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National Women in History month celebrated at Valley museum

by Joyce Hollister

Women from Douglas County’s past are featured in the a new traveling exhibit in Gardnerville.

National Women in History Month will be celebrated at Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center during March with the exhibit and four special events.

The display, put together by the Nevada State Museum, is called “Nevada Women: On the Road to Change, 1860-1920” and relates how women became involved in four major areas of community life: clubs and civic organizations, the temperance movement, the suffrage movement and politics.

A timeline for each topic includes the major events that took place during the time period and pinpoints the contributions of various Nevada women. Among them are the the Minden Fortnightly Club ladies, who organized in 1910; Dr. Eliza Cook, who contributed to the temperance movement as president of the Nevada Women’s Christian Temperance Union 1896-1901 and the suffrage movement as vice president of the State Equal Suffrage Association in 1895; and Gertrude Dangberg, who in 1916 was among the many women who were elected as school superintendents in four Nevada counties even though they could not vote at the time.

“The display shows how women’s roles changed so much during this time period,” said museum curator Cecile Brown. “They emerged – they became shopkeepers and sole proprietors and they got the right to vote. They went out into the workplace.

“Their roles took a 180.”

Dozens of photos in the exhibit depict women from many counties of Nevada. From Douglas, they include Dr. Cook; Clarissa Church, who was the daughter of Charlotte Barber of a prominent black family in early Carson Valley; Sarah Winnemucca, the famous Native American who lived in Genoa for a time with the Ormsby family; and Dat So La Lee, a member of the Washoe Tribe whose baskets were known for their high quality.

Also in the exhibit are dolls, shoes, jewelry, schoolbooks, posters, a women’s suffrage torch used in parades and sheet music for songs relating to the suffrage movement.

A dress worn by a Carson City minister’s wife, in remarkably good condition, is displayed on a mannequin. One of the photos features the burning of tobacco and liquor from Joe Kelly’s stock in Carson City in 1909.

Events free to the public begin March 7, with Carson Valley resdient Cherry Jones portraying Laura Ingalls Wilder. Jones has portrayed Dr. Eliza Cook and is the author of a newly published children’s book.

The program will begin about 1:45 p.m.

On March 14, JoAnn Peden of Reno will give a presentation on Katy Frazier, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Her acclaimed video, “That Was a Happy Life, A Paiute Women Remembers,” will be shown in conjunction with the photo exhibit, “Pyramid Lake,” now in the changing gallery at the museum.

On March 20, students in Bobbie William’s gifted and talented program at Scarselli Elementary school will do historic portrayals. They are Tiffini Drew, who will portray noted educator Mary McLeod Bethune; Jennifer Becker as John Hancock; Kileen Vandervort as Marie Curie; Leah Kramer as Emily Dickinson; and Renee Johnston as Ludwig von Beethoven. This program will begin at 1:30 p.m.

On March 28, Williams will portray Sacajawea, the Native American guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Refreshments will be served.