Museum offers Valley history for all ages |

Museum offers Valley history for all ages

by Ellen Caywood

The great line, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” comes from the 1967 movie “Cool Hand Luke.” Some lines, like this one, just say it all. Our failure to communicate revolves around our April 20 History Mystery Luncheon. Somehow some misinformation has gotten out, so we’re going to try to set the record straight.

First, anyone interested in the remarkable history of this valley is welcome to come to the lunch. Ladies, that means you can invite your husband or your children old enough to appreciate history. Second, there is nothing boring about history. History is made up of the actions of people, and people are fascinating. They do the darnedest things. You will learn some of these bizarre things at our History Mystery lunch. The history of this area is amazing. Where else could you find the Pony Express living along side of Snowshoe Thompson and the Gold and Silver Rush of the 1840s and ’50s? Where else could you find such colorful characters as Julia Bulette, a madam in Virginia City on one hand and Lillian Virgin Finnegan, daughter of then prominent Judge Daniel Webster Virgin, on the other? In our valley alone you have the stories of the Germans, Danes, Basque and Washoe people living together in harmony some of the time — and living not so harmoniously at other times. So get your tickets to our History Mystery Luncheon and spend an afternoon enjoying the history of the people of our valley. Tickets are $25 per person and are limited. The event begins at 11 a.m. with lunch served at 12:15. There will be a skit as well as special guest speaker Dr. Michael Fischer, giving us the enticing truth about Millerville. You can call 782-2555 to reserve tickets by credit card.

Here is another event you won’t want to miss. For the first time Douglas County Historical Society Young Chautauquans will participate in a joint presentation with the Great Basin group at the Carson City Library, 900 Roop St., Carson City. The presentation is April 27, at 2 p.m. and is free to the public. Young Chautauquans from third through eighth grade portray historical figures which they have chosen. They represent the person in costume and present a 10-minute monologue about the person’s life. And speaking of our Young Chautauquans, the date of their summer program in Mormon State Park is 5 to 8 p.m. June 19. Bring a picnic supper and the whole family and enjoy their performances. Admission is free of charge.

Contact Ellen Caywood by email at