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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Series VII. Leareno Development, 1967-1974, 1982, 1991, undated

Series VII: Leareno Development (LD) is a small series that provides a brief indication of the company’s focus on real estate, water usage, and property development in Reno, Nevado. The series has been subdivided into four subseries: administrative records, financial records, photographs, and publicity materials.

The first subseries, administrative records, is the largest and consists primarily correspondence related to various business activities, including purchase of land, use of the Stead Airport for commercial purposes, and water wells and beneficial usage. Additional correspondence from the State of Alaska’s NORTH Commission to WPL discusses the Alaska Railroad and natural resources.

Subseries B: Financial records does not provide much insight to the financial operations of the company. However, one document, “Lears’ Impact on Reno and its Image,” outlines the effects on Reno’s economy by WPL and describes his companies as an “integral part of the community.”

Subseries C: Legal records is the smallest subseries and includes a few documents, including correspondence, clippings, and two aerial maps, related to the 1972 decision of the Kimberlin v. Leareno Development lawsuit, brought when two children drowned on land formerly owned by WPL and LD. The courts ruled that neither WPL nor LD were liable.

Subseries D: Photographs is comprised of just 11 prints in both color and black-and-white and ranging in size from 4x4” to 8x10” depicting company property and buildings. Images show hangar construction at Stead Airport and casual shots of people in outdoor settings. Identified people include Shanda Lear; Gian Carlo Bertelli, Shanda’s husband and president of Leareno Development; Ken Kramer; and Jim and Joyce Sweger. Also included are various views of land in Reno and of Stead Airport including two images of WPL standing in an open field. There are also three aerial shots, two of which include Leareno property outlines. Nearly all images are undated. Some images include brief captions with contextual information, though most do not.

Lastly, Subseries E: Publicity materials includes a brochure for the Leareno Aircraft Service Center which provides information on services offered, radio frequency, runways, fuel service, and fees, and a scrapbook of clippings from assorted newspapers related to Leareno property development activities from November 1967 to October 1968. Note that a few of the clippings discuss Titanium West, Inc., another company founded by WPL.


  • 1967-1974, 1982, 1991, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1967-1974

Language of the Materials

Most materials are in English, but some materials are in other languages, including Bengali, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Romanian, and Spanish. When non-English language materials are present, it is noted on the individual folder.

Conditions Governing Access

A computer hard drive is not accessible, pending digital preservation procedures. The rest of the collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.


From the Collection: 285 Cubic Feet (190 legal size full-width document boxes (15 ½” x 10 ¼” x 5”), 2 legal size half-width document boxes (15 ½” x 10 ¼” x 2 ½”), 6 record cartons, 2 card boxes (12” x 4 ½” x 5 ½”), 9 oversize boxes (19” x 4” x 15”), 7 oversize boxes (20 ½” x 3" x 16 ½”), 7 oversize boxes (24 ½”x 3” x 20 ½”), 2 oversize boxes (40” x 2 ½” x 32”), 9 oversize rolled storage boxes (40” x 9” x 9”), 21 oversize folders (30” x 40”), 50 oversize folders (35 ¾” x 47 ¾”), 1 oversize folder (24” x 75”), 38 bagged rolled storage (60” x 5” x 5”), 1 Quadruplex tape (15 ¼” x 15 ½” x 3"))

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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