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Chautauqua of Mary McNair Mathews Saturday at the Dangberg Home Ranch

By Bob Conrad

Watson-Mathews_rose_softMINDEN, Nev. – Nevada State Parks invites the public to a free Chautauqua performance of Nevadan Mary McNair Mathews at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 15. Anita Watson portrays Mathews’ years on the Comstock and provides a fascinating look at a remarkable woman and a unique time and place in 19th century Nevada.

Widowed by the time she learned of her younger brother’s death in Virginia City in 1869, Mathews sold her hoop skirt business, packed up her young son and headed west to investigate the circumstances of her brother’s death and the status of his estate. She remained on the Comstock for almost nine years, where she ran a lodging house and a school, worked as a nurse and a seamstress, wrote letters for pay and babysat. She was active in local temperance activities and at one time operated a soup kitchen.

Anita Watson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has written various topics on Nevada’s history. She has been presenting Chautauqua performances for more than ten years.

This free outdoor program is part of a speaker series offered by Nevada State Parks at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park. Chairs and shade shelters will be provided, but visitors are welcome to bring their lawn chairs and are encouraged to bring drinking water.

Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park, located just west of Minden in Douglas County at 1450 Highway 88, features several historic buildings constructed between 1857 and 1920, including what was once one of the most prominent homes in Carson Valley. The site was settled in 1857 by Carson Valley pioneer Heinrich F. Dangberg, Sr.

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