Historical take on watchmen at Dangberg Home Ranch
Chautauquan Deke DiMarzo will portray Watchman Alex Coryell: Virginia City Police Department 1873 to 1891 at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Wednesday, August 15 at 6:30 pm.
Alex R. Coryell was a watchman for the Virginia City Police Department from 1873 until June 25, 1891. Coryell was a Civil War veteran who left the state of Virginia after the war and moved to Virginia City, Nevada. His family became well known and prominent in Virginia City, with one of his relatives becoming a pharmacist on C Street.
Watchman Alex Coryell was described as being “an open hearted, honest and upright citizen and as brave as they make them”. Coryell gave his life in the line of duty after succumbing to injuries that he sustained during an altercation with a drunken and violent miner, whom he had successfully lodged in the Storey County Jail. He was the sixth Storey County law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty and the sixteenth in the state of Nevada.
Deke DiMarzo, a retired 30-year law enforcement officer, has held positions on city, county, state and federal levels in Nevada and Oregon during his career. DiMarzo has lived and worked in and around Virginia City since 1972. He gives historic walking tours of the town and has given historic talks at the St. Mary’s Art Center and Piper’s Opera House. He has also appeared on The History Channel, The Travel Channel and in several movies.
Additionally, Deke DiMarzo portrays Virginia City lawman Eugen Blair and stage robber Big Jack Davis. DiMarzo is also a member of The Devils Gate Gunfighters, The Virginia City Living Legends and the 601 Vigilantes, which are all re-enactment groups that portray Comstock history.
“Deke DiMarzo is a wealth of knowledge about Comstock history, both the well-known and the little-known facts. His dedication to his craft is very inspiring,” said the park’s events manager, Kim Harris.
This event is part of the park’s Dangberg Summer Festival and is sponsored by Douglas County, Carson Valley Accounting, Full Circle Soils and Compost, Allied Sanitation Services, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Minden Fortnightly Club and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. This event is also made possible with the assistance of Nevada Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The cost for the Chautauqua event is $5 for adults, free for members and for 16 years and younger.
The full Dangberg Summer Festival event schedule is available at dangberghomeranch.org.
The Dangberg ranch house will be open for one hour before the event for anyone who would like an introduction to the Dangberg family history and the park’s artifact collection.
This an outdoor event, and visitors should bring their own seating. Please no dogs, legitimate service animals only. The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital.
The final Chautauquan of this season is Cindy Southerland who will portray “Annie H. Martin: The First Woman to Head a U.S. Treasury Facility, the Assay Office at Carson City” on August 29.