Minden centennial: Let the good times roll

If the Town of Minden needed a slogan, it could be this:

"What happened here stayed here."

That allegiance to the past will never be more evident than July 2 when the town of 3,100 residents celebrates its centennial.

How's this for old-fashioned?

n A free fried-chicken lunch complete with side dishes, apple pie and ice cream for up to 1,000 guests;

n A stroll-around-Minden Park parade led by school-aged children and the sheriff's mounted posse, but with extra flags for anyone who wishes to march along;

n Kids' rides in the LaFrance fire truck which the town purchased new in 1938;

n Chautauqua presentation by Gardnerville dentist Michael Fischer who will bring H.F. Dangberg Sr. to life;

n Concert by the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra.

It's all free and will be held within the original town park of the state's first planned community.

"Minden is unique in maybe all of the West," said Jacques Etchegoyhen who lives within a block of the Minden house where he grew up.

"It still has the sense it did when I was growing up here 45 years ago," he said. "Towns like Minden boomed so much, there's little semblance of what they once were."

One of those little towns which was forming in 1906 - the same time as Minden - grew up to be Las Vegas.

"Minden has been very well planned," Etchegoyhen said. "Las Vegas didn't plan at all. Those beginnings still carry. This area could have gone a completely different direction."

Residents and visitors can still walk the old town plat with the 1916 courthouse at one end and the historic downtown at the other.

Just in time for the centennial, the town created a walking tour of Minden's original homes and buildings.

"Minden does implant an indelible sense on people who were raised here," Etchegoyhen said. "You can leave Minden, but it never leaves you."

For Patsy Maule, widow of Minden author and historian Wynne Maule, the celebration will give visitors a chance to learn about the town her husband loved.

Wynne Maule, a member of the centennial committee and author of "Minden, Nevada: The Story of a Unique Town," died June 5 at his family home. He was 80.

"The centennial meant a lot to him," Patsy Maule said. "He put his whole heart and soul into it. Minden was his hometown. He wanted to preserve as much of it as he possibly could."

Town board chairman Ross Chichester has been chairing the centennial committee for about 18 months.

"I know a lot of little towns have centennials, but I think we've come up with some really cool ideas. It's important that people come and take pride in their community," he said.

Chichester said everyone is invited, Mindenite or not.

He encouraged visitors to write messages for a time capsule that will be kept in a fireproof safe in the town office and opened in 25 years.

"Some people won't be here then," he said. "This is a great opportunity to say something to their grandchildren."

Chichester had nothing but praise for his committee members.

"They're all movers and shakers," he said. "They made a commitment to do what they say and they do it."

Chichester promised the event would go on rain or shine.

There is limited seating so visitors are advised to bring blankets or lawn chairs.

And for those who don't like chicken, picnic baskets are encouraged.

Chichester said the focus of the event is to live up to the vision of town founder H.F. Dangberg Jr.

"We take a lot of pride in our town and we're keeping the commitment," he said.


Ross Chichester

Marlena Hellwinkel

Laurie Hickey

Hap FIsher

Dar Ellis

Charlotte Godecke

Wynne Maule

Lawrence and Betty Jacobsen

Doug Sonnemann

Roxanne Stangle

Dana Reed

Gary Williams

Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce

B.P.O. Elks Lodge #2670

Jack Van Dien

Sheila Byington

David Sheets

Brenda Stein

Tana Alcalay

Jeanene Kapler

Joe Delorey

Mary Jane Hillenbrand

Chris Griffith


The Minden Centennial Celebration takes place July 2 on Esmeralda Avenue and at Minden Park from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Along with all the activities in the town park there will be guided historic walking tours of the downtown area. In the CVIC Hall visitors will be able to view oral history videos from some of the town's natives and long-time residents.

Members of the volunteer fire department will unearth a time capsule, and the contents will be on display throughout the day.

Limited edition Minden Centennial medallions, Town of Minden hats and memory books will be for sale.


n 11 a.m. children's parade/presentation of flag by Rep. Jim Gibbons

n 11:10 a.m. introduction of the town board and welcome

n 11:15 a.m. H.F. Dangberg Chautauqua by Michael Fischer

n 11:30 a.m. town proclamation

n 11:40 a.m. children's games and music of the period

n 12 p.m. complimentary lunch

n 1:30 p.m. Carson Valley Pops Orchestra concert

n 3 p.m. ice cream social

Information: Town of Minden, 782-5976


Town of Minden



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