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Genoa gets ready for sesquicentennial

for by Nancy Hamlett

The Genoa Sesquicentennial Committee is kicking off a year and a half of celebrations leading up to the 150th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in Nevada – Mormon Station.

The lead-off event is a performance of the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra, conducted by Danny Yale. The concert will be held on March 19 from 4-6 p.m. in the Genoa Town Hall. Tickets are $5 each or a family for $15, and they will be available at the door. Organizers suggest arriving early, as seating is limited to 250.

Laurie Hickey who is co-chairing the committee with Nancy Miluck, said that the committee is planning at least one special event every month until the grand finale celebration in June 2001.

“This is a historical occasion, not only for Genoa, but for the whole Carson Valley and Carson City,” said Hickey. “The settlement at Mormon Station impacted the entire area, and it is only fitting that we should celebrate the formation of the first permanent settlement in the state and honor our historic heritage.”

n On a shoestring. Right now, the Genoa Sesquicentennial Committee is operating on a shoestring. The organization formed without any financial backing.

“We’ll grow as we go,” said Hickey. “However, what is most important to us is that these events are within everyone’s budget. All monies collected will go right back into scheduling more events.”

The committee plans to sell commemorative memorabilia in honor of Mormon Station. The artwork for commemorative plates trimmed with gold will be completed in time for the concert, as well as the design for medallions that will be minted especially for the 150-year celebration. Samples of both will be on display at the concert, and the committee will take pre-orders for the merchandise.

“We urge you to place your order early as we will only have a certain number of plates made. And the plates will be numbered, so like any commemorative issue, the lower the number, the more valuable they will become,” said Hickey, who added that all proceeds from the plates will fund future events.

Many of the sesquicentennial events will be free, however, Hickey said that some, like next week’s concert, would require a modest fee.

“We don’t want to exclude anyone,” said Hickey. “Nor do we want to exclude anyone from participating on the committee. It isn’t just for people of Genoa. If you have ideas or if you want to help, we’d like to hear from you.”

Future sesquicentennial events that are already scheduled are the Antique Show and Sale at the Genoa Town Hall on April 8-9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Early Nevada Lawmen, a lecture and book signing by Bob Ellison April 14; Park-Hansen Historic Trunk Show, May 5, at the Courthouse Museum; Nevada Ghost Towns lecture and book signing by Nevada author Stan Paher, May 12; Doll Show and Tea, May 13; Fifth Annual Genoa House and Garden Tour June 4; Renaissance Faire. July 29-30; Candidates Night, Aug. 12 and Sesquicentennial Murder Mystery Dinner, Oct. 29.

n Singing cowboys. Other events will include an evening of cowboy songs and poetry, a musical nostalgia trip and Pony Express Days.

“We are still working on the final event for June 3-4, 2001,” said Hickey. “We have so many ideas, it’s just a matter of putting them together and finding out how much money we will have.”

For information about the Carson Valley Pops Orchestra concert or other Genoa Sesquicentennial events call 782-2893 or 782-2486.