Nevada’s Oldest Contractor Celebrates 125 Years

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Reno, Nev. —Nevada’s oldest contractor, Savage and Son Inc., a provider of full-service Plumbing, HVAC and Piping, is excited to announce that 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of being in business. Established in 1893, Savage and Son has the oldest active contractor’s license in Nevada, number 10. The family business ties its roots back to the early mining days in Virginia City and has been passed down through five generations of leaders. This year Savage and Son will celebrate this impressive milestone by reliving some of their family’s rich history in Nevada and highlighting some of the iconic structures they’ve worked on in northern Nevada and the Sierra and have helped shape the city and region to what it is today.

In 1859, Leonard Coates Savage helped discover the Savage Mine in Virginia City and the Savage mansion and mine office was later built in 1861. Leonard was unable to afford the development of the mine and found himself dealing claims in a gambling hall and transitioning his focus to a new venture. In 1880, Leonard Coates Savage’s son, Frank Charles Savage, co-established Genesy & Savage Plumbers and Tinners in Virginia City. In 1893, Frank moved to Reno to create his own plumbing business, Savage and Son, where they repaired everything from steam boilers to walk-in refrigerators on ranches. Savage and Son was the original plumbing and heating contractor for many historical buildings in northern Nevada including, Stewart Indian School, University of Nevada, Reno’s Lincoln Hall in 1896 (and is doing the renovation today), St. Mary’s Hospital, Central (Reno) High School and Washoe County Hospital. In 1905, Savage and Son installed a heating plant at the Washoe County Hospital (now Renown) for $100 and has continued to service and perform projects throughout the century, including the Renown Tahoe Tower in 2007.

The family business grew rapidly along with the growth of the Biggest Little City and Frank Charles’ son, Leonard Charles, moved the company to a new location on South Virginia Street and California Avenue, now Michael’s Deli, in 1941. His son L.J. Savage joined the company in 1955 and they continued to help develop the skyline of Reno by serving as the sub-contractor on many projects including, Arlington Towers, Lake Mansion, Eldorado Resorts, Peppermill Hotel Casino, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Lawlor Events Center, the Governor’s Mansion, Hyatt Lake Tahoe, Village at Mammoth, many buildings at University of Nevada, Reno. Most recently, Savage and Son helped with the development of the Switch Citadel Campus and the National Bowling Stadium HVAC Piping replacement, where they received a Pinnacle Award for “Meeting the Challenge of a Difficult Job – Over $500,000” by the Associated General Contractors of Northern Nevada.

The Savage family attributes their success as a family business to its dedicated employees and their strong family guiding principles of valuing hard work, ingenuity, loyalty and character. Savage and Son approaches all business and projects with integrity, selflessness and resourcefulness. They have been philanthropically involved with countless charities, non-profit organizations and causes that benefit the community in northern Nevada and the Sierra.

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