Dr. Anita Watson will portray Mary McNair Mathews, an 1870s resident of Virginia City, in a free chautauqua presentation at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden.
Watson’s portrayal of Mathews provides a look at a remarkable woman and a unique time and place. Widowed by the time she learned of her younger brother’s death in Virginia City in 1869, Mathews sold her hoop skirt business, packed up her young son and headed west to investigate the circumstances of her brother’s death and the status of his estate.
She remained on the Comstock for nine years, where she ran a lodging house and a school, worked as a nurse and a seamstress, wrote letters for pay, and baby-sat.
This is a free outdoor event. Visitors can bring a lawn chair or use one of the park’s chairs. For more information, go to dangberghomeranch.org, or call 775-783-9417.
Dr. Watson’s appearance is a Humanities on the Road event sponsored by Nevada Humanities, 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.
Other speakers on the remaining schedule in this year’s series are historian Ronald James discussing his book on Virginia City on Sept. 27; and Patty Cafferata on Oct. 11 for a discussion of her book about Christmas in Nevada.