2005: A year of firsts in the Valley | RecordCourier.com

2005: A year of firsts in the Valley

by Jo Rafferty

It was a year of successes, birthdays, additions and annual events. It was also a year that featured first-ever events in Carson Valley.

The following is a list of events that took place in 2005 in the Valley for the first time:

Carson Valley Christmas Season Kick Off

For the first time the Town of Gardnerville held the Carson Valley Christmas Season Kick Off, which took place on Nov. 30 at Heritage Park, just a few days prior to the 10th annual Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights.

Approximately 200 residents watched as the lights were turned on in Gardnerville’s Heritage Park pavilion for the first time during the Kick Off. Gardnerville Town Board Chairman Tom Cook led the crowd in a count down.

Town board members gave attendees chestnuts they were roasting over fire pits, while other volunteers handed out hot cocoa and apple cider.

The Carson Valley Community Theater group performed the holiday melodrama “Santa’s Little Helper” in front of many wide-eyed children and their parents

People of all ages came out on this drizzly evening that cleared up just in time for the event.

“I feel like I’m back in my childhood, and I’m a great grandmother,” said Maren Young, 74, who was attending with her husband Dick, 75, both of Gardnerville.

Gardnerville town manager Jim Park said this will become an annual event at Heritage Park.

Douglas County Historical Society Ghost Walk

Another seasonal event new to the Valley was the Douglas County Historical Society Ghost Walk. Also planned to be an annual event, the evening of Oct. 27 began with a walking tour of haunted sites in Gardnerville.

Rob Park portrayed John Farrell, a man who died in the Old Gardnerville jail. Skeletons, laughing pumpkins and three spooky characters at local dentist Dr. Michael Fischer’s office. At the Old Hospital, now the “Logan Building,” they were greeted on the front porch by the ghost of nurse May Kenny.

After the walking tour participants returned to the museum for a discussion about murders, suicides and other haunted sites in Carson Valley.

Despite a few “technical” problems, Laurie Hickey of the historical society said they will come back next year even stronger, with more ghosts.

“Whistle Stop,” museum’s first melodrama

The Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center presented its first-ever melodrama, “Whistle Stop,” which was also the first original melodrama written by John Smith of the Douglas County Historical Society. The play, directed by Smith’s wife, Sue, was performed on Nov. 11-13 at the museum in Gardnerville.

“Whistle Stop,” a fundraiser for the Douglas County Historical Society, drew sold-out crowds at all three performances.

The story took place in the Minden train station around the turn of the century. About 16 actors from the Douglas County Historical Society Players were in the melodrama, including former society president Hap Fisher, who played the station master. Fisher’s father was the original station master in Minden.

In January, the museum will present its second melodrama, “Mischief in Minden or Dexter Done Wrong,” performed by the Misfits of Dayton.

n In Friday’s edition of The Record-Courier, take a brief look at the happenings that took place throughout the year.