Pioneer woman Royce rolls into Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park

Bootleggers Band performs 6 p.m. today at Dangberg Ranch Historic Park.

Bootleggers Band performs 6 p.m. today at Dangberg Ranch Historic Park.

Dr. Doris Dwyer will portray Sarah Royce, a pioneer of the American West, in a free Chautauqua presentation 10 a.m. today at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.

Royce was a leading female voice of the Overland Trail during the crucial year of 1849 and her book, “Frontier Lady,” is a classic of American women’s literature. Born in England in 1819, her family immigrated to the United States when she was six weeks of age. Raised in New York, she and her husband joined the first wave of 49’ers following the discovery of gold in California.

Dwyer’s appearance is a Humanities on the Road event sponsored by Nevada Humanities, Nevada’s nonprofit council affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The presentation is part of the park’s Ferris Family Speaker Series, sponsored by Bently Enterprises, SoaringNV, Douglas County, and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation.

Royce’s descriptions of travelling through the desert in contemporary Nevada are unmatched in conveying the pitfalls of life on the trail. The mother of four children, including a son who would grow up to become the renowned Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce, Sarah founded church congregations and schools, notably in Grass Valley, Calif. She has become representative of the female role in shaping the culture of the American west.

Dwyer has taught history and humanities at Western Nevada College in Fallon since 1980. In addition to Royce, she has portrayed Donner Party survivor Margaret Breen, contraceptive pioneer Margaret Sanger, Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, Puritan dissenter Anne Hutchinson, and environmentalist Rachel Carson. Dwyer has performed hundreds of Chautauqua portrayals around the country, and is a Governor’s appointee to the Nevada Board of Museums and History, as well as a past recipient of the Governor’s Humanities Award and the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award.

This is a free outdoor event. The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Animal Hospital. Visitors can bring a lawn chair or use one of the park’s chairs. For more information, visit or call 775-783-9417.

Other speakers in this year’s series are a group of local artisans demonstrating techniques and equipment for fiber arts on July 26. Former Nevada State Treasurer Patty Cafferata and her daughter Elisa will talk about Patty’s mother Barbara Vucanovich on Aug. 2; Kim Copel will present a Chautauqua of stagecoach driver Charlie Parkhurst on Aug. 23 and Dr. Anita Watson will portray Virginia City pioneer Mary McNair Mathews in a Chautauqua on Sept. 6. Historian Ronald James discusses his book on Virginia City on Sept. 27 and Patty Cafferata returns on Oct. 11 for a discussion of her book on Christmas in Nevada.

Bootleggers and Ten Dollar Pony play Dangberg

The Bootleggers band will headline a concert opened by Ten Dollar Pony 5 p.m. Sunday at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.

The Bootleggers play classic rock, country and original music, with influences including Van Morison, Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Hand Williams, The Beatles, Georgia Satelites and many more. The band—with Mike Grimes playing bass guitar and singing vocals, Bob Smile on lead guitar, Jerry Mosley on drums and Billy Tucker on guitar and vocals—takes the stage at 6 p.m.

Leading off is Ten Dollar Pony, a group whose musical style varies, with a little bit of folk rock, country rock, blues, and Latin. Ten Dollar Pony is the duo of Larry Nair on vocals, guitar, dobro, banjitar, mandolin, and Liza Beth Oliveto on vocals, guitar, and mandolin. They were featured in last fall’s Hermitfest, and also at Smith Valley’s exclusive Burning Girl Festival. Over the past three years their music has begun reaching a wider audience, having performed in Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, California, Vermont, and all over Northern Nevada.

The Dangberg Summer Sunday Concert Series is sponsored by Bently Enterprises, SoaringNV, Douglas County, the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation, American Family Insurance Mark Smith Agency, Joyce’s Fine Jewelry, Bing Materials, Borges Carriage Rides, Dr. James the Dentist, Nevada State Bank and Pit Stop Pots.

The Carson Valley Lions Club will be selling burgers (including veggie burgers), hot dogs, popcorn and and ice cold beverages. Beer and wine will be available for purchase from the Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch.

Tickets are $10 per person and are available in person, Battle Born Wine, Joyce’s Fine Jewelry or at Tickets, if available, will be sold at the gate, which opens at 4 p.m. Children 16 and younger are free and do not need a ticket.

Pets are prohibited, with the exception of certified service.

This concert is organized by the Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Information on contributing support to this effort is at For more information, email


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