Oroitzapenak Basque Oral History Project
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Mary Labourde
Gretchen Holbert
Eureka, Nevada

No Photo Available   Mary Labourde

Mary Labourde was born in France, travelling to the U.S. when she was quite young. Originally, she travelled to Soda Springs, Idaho but eventually settled in Eureka, Nevada. She learned English from the Mormon family she was living with in Soda Springs. When she was married in the mid-1920s, her husband moved them to Eureka where he herded sheep and they took over the French Hotel. 

Since this was the time of Prohibition, much of their business in the hotel had to be covert to avoid detection. In spite of this, Mary still managed to serve up to 100 Basques a night in her restaurant. Also recounted were the social lives of the herders and what relationship she and her husband had with them.

The last part of the interview is chronicled by Mary’s son-in-law, Isadore Sara, who was married to her daughter, Alice. He recounts what he experienced living in Eureka, being the boss’ son-in-law. He also discusses the regional economic changes from the 1970s through the 1980s and what he did during those times.

Hear Interview (Audio Files in English)
Mary's Trip to America (4:29)
Working and Living in the Hotels (11:18)
Mary's Son-in-law's Life Experiences (9:11)

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