Hellwinkel to portray Ellen Raycraft Saturday at museum
Marlena Hellwinkel, president of the Carson Valley Historical Society, will portray her husband Don’s great-grandmother, Ellen Raycraft, on Saturday in Gardnerville
The living history program is one of three to celebrate Women’s History Month at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center. The event will be held 2-4 p.m.
Ellen Quinlan Raycraft came from Cork, Ireland. She arrived in the U.S. in 1823 and came overland to Genoa with her husband from Hannibal, Mo.
“When they got to Genoa, they pitched their camp in an orchard where she gave birth to her 11th child,” Hellwinkel said, “and she informed her husband this was it. She was going no farther.”
So they settled in Genoa. They owned the Raycraft Hotel, which was on land that is now part of the Giovacchini property.
Hellwinkel will wear Lillian Finnegan’s hat, skirt and cape.Finnegan was the originator of the Candy Dance in Genoa (which she started in 1919), and the granddaughter of Ellen Raycraft.
Hellwinkel as Raycraft will walk among the visitors and will talk to groups of people as they tour the museum and partake of refreshments.
She will answer questions about Raycraft’s life and early-day Genoa.
“People are invited to tour the museum,” Hellwinkel said. “We have a lot of new and exciting exhibits.”
Two other Women’s History Month events are planned.
On March 22, Pat Cardinal will portray Grace Dangberg, 2-4 p.m.
On March 29, Cathy Simpson will portray Eilly Orrum Bowers, 2-4 p.m.
Refreshments will be served. All performances will be at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 1477 Highway 395, Gardnerville.
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