RENO: Ever heard of the “divorce ranch”?

Apparently, back in the 1930’s or so, Nevada was the only state that allowed divorce. In Reno, Nevada, there used to be something called a “divorce ranch,” a private home, where women from other states could live while they waited to get a divorce in Nevada. At that time in order to get a divorce in Nevada, one had to establish residency which one could do after living in the state for a minimum of six weeks. NPR did a piece on the story today:

In the 1950s and ’60s, Ward and McBride lived on their family’s Whitney Ranch, whose customers were mainly women from New York and New Jersey who had headed West for what was known as “the Reno cure.” Nevada had passed a law in 1931 that made it the quickest state in which to get a divorce — just six weeks, the time to establish residency.

“At the end of their six weeks, mother would go to court with them and testify that they’d been a resident at the ranch and she had seen them every day,” says Robbie McBride.

And as Ward remembers, it was a duty that their mother took seriously.

Sounds like a reality show, doesn’t it? Too bad they didn’t think of video-taping their escapades.