Students enter history contest, historic personage portrayed in Gardnerville |

Students enter history contest, historic personage portrayed in Gardnerville

by John Sammon

An audience of about 40 people were treated to an afternoon of living history Saturday at the second annual National History Day Contest at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 1477 Highway 395.

“This is a program sponsored by the Historical Society of Carson Valley,” explained event coordinator Bobbie Williams. “We want to give the children a sense of history.”

Williams explained that having children make oral or written presentations on history also hones research and writing skills.

“Our topic is scientific invention, technology and history,” she said. “This is our local competition. The state contest will he held in Carson City, with the national in Washington, D.C.”

Students could make an oral presentation, do a history exhibit, use a computer or make a video presentation.

Cristina Siqueiros, a 4th-grader at Scarselli Elementary School (Gardnerville-Ranchos) portrayed Eliza Cook, a 19th century pioneer woman doctor in Carson Valley, complete with period costume. Her performance was judged a winner out of 15 entries.

“I’m sorry I’m late, I just got done delivering a baby,” she told the audience. “I’m here to tell you about my life.”

Cook was one of only five women to attend a medical college in San Francisco in 1882.

“I opened an office in Reno, but I came back to Carson Valley in 1892,” Siqueiros said.

Other winners for their history presentations included Megan Gatrell, a fourth-grader, and Jennifer Stanfield, also a fourth-grade student, both from Scarselli Elementary School in the class of Sandra Coverley.

J. Holmes Armstead, a professor of international law at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., followed with a portrayal of 1st Lt. Henry Ossion Flipper, a member of the 10th U.S. Cavalry, a unit composed of black soldiers in the Frontier West of the 1800s.

Flipper was the first black man to graduate from West Point, despite the hazing he faced from white compatriots. He was unfairly court marshaled, a decision overturned by President Clinton last week.