Blog: DDL

Supported by the John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship we traveling across the entire country, coast to coast, in search of inspiration and adventure in North America’s western deserts. see how the time on the road and collaborations continue to unfold.

Big Hole Drillers

We all want a small trinket that reflects, or allows us to reflect, upon a trip like this. During my day ‘off’ in Beatty, I took some time to check out a few of the antique stores in town. As soon as we walked onto this block of fresh jerky, old tools and mangled trucker’s hats I knew I had struck trinket gold! In Richfield, after perusing around  ceramic cacti salt shakers, high heel handled pocket knives  and old VHS movies, I came across a case of belt buckles… one with a banjo… one with a 49er and his trusty burro… and an old simple brass one that caught my attention. .  “Big Hole Drillers”  

Both Hannah and Mariana said, ”You have to!” and thankfully I did get it. By the end of the day Mariana had sleuthed the buckle’s origin and I now feel like I have a special piece of Nevada history.


NTS refers to Nevada Test Site ( and REECO is actually Reynolds Electrical and Engineering, the main contractor at the time. There’s an oral history of Nevada’s  nuclear waste program and a transcript of an interview with a former employee, Lewis G Miller, you can check it out at