Standing on the front lawn of the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Monday, Gov. Brian Sandoval presented Mark Jensen and Mike Hall with a plaque designating it one of Nevada's top treasures.
"I love Nevada history and this is truly one of the jewels in Nevada. This was the highest vote getter in the state," Sandoval said. "I'm very eager to go in and see what we have here. It truly is a Nevada experience when you can drive in amongst the cows."
In May, the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park won the 6-week "Discover Your Nevada" online contest, sponsored by the Nevada Commission on Tourism.
"It's wonderful. We're very happy to have the governor visit our park and give us that recognition for winning the contest," Jensen, the park curator said. "Everyone worked very hard winning the contest, and it's as much about our supporters' feelings about the park as it is winning the contest."
Monday was Sandoval's first visit to the historic Carson Valley ranch.
As he walked from room to room, the governor asked questions and even read aloud from a 1938 Minden Times Newspaper.
"I'm impressed by how really intact everything is. The volume of artifacts that have been preserved is tremendous," Sandoval said. "I feel like they're out to lunch right now and I get to come into their house and see how they live."
After five rounds of online voting, the park beat out Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe in the final round of the contest, and joins such noted Nevada attractions as Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada Northern Railway and Goldwell Open Air Museum as a regional winner.
"I couldn't have been more happy to be listed next to the Thunderbird Lodge, as they are an example of what we can achieve," Jensen said. "We benefited from the support of PlantIt Nursery that gave us plants and gardening supplies after each round we won, and doubled it after we won the contest."
When asked if voters made a good choice in their decision for top treasure in the Reno-Tahoe territory, Sandoval answered, "absolutely."
"More Nevadans need the opportunity to see this and appreciate true Nevada history," he added. "Wherever I go I will talk about this and encourage people to come see it."
The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park preserves the home of Heinrich F. Dangberg and his descendants. The Dangbergs were the most prominent ranching family in Carson Valley history and founded Minden in 1905. The site includes eight historic structures built between 1857 and 1917, along with a collection of 39,000 artifacts, documents and photographs acquired and used by the Dangberg family.
The park is operated by Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the site's owner, Douglas County.
It is located at 1450 Highway 88, Minden, one-half mile south of the Carson Valley Swim Center.
Guided tours are offered by reservation. More information can be found at www.dangberghomeranch.org or by calling 783-9417.