Update Thursday on historic home ranch | RecordCourier.com

Update Thursday on historic home ranch

Sheila Gardner

County commissioners have scheduled an update Thursday on the status of the historic Dangberg home ranch, now the subject of litigation between Douglas County and Dangberg Holdings LLC, owners of the ranch property.

A trial date to hear the lawsuit is to be set Feb. 24. The case has been assigned to Senior Judge Carl Christiansen of Las Vegas after Douglas County’s two district judges voluntarily disqualified themselves.

At issue is the county’s claim that the ranch was to be offered to the state of Nevada or Douglas County for sale to be used as a historical museum following the death of the last surviving of the Dangberg sisters, Katrina Glide, nearly two years ago.

Representatives of Dangberg Holdings LLC, owners of the 9,800-acre property where the home ranch is located, have argued that the county only has the right to the ranch’s personal items, if anything. The owners, Don Bently and Bruce Park, also expressed concern about the prospect of a historical museum located in the middle of an operational cattle ranch.

Last March, commissioners authorized the lawsuit on behalf of the county.

Former commissioner Mike Fischer, also a member of the Home Ranch Advisory Committee, said Thursday that he hopes the current board is still interested in the ranch.

More than $1.7 million in room tax funds have been set aside for operation of the ranch. With increasing demands to allot more room tax money to promote tourism, Fischer fears for the future of the home ranch allocation.

“The short-term might be rosier with that $1.7 million available, but 20 years down the road, that history will be gone. If the money is spent on the ranch, people will be able to see how agriculture existed in an unfettered location that will stay that way because of the nature of the flood plain,” said Fischer, who spent many summers working on the ranch.

“There is nothing else like this in western Nevada or California,” Fischer said. “It’s been done very successfully in other locations including Deer Lodge, Mont., and Sheridan, Wyo.”

Fischer said he believes the ranch could become a money-making venture.

“There are all kinds of things you could do – weddings, Chautauquas, cowboy poetry festivals, in addition to making this a historic site. I’d have a brochure in every hotel room in Carson City and Reno and tourist racks about what there is to do in Carson Valley – the museum, the ranch, the ambience of the Basque hotels and restaurants. It would give people a reason to stay one more day,” he said.

Fischer said money for the home ranch restoration also may be available from the state Cultural Commission.

“A collection of history exists out there that will have relevance purely to the agricultural industry that made this Valley grow and develop,” Fischer said.

Commissioners meet Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. at the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St., in Minden.