Savage and Son is Nevada’s oldest contracting company – operating in our community since 1893. For 6 generations, the Savage family has owned and operated the company, and grown it to become the premier northern Nevada plumbing, HVAC and piping establishment.
The Savage family traces its local roots back to Leonard Coates Savage in Virginia City in 1859. Leonard was highly involved in helping to pipe water out of the silver mines in Virginia City. The former Pony Express rider was looking for wealth in the silver mines, and nearly found it. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to afford development of the Savage mine, and he found himself in a gambling hall dealing his claim to some bankers from the Bay Area in exchange for seven ore claims on Peavine and a white horse named Shakespeare. It turns out that the claim Leonard dealt became one of the most lucrative claims on the Comstock. Leonard’s luck in the gambling hall didn’t turn the Savage family into millionaires, but it did propel them to be the family that they are today – valuing hard work, ingenuity, loyalty and character. Success wasn’t something that could be dealt in a gambling hall one night, but rather earned, daily.
Leonard’s son, Frank Charles Savage, established Genesy & Savage Plumbers and Tinners in Virginia City, and in 1893 moved to Reno to create his own plumbing business – located behind the Wigwam coffee shop on Sierra Street (one block South of the El Dorado Hotel / Casino). The company repaired everything from steam boilers to walk-in refrigerators on ranches.
The company grew rapidly along with the growth of the Biggest Little City. In 1941, then owner, Leonard Charles (Frank Charles’ son) moved the storefront location to South Virginia Street (just south of California Ave., where Michael’s Deli currently does business). The family thought that that Leonard was crazy for moving “so far outside of Reno.” Of course, Reno has far expanded its city limits past the 1941 location.
A member of the Savage family has been running the company every single day since its creation more than 120 years ago. Savage and Son plans to continue to be a very present and contributing member of our community, for generations to come.