Historical society shindig honors Nevada mustangs

A grand opening reception for Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center's new permanent exhibit "Mustang America's Living Legends" will take place 2-8 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 1477 Highway 395 in Gardnerville. The event is presented by the Douglas County Historical Society.

Put on your western clothes, grab your cowboy hat and boots and git on down to the museum for some old-fashioned western fun. Beginning at 2 p.m., admission to the museum is free. If you haven't visited the museum in a while this is a good time to see the mustang exhibit, plus all the other new exhibits for free. Several special guests will be on hand throughout the day and evening including mural artist Beverly Caputo, who painted a mural of mustangs for the exhibit.

The afternoon and evening will be filled with a variety of activities in the parking lot. There will be live music and dancing from 4-8 p.m., when country-western band Exit 22 performs. Beer, wine and soda will be available. An old-fashioned western barbecue will be served from 5-6:30 p.m. or until the food runs out. The price for the barbecue is $10 per person, children younger than 12 half price.

Carriage rides around Heritage Park and/or a miniature horse, Gizmo, will be provided by Borges Carriage Rides for a fee. The Borges family provides carriage rides in Genoa and Minden on weekends, and at Stateline, Lake Tahoe daily.

Last year's play "Curse of the Hanging Tree" can be viewed on screen continuously downstairs in the meeting room. The "Curse of the Hanging Tree" will return again this year in September rather than July. We hope that it will be a little cooler for the actors and the ticket holders.

At one time, America had an estimated two million free-roaming horses. Today the mustang population is less than 25,000, with more than half of them in Nevada. These small, hardy horses made a new way of life possible for Native Americans. Mustangs made the exploration of the American West possible by the first white men. Mustangs were invaluable in developing ranches, plowing fields, harvesting crops and providing most of the early day transportation.

The mustang is Nevada's official state animal and a living symbol of Nevada's pioneer heritage. These are a few of the reasons for the exhibit.

The funding for this exhibit and reception was made possible by the donations that came in from all over the country for the hay-lift to save the Pine Nut mustangs in the early 1970s. A group of area residents donated their time, planes and helicopters to fly and drop hay to mustangs trapped in the Pine Nut Mountains by heavy snow. Local Record-Courier reporter, Roberta McConnell, wrote several articles that were picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in newspapers all over the country. National TV networks picked up the story about the hay-lift. Donations came in from all over the country and the world to save the trapped mustangs. The Pine Nut Mustang Association donated the leftover funds from the hay-lift to the historical society for a mustang exhibit, and it is finally here.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment