This 1,000 square-foot house was built just on the outskirts of Carson City in 1948.
Burton Wungnema, with the help of this father, Earnest Wungnema, and then pregnant wife, Pearl,
used the stone from his father's fourteen quarries in Brunswick Canyon to build this home for his family. Pearl raised eight children in the home.
The house was built during the war and they couldn't get lumber, nails, or glass because of the shortage. That is why only half the upstairs was built. The windows, now removed, were from the Catholic churches in Brockway, Lake Tahoe, and Truckee, California. Earnest and Burton, while building the churches, purchased the windows because they were not made with frosted glass and the church was going to return them.
The fireplace was made from stone in Arizona. The face is cut stone of clouds and lightning and is the emblem of the Water clan of the Hopi Nation. The hearth is wonder stone. The boards on the ceiling were milled using the same dies used to build the original ceiling. Wungnema is a Hopi name for grow, as in growing corn.
Burton and Pearl came from Arizona as teens, met in Carson City, and married in 1947. They are both Hopi Indians. Pearl is in the Sun clan and Burton the Water clan. Burton passed away in 1956 and
Pearl continues to live in Carson City.
This home is representative of the wonderful mason work done in the churches and homes built by Burton and his father around Lake Tahoe from 1925 to 1955.
The Wungnema House is administered by the
Foundation for the Betterment of Parks and Recreation and
is available for small group meetings and events.
Following are views of the inside of the home
(decorated for a dinner party/silent auction held during the holidays):
Living Room Fireplace
Living Room (facing north)
Living Room (facing south)
Upstairs Bedroom (facing north)
Upstairs Bedroom (facing south)
For more information, please contact the
Carson City Parks and Recreation Department
Jo Saulisberry, President of the Foundation for the Betterment of Parks and Recreation