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Christmas in Nevada: Patty Cafferata presents new book at Dangberg Ranch

By Miriam Hodgman

pattybwFormer Nevada State Treasurer Patty Cafferata discusses the creation of her new book, Christmas in Nevada, in a free presentation at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Saturday, October 11, at 10 a.m.

The presentation includes a discussion of Cafferata’s extensive research for Christmas in Nevada, which tells how Nevadans have celebrated the holiday from 1858 to the present day.

Some of the stories are told by well-known Nevadan residents, such as Robert Laxalt and former governors Bob List and Richard Bryan, but much of the book shows ordinary Nevadans celebrating the season in diverse ways.

The book showcases the range of the state’s ethnic and immigrant heritage, with stories from Basque, Mexican American, Native American, and African American traditions, along with those of Italian, German, Danish, and Serbian origin.

Some of the more unusual accounts include the story of three miners trapped underground for forty-five days during the Christmas season, Tonopah’s “Nevergreen” tree, and Reno’s Santa Pub Crawl, with thousands of costumed revelers.

The book includes a story from each of the state’s seventeen counties, and is illustrated with numerous photographs, many previously unpublished. Copies of the hardcover book will be available for sale (at a discounted price) and signing at the presentation.

“Patty’s book is beautifully prepared by the University of Nevada Press, and the stories cover the range of Nevada holiday experiences, with both delightful and touching tales,” said the park’s curator, Mark Jensen. “It’s the perfect gift for all Nevadans.”

Cafferata is an attorney and former Nevada State Treasurer and district attorney for Lincoln, Lander and Esmeralda Counties. She is the author of several books, including Barbara F. Vucanovich: From Nevada to Congress, and Back Again, co-written with Vucanovich, Cafferata’s mother.

The 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 presentation is a free outdoor event. 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 dangberghomeranch.org or call 775-783-9417.

The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park is the 2012 and 2013 Reno-Tahoe Territory winner of the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s “Discover Your Nevada” contest. The site preserves the home of Heinrich F. Dangberg and his descendants. The Dangbergs were a prominent ranching family in Carson Valley history and founded Minden in 1905. The site includes eight historic structures built between 1857 and 1917, along with a collection of 39,000 artifacts, documents and photographs acquired and used by the Dangberg family. Programs include tours, exhibits and other public events. The park is operated by Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in cooperation with Douglas County.

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