Events Warm Up Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park
The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park's June events highlight Carson Valley people and history. The new “Carson Valley History: A Community of Cousins” exhibit June 11-13 and 19-20 is just in time for the annual Carson Valley Days celebration, which observes its centennial this year.
Recent donations to the park's collection of thousands of Dangberg family artifacts came from Steve Achard, grandson of H.F. Dangberg Jr., the noted early 20th-century Nevada cattleman and rancher. As a youngster, Achard raised 4-H steers at the ranch. His “calf box,” a wooden box that he used to carry his grooming tools and calf medicines (above, with Mark Jensen), and photos of him with his steer greet visitors on the ranch house's entrance porch.
“The park's collection isn't just about the Dangbergs,” park interpreter Mark Jensen says. “It's also about the many Carson Valley residents with whom the family interacted. This exhibit will show some of those connections and help visitors better understand the valley's past.”
According to Jensen, the Dangberg family, which established the town of Minden, backed the idea to hold the first Carson Valley Day in 1910 as a way to show off the valley's agricultural products. The Virginia & Truckee Railway had just brought train service to Minden, and people from Reno and other points north could easily travel to the barbecue, games and dance. In fact, H.F. Dangberg Jr. was named Centennial Man of the Year by the Carson Valley 20-30 Club, which organizes Carson Valley Days the second weekend in June (this year, June 10-13).
Photos and objects relating to Carson Valley Days and community groups are featured, along with documents connected to some of the valley's early families. There are graduation and wedding announcements and thank-you notes from young couples who had been presented with elegant wedding gifts. Calendars, matchbooks and other promotional objects from long-gone businesses occupy a table in the office.
Copies of Douglas County's newspaper, The Record-Courier, survey the topics of the day, including festivities planned for various Carson Valley Days, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and, in the 1950s, the design for the new Cave Rock highway tunnel and the opening of an industrial complex near the county airport.
Memorabilia from Douglas County High School includes a letter sweater thought to be worn by Katrina Dangberg and her yearbooks from 1926 and 1927. These are displayed next to a 1940s school sweater and yearbooks belonging to Steve Achard, and school play programs, football game programs and school dance souvenirs from the 1940s.
On June 19, University of Nevada professor Cheryll Glotfelty will give a presentation on Nevada in literature at a free outdoor event beginning at 10 a.m. She will discuss Native American tales and present-day fiction, memoirs and poetry, with an emphasis on stories of Carson Valley and the surrounding region. Jensen suggests that visitors bring blankets or lawn chairs, as the seating at the park is limited.“Carson Valley History: A Community of Cousins” is open noon to 4 p.m. June 11-June 13 and June 19-20. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under. The park is located at 1450 Highway 88, one-half mile south of the Carson Valley Swim Center.
Regular tours are not offered during the exhibit; normally guided tours ($3 adults, free for children 12 and under) are held Wednesday-Sunday at 10 a.m. with a second tour at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday by advance reservation. For details call 775-783-9417, or visit Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park for more information.
Visit Carson Valley 20-30 for information about the Carson Valley Days Centennial celebration.