Even though we know it's not spring, by mid-February we are all ready to get out and get doing. The Carson Valley Historical Society exhibit committee has been working overtime on a lot of new projects. They are getting the main gallery of the Douglas County Museum & Cultural Center ready for display cases which will be filled with new exhibits. One of the new cases is dedicated to the memory of Debbie Byers, longtime museum advocate and former acting director, who passed away in September.
These cases are on wheels which will make it much easier to rearrange the main gallery into whatever configuration is needed. The exhibits will include original Valley settlers and the Washoe people today, trappers and trailblazers, migration, settlement, ranching, mining and lodging and statehood. They have just finished installing a vent from the old C.O.D. barn-turned-garage along with a story board telling its history on the front porch of the museum.
Next Saturday is March 1, Student Day. We are doing a reprise of Grace Dangberg and Bea Fettic Jones' "Portrait of a Pioneer Lady" in the downstairs meeting room of the Gardnerville museum at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. This is a three-person oral history of the activities and domestic duties of a woman in Douglas County between 1851 and 1895.
Georgie Beeding, in the character of Mrs. Dangberg in the play, was the teacher in the Mottsville School during that time. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with admission free to students accompanied by an adult.
Thursday, March 13, is the next in the lecture series which will feature Marilyn Newton speaking about her book, "Alkali Angels: Recording Nevada's Historic Graveyards." Newton is a photojournalist with the Reno Gazette-Journal and this is her third book. She was raised in Carson City and has been taking photos of Nevada almost all her life. She traversed Nevada for seven years in search of these historic graveyards.
The more she photographed, the more she wanted to know about the lives of those whose graves she photographed. The book points to the necessity of preserving Nevada's historic graveyards. Join us in the downstairs meeting room at 7 p.m. for this unusual tour of our state.
Our Main Street Bookstore features Marilyn Newton's book as well as many other books written by or about Nevada women. Starting next week, our bookstore manager Bernadine will have a display of books on women as March is National Women in History Month. The bookstore will be open both before and after the lecture for all to browse.
Coming up for Student Day in April is a real treat for children and adults alike. Cowboy poet Ken Gardner will be giving lessons on how to write cowboy poetry. Ken has been a featured poet at the Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering. If he never says a word about writing but only quotes his own poetry, you will be in for a rare treat. He's a cowboy at heart and a poet of rare talent as well as outstanding humor. Ken's book, "Sleepin' in the Bunkhouse, Rhymes from Ranch and Range," is available in the Main Street Bookstore.
If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, please call the Douglas County Historical Society at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center at 782-2555. Visit our Web site at www.historicnevada.org. And if you have the time, the museum is always looking for interested volunteers.
-- Contact Ellen Caywood at firstname.lastname@example.org. or at 790-1565.