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.
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.
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.