85°F
weather icon Clear

Mystery light prompts a search of Beatty mountain

Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. It was a dark and soggy night as Beatty Fire Chief Mike Harmon slogged his way up the slopes of Beatty Mountain.

Seeing a strange light on the mountain, a concerned citizen had contacted the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, fearing that someone was stranded up there, perhaps with a flashlight.

Lieutenant Alan Lynn recommended that Harmon respond because of his search and rescue experience and familiarity with the area.

At the end of his muddy climb, Harmon was surprised and amused by what he found — not a stranded hiker, but a solar pathway light stuck into a boulder.

He shared his puzzling experience with friends at the Beatty Town Advisory Board meeting the next day, where he learned from board member Randy Reed that the light was put there by the family of former Beatty-Amargosa school teacher Katherine “Kay” Tarr to mark the spot where her ashes were scattered after her passing in December of 2017.

Tarr was much loved by former students, whom she called her “precious people,” and by others in the Beatty community.

“Everyone who knew her loved her,” says son Bill Marker.

Marker said that the light Harmon found was not the first the family had placed there. The original light was taken by someone, and it was replaced around the time of Beatty Days the following October. He said that the family always has a reunion at that time, and they like to see her light shining down on the town she loved.

She also loved Beatty Mountain, which she often admired from the back porch of her house, and she had requested that her ashes be scattered there.

The original light is not the only thing that was stolen from the site. The family had a large stone painted with an image of a hummingbird and the inscription, “In Loving Memory of Kay Tarr, July 8, 1935 to December 18, 2017.” Another son, Andy Tarr, had it painted by Chandra Waner, an acquaintance in Winnemucca.

Marker said it would have taken considerable effort to remove the large stone, which they had tucked into a small cave to keep it from being faded by the sun. “There’s a road that leads up there, and we hauled it up with a side-by-side,” he said.

So, in the end, there was no stranded hiker, just Kay’s light shining down on Beatty.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nevadans heading to Kentucky to help with flooding relief

Two Southern Nevada Red Cross volunteers, a Pahrump resident and a Las Vegas resident, have deployed to Eastern Kentucky to help with disaster relief efforts from the massive flooding in the area.

California woman dies from shot to the dead

A California woman died Monday after being treated for a gunshot wound at Desert Valley View Hospital in Pahrump, according to reports from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office in California.

 
COVID-19 downturn stretches to a month

Both hospitalizations and cases continue to decline.

Sportsman’s Quest: Going to places less hunted

The hunting season has begun with the Pronghorn Antelope opening the first of August. All of the well-known areas are full of hunters making opening day on the prairie looking like a pumpkin patch, due to the many hunters and their blaze orange hats.

1 person hospitalized following structure fire

One person was transported to Desert View Hospital following a structure fire on Saturday, July 30.

Purple Heart Day ceremony to honor injured and fallen heroes

National Purple Heart Day, marked on Aug. 7 each year, presents the country with an opportunity to honor those who enlisted in the U.S. armed forces and bravely took up the mantle of defenders of freedom, only to suffer an injury or worse, lose their lives in the line of duty.