There are lots of opportunities to learn more about one of the Carson Valley’s local treasures during July, as Mormon Station State Historic Park hosts a number of different walks, talks, and activities throughout the month. All the following events are free and open to the public.
Park rangers will be onsite each Thursday and Sunday all month long to lead guided tours of the four-acre park. Participants will learn about the history of the park and go “behind the scenes” to tour structures in the park that are currently closed to the public.
Thursday dates in July are 7, 14, 21, and 28, with walks taking place from 11-11:45 am. Sunday dates are July 10, 17, 24, and 31, with walks scheduled from 2-2:45 pm. History walks will continue on Thursdays and Sundays throughout August.
Life on the Trail
On Fridays and Saturdays in July, visitors are invited to stop by the wagon encampment inside the stockade to learn what life was like for emigrants who traveled west on the California Trail during the 1850s. A park ranger will share various aspects of trail life including routines and chores, tools used by the travelers, and unique hardships encountered along the way.
Park rangers are available for these Life on the Trail talks on Fridays between the hours of 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 8, 15, 22, and 29. On Saturdays, rangers are available between the hours of 1-3 p.m. on July 9, 16, 23, and 30. These talks will continue on Fridays and Saturdays throughout August.
Two specific history talks are offered at the park this month, both 11-11:45 a.m. Saturdays.
On July 9, the park offers a talk on The Early Years of Mormon Station. A park ranger will speak about the settlement and development of Mormon Station during the 1850s and what life was like for the early settlers who made a home there. The discussion includes how Mormon Station began as a remote trading station and grew into a bustling community over several years.
The July 23 talk is Braving the California Trail Through Nevada. The Nevada State Parks website says, “For many emigrants who braved the California Trail in the mid-1800s, the segment through Nevada was the most hated and feared portion of the entire journey. A park interpreter will discuss what made travel through the Great Basin of Nevada so arduous for wagon trains and will explore topics such as the forty-mile desert, the Humboldt River and the legend of the Buenaventura River” (parks.nv.gov).
Paranormal Evening at the Park
Those more inclined toward the mysterious are invited to join experienced paranormal investigators for an evening of exploration at Mormon Station. This event takes place 7-11 p.m. July 16.
Attendees will be presented with past evidence of spirit activity in the park and learn about the professional equipment and techniques employed by investigators. Participants will then have an opportunity to search for paranormal activity in and around the park’s museum, grounds, and historic structures that include the early 1900s chicken house, 1908 blacksmith shop, and Arribalsaga-Campbell house, constructed in 1948.
This program is limited to eight participants, and reservations are required. To register, call the park office at 775-782-2590 or email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guided walk of historic Genoa
“Mormon Station is located in the heart of the Genoa National Historic District, which encompasses over 25 structures and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places” (parks.nv.gov). Visitors may participate in a mile-long roundtrip walk with a park interpreter and enjoy a tour of this notable area 11 a.m. July 30.
This walk is limited to 30 participants, and reservations are required. Call the park office at 775-782-2590 or email Chris at email@example.com to secure a spot. Mormon Station State Historic Park is located at 2295 Main St. in Genoa. For more information about these or other events, visit the Nevada State Parks website at parks.nv.gov/parks/mormon-station, or find the park on Facebook at facebook.com/MormonStationStateParkNV/.
Amy Roby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.