railroaders,” but don’t tell that to Spanish Springs and Reed high school students they are Cougars and Raiders, respectively. Sparks High School students are Railroaders.The Southern Pacific Railroad purchased swampland just east of Reno in 1903 to realign its tracks and Sparks was incorporated in 1905 with a population of 1,500, according to the Sparks Heritage Museum’s website.The town’s name doesn’t come from railroad track sparks or the local joke “Reno is so close to Hell you can see Sparks” but instead from Nevada’s 10th Gov. John Sparks, a successful rancher who served as the state’s executive from 1902 1908.”Railroaders is what the old timers called it because that was the only high school in town and Reno always called the city of Sparks a railroad town,” said Leslie Ede, 70, of the Sparks Heritage Museum and a lifetime native of Sparks.City of Sparks spokesman Adam Mayberry said he has never heard an official designation, but his favorite comes from Sparks cartoonist Brian Crane.For the city’s 100th anniversary in 2005, Crane developed a “Pickles” comic strip with Earl Pickles asking the question: “Do you know what you call someone who lives in Sparks?”His wife Opal responds: “Hmm I don’t know. A Sparksian? A Sparkler? A Spark Plug? answers: “No. You just call him lucky.”Crane said he occasionally sees the strip which was used as a city poster for the centennial around town and at his local bank.”We moved here in 1984, with a plan to be here for five years,” Crane said. “We’ve now been here for 30 years. Sparks has been really good to us. It’s a good place to live.”So, to answer the question, you can call yourself a Sparksian, but be prepared for perplexed looks. You can call yourself a Railroader and have history on your side.Or you can simply call yourself Lucky.I answer questions from readers on everything Northern Nevada, whether it’s a quick bar bet or a long running conundrum.