Literary Club celebrates 75 years

The Carson Valley Literary Club dedicated a bench at the Martin Slough Trail head on Oct. 14 as part of their celebration of their 75-year anniversary.

The Carson Valley Literary Club dedicated a bench at the Martin Slough Trail head on Oct. 14 as part of their celebration of their 75-year anniversary.

The Carson Valley Literary Club partied like it was 1948 during its 75-year anniversary in November.

“Everything went back to the beginning,” said Carson Valley Literary Club president Rose Cook. “We did everything they probably did in 1948. We took care of business then had coffee, tea and socialized.”

During the celebration the club paid tribute to the founders by presenting history about the club and the Valley including who the president was at the time and what type of music they enjoyed.

In preparation for the party, the group went through scrapbooks about the club and archives discovering members that date back to the founding families and ranch owners of the Valley, including the Indianos, Hussmans, Henningsens.

“We really did step back in time,” said Cook. “I think people left it thinking, ‘wow that was fantastic.’”

The original club was formed around 1918 as the Gardnerville Women’s Literary Club, which consisted of wives of ranchers and their friends. By 1948 an offshoot club was created so the women’s daughters could have a club of their own known as the Carson Valley Literary Club.

Not to be confused with a book club, both were social clubs usually hosted at members’ homes around the valley.

“We might be a literary club, but we don’t read books,” said Cook.

She said sometimes the topics of books do come up and ocassionally  books are exchanged, but the focus of the group is to come together and be social.

Cook said the club’s meetings consist of informative, interesting and popular topics from favorite columnists, a heroine of history, a favorite novel or musician.

The club’s “business” includes presentations on the history and life of Edward MacDowell, tidbits from newspapers including the topography of Scotland and articles in The Record-Courier, reviews of the best-selling authors, Chautauqua performances, new businesses and happenings around the Valley and more.

“It’s how things were done back then and how they are done now, we come and we talk,” said Cook. “Often times a speaker who will present us with information we haven’t heard yet or give a demonstration or a performance. It’s to broaden our horizons as far as the Valley is concerned.”

When Carson Valley Literary Club past president and historian Pearl Plummer moved to the Carson Valley from Lake Tahoe, she said the club helped make her transition easier.

“It has been a wonderful way to be introduced to the history and families in the community,” she said. “It’s really about the connections and friendships we create too. We have fun.”

Cook said the Carson Valley Literary Club is one of the longest standing social clubs in the community.

“We have a very diverse group of people,” said Cook. “There are teachers, medical professionals, law enforcement, state and county professionals. It makes me wonder if the women who started this group knew how big it was and what it would become. So much has changed from 1948 to today, but this club stayed intact and that’s important and reason to celebrate. It keeps us in touch with what was, what is and we hope future members will create what it will become.”


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