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Historian Ron James to present Virginia City history at Dangberg Ranch


MINDEN — Ron James will discuss his new book, A Short History of Virginia City, in a free presentation at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park, on Saturday, September 27, at 10:00 am.

A Short History of Virginia City describes how the town, founded in 1859, quickly became famous for its extraordinary prosperity. Over the next two decades, the mines of “the Richest City on Earth” yielded millions in gold and silver. The newly wealthy built mansions and churches, opera houses and schools, with furniture, fashions, and entertainment imported from Europe and the Far East.

The book also describes how, at its height, Virginia City became a magnet for immigrants and the world leader in technological innovations in mining. The city’s story did not end when the Comstock Lode played out and, beginning in the 1930s, bohemian artists, literati, and tourists were intrigued by this remnant of the Old West.

Today, Virginia City is both a National Historic Landmark District and a living community. Visitors come to enjoy its saloons and restaurants, admire its architecture, and learn from its museums and exhibits. A Short History of Virginia City will enhance their experience and will also be enjoyed by anyone interested in the history of Nevada, mining, and the Old West.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at a discounted price of $19.95, and for signing by the author.

Ronald M. James is the author or editor of twelve books, including The Gold Rush Letters of E. Allen Grosh and Hosea B. Grosh (co-edited with Robert E. Stewart), which received the Award of Merit from American Association for State and Local History.

James is adjunct faculty in historic preservation at the University of Nevada, Reno, and has published numerous articles on history, folklore, and archaeology. He is on the advisory board of the National Park Service, and recently stepped down after serving as Nevada’s State Historic Preservation Officer for three decades.

The free, outdoor presentation is part of the park’s Ferris Family Speaker Series, sponsored by Bently Enterprises, SoaringNV, Douglas County and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Animal Hospital. Visitors can bring a lawn chair or use one of the park’s chairs. For more information, visit www.dangberghomeranch.org or call 775-783-9417.

The last speaker in this year’s series is Patty Cafferata on October 11, who will discuss her new book, Christmas in Nevada.

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