‘Sisters of the Sage’ chautauqua at Dangberg Aug. 28
August closes with a Chautauqua presentation “Sisters of the Sage” which will highlight the lives of Annie H. Martin, Lillian V. Finnegan and Anna N. Harris at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28.
These three influential women from the early days of Nevada will meet to reminisce about their early lives, the suffrage movement and their accomplishments as women, in both Carson Valley and Carson City.
Annie Hudnall Martin was born in Missouri in 1857 and moved to Carson City, Nevada Territory in 1863. She attended public schools and was a pupil of, and later a teacher for Hannah Clapp.
Unlike the Anne H. Martin of women’s suffrage fame, Annie Hudnall Martin was decidedly anti-suffrage. In 1877 Martin was the first kindergarten teacher in the state. After thirteen years of teaching, she purchased the Carson Daily News and served as editor for four years.
In 1908 Annie Martin secured a job as a clerk at the U.S. Branch Federal Assay Office, formerly the Mint, in Carson City. Then in 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Martin as the first woman to serve as Superintendent of a U.S. Federal Assay Office.
Lillian Virgin Finnegan was born in Genoa, Nevada in 1877 to pioneer parents Mary Raycraft Virgin and Judge Daniel Webster Virgin. Finnegan attended Nevada State University, graduating from the Normal School Program in 1897. Thereafter, she was a school teacher in Genoa, as well as other Nevada towns until marrying her husband Louis Finnegan in 1907.
In 1914 Lillian Finnegan was a member of the Douglas County Equal Franchise Society and instrumental in helping women gain the right to vote in state-wide elections. Finnegan was also actively involved with the Red Cross during the years of the First World War.
She is more prominently known as the originator of the Genoa Candy Dance Festival in 1919, which now takes place the last full weekend of September, in the town of Genoa. A statue of Lillian Virgin Finnegan was recently unveiled in that town.
Anna Norgard Harris was born in Denmark in 1858 and came to Genoa in 1860. At the age of 19 she married Mr. M. Harris who owned a mercantile in Genoa. Eventually Anna Harris operated the store on her own, for extended periods of time when her husband was absent.
After moving the business to Gardnerville and the passing of Mr. Harris, Anna Harris petitioned for, and won a Sole Traders Permit, virtually unheard of for a woman in the State of Nevada at that time.
Anna Harris was a wife, mother and businesswoman in Gardnerville, who always worked diligently at her business, keeping her family fed and clothed and without the time to be active in the suffrage movement. Her store Harris & Sons Mercantile has long been remembered in the history of Carson Valley.
“Chautauqua is the sharing of history in first person. It has become popular again, especially here in Carson Valley and at Dangberg Historic Park. We invite our guests to come out and meet some of the past influencers of our local area,” said Kim Harris, the park’s events manager.
Annie Hudnall Martin is portrayed by accomplished Chautauquan Cindy Southerland. Southerland is also an historian and the author of the book Cemeteries of Carson City and Carson Valley.
Lillian Virgin Finnegan is portrayed by accomplished Chautauquan Kim Harris. Additionally, Harris portrays Lizzie A. Borden and several other characters from history. She is also the events manager at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.
Anna Norgard Harris is portrayed by accomplished Chautauquan DebiLynn Smith. Smith is also a Civil War Re-enactor and member of the National Pony Express Association, Nevada Division.
This event is free to attend. Please bring your own seating to all events and no pets allowed – service animals only. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy as no food or beverages will be sold at this event.
The Dangberg ranch house will be open for one hour before the event for anyone who would like an introduction to the park’s history.
The 2019 Dangberg Summer Festival is sponsored by Douglas County, Bently Heritage, Carson Valley Accounting, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Dr. James the Dentist, Edward Jones Investments – Tim Cleveland, Horse Tales, Carson Valley Inn, Holiday Inn Express – Minden, Jacobs Family Berry Farm, Nevada State Bank and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation.
Upcoming events include the Dangberg Home Ranch Celtic Faire on Saturday, September 14, Chautauqua portrayal of Hiram C. Scott on Sunday, September 22; and Douglas High School Class of 1962: “Remembering Carson Valley in the 1950s and 1960s” on Saturday, September 28.
The full 2019 Dangberg Summer Festival event schedule is available at Dangberg.org.
The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. The site preserves the home of Heinrich F. Dangberg and his descendants, a prominent ranching family in Carson Valley history that 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. Programs include tours, exhibits, wedding rentals, and other public events.