Award-winning Nevada writer David Toll dies

Award-winning Nevada writer David Toll dies
David Toll accepts the 2016 Excellence in Tourism Award presented by Nevada Division of Tourism at the annual Rural Roundup. Image: Sydney Martinez / Travel Nevada

GOLD HILL—Award-winning Nevada author and journalist David Toll died Sunday, Feb. 13 after a long illness, according to longtime friend and colleague Andrew Barbano. Toll was 85.

David Toll
David Toll Photo: David Henry Kingman

Barbano shared the news in an obituary, noting that “for the past 50 years, through his writing, publishing and speaking, no one has done more to promote the state of Nevada” than Toll.

Ten editions of Toll’s “The Complete Nevada Traveler” have been published making it a top-selling book on the state of Nevada. The book was written in the early ‘70s and remains a useful guide for travelers.

Toll was heavily involved in helping to promote travel in Nevada through his websites and He was a regular at many of the state’s annual tourism conferences, sharing his knowledge and networking with people from rural communities across the state. Among his many awards was the 2016 Excellence in Tourism Award presented by Nevada Division of Tourism.

“David Toll’s Nevada: A 50-Year Tour Through the Most Interesting State in America” is Toll’s last work, a compilation of his journalism and travel writing that was developed over the past year. In addition to travel writing and publishing, Toll was a newspaper man, bringing Gold Hill News back to life in the mid-‘70s as a bi-weekly.

Toll was born in Los Angeles and first visited Gold Hill as an eight-year-old boy with his grandfather. After serving in the Navy and attending University of California, Berkeley, he purchased the Jones Mansion and moved to Gold Hill permanently.

According to Barbano, Toll is survived by his wife of 33 years Robin Cobbey, children, Sam Toll of Gold Hill, Sarah Hinman of Pleasanton California, Rachel Ching of Austin, Texas, Lt. Col John Toll of Fort Bragg, NC, Alexandra Toll of Oakland, California and Christopher
Toll of Gold Hill; thirteen grandchildren, a great grandson and sisters, Suzanne Abrams and Margery Toll of Fresno.

In memory of David, and in lieu of flowers, Barbano said the family’s wish is for people to buy a few tanks of gas and explore Nevada in his memory. A celebration of life will be planned for later this year.