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Storytellers bring Gold Rush songs and tales to Dangberg Historic Park


Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden has been named a “Nevada Treasure” for the Reno-Tahoe Territory in the Discover Your Nevada contest.


MINDEN, Nev.- Award-winning storytellers B.Z. Smith and Peg Reza will present “Traveling Up Gold Mountain: Songs & Stories of California’s Gold Rush,” at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Wednesday, June 25, at 6:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

“Traveling Up Gold Mountain” is filled with delightful songs of the Gold Rush era and rich stories of Mother Lode heritage. Young and old will learn how gold became trapped in the great Sierra Nevada, hear how miners from around the world toiled and struggled to find that treasure, and get a taste of the diverse worlds that inhabited the region over 150 years ago.

The program is sponsored by Bently Heritage, SoaringNV, Douglas County, Carson Valley Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

B.Z. Smith has been a professional storyteller for more than 38 years, and is a retired teacher and library outreach specialist. She has earned several major awards for her work, including a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for her first recording, a showcase teller for the 2005 National Storytelling Festival, and a National Storytelling Network Oracle Award for Service and Leadership.

“The show is suitable for ages 9 through 99, as it includes glimpses of mayhem, murder and madams,” Smith said.

Peg Reza has performed and taught music throughout the West. A songwriter and musical arranger, she is the director of Columbia State Historic Park’s Blue Shoes Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra and a teacher at many ukulele conferences.

Both women have been regular featured performers at the Strawberry Music Festival, and have brought “Traveling Up Gold Mountain” to museums, schools and community groups throughout California’s Gold Country. The show will soon be released on CD, featuring the songs and stories heard during the program.

The free, hour-long, outdoor presentation begins at 6 pm. Seating will be available, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs for greater comfort. Soft drinks and water will be available for purchase, or visitors can bring a picnic and their favorite beverage.

Other storytellers in this year’s storytelling series are Cathryn Fairlee, presenting a Chautauqua of Donner Party survivor Virginia Reed Murphy on July 2; Ken Gardner and Tony Argento teaming up for an evening of cowboy poetry on July 24; and Joel Ben Izzy on August 27. Each is free and open to the public.

The park is located at 1450 Highway 88, about ¾ mile south of the Carson Valley Swim Center. The park’s full event schedule is at dangberghomeranch.org.

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