Museum prepares for reception

Now that the mural of Kit Carson is complete at the entrance to the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center, artist Beverly Caputo is working on a much larger depiction of wild horses in the main gallery.

"It's Nevada's mustangs," said Caputo, "showing them in the change of the seasons."

At the same time, museum volunteers are putting together a room devoted to Minden's 100 years in time for the Centennial Celebration on July 2.

This, plus more exhibits in the making, should be finished in time for the Douglas County Historical Society's reception, 4-7 p.m. June 2 at the museum.

Special guests for the evening will be H.F. Dangberg and his wife Margaret Gale Ferris Dangberg portrayed by Mike and Janet Fischer, Caputo, miniature model artist Jack Flannery, photographer Irwin Sorkin and longtime Valley residents Max Jones, Ed Court and E-Ann Logan.

The Town of Minden exhibit is full of historic photos of early Minden and lots of artifacts. Flannery's miniatures of the original bandstand, bank, school, Minden Flour Mill and the CVIC Hall are on display. Also, in the main gallery, a photo exhibit is arranged featuring photographs of the C.O.D. Garage taken by Sorkin.

"Everything that has to do with Minden will be in here," said society member and museum volunteer Laurie Hickey, who has been working on the project with Logan, Betty Cordes and Irene Marshall, as well as others.

"It's a community effort," said Hickey. "A lot of people in the community have contributed photos. The Town of Minden has been very supportive."

The Kit Carson mural depicts the life of Carson as trapper, explorer, guide and soldier.

The large mural, "Nevada's Mustangs," was done at a reduced rate by Caputo, according to Hickey. Caputo also donated a painting of mustangs valued at $2,000 which will be raffled at the reception. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20 and will be on sale that evening.

Downstairs, a wild horse exhibit room is being created from funds given to the museum following the "hay lift" of 1969, where horses starving in the snow were aided by pilots dropping them hay, including Jones and Court. A Record-Courier story had spurred a national news broadcast of the horses' plight, and charitable donations came in from all over the world, according to Hickey. More than 35 years later, the money is being put to use on the wild horse exhibit, which is currently in the planning stages.

Other exhibits that will be open in time for the reception are photographs of familiar faces, ranching, the Basque and a local doctor by Jay Aldrich, Washoe exhibits, Charlotte Jepsen's spring and summer hat collection, the "Women in History" exhibit and the "Family Life and Culture Gallery," the Glenbrook Inn exhibit and the agriculture exhibit gallery.

"There are 40 different ranches on boards that were finished in March," said Marshall. "They show the genealogy, pictures of ranching and their heritage here in the Valley."

Volunteers are looking ahead to finishing a mercantile exhibit downstairs, to be called "Main Street." Two hallways are being converted into store fronts with windows displaying businesses and merchants of earlier times. The beginnings of a Record-Courier office and other newspapers, a barbershop, a dry goods store, a post office and a drug store are all there. Items for a mercantile have been collected, including a safe from the old high school which was in the building the museum is now in and a counter that originally sat in the Minden Dry Goods store, donated by Marlena Hellwinkel.

"This is our next big project that we'll be working on," said Hickey. "We'll put some park benches out and street lights and signs."

The museum is located at 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville. For more information on the reception, call the museum at 782-2555.


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