Carson Valley Correspondence – January 2018

                                                Photo by Barbara MacDonald Thomas, courtesy Carson Valley Visitors Authority

January has arrived at last. And with it come the gift returns, New Year’s resolutions, resuming our day-to-day routines, and the “after Holiday blues”.  Admit it; you miss all of the activities that surround the Holidays.  You probably think there isn’t much to do during the month of January, especially here in Carson Valley, right?  Hmmm, let’s take a look.

Every part of Carson Valley, from the southern tip of Topaz Lake to the northern town of Genoa, has something to offer. Now, put on your coat and hat and head outside, because there’s nothing like that crisp Carson Valley air to clear the blues away. Oh sure, it can get pretty cold here.  In the book The Tennessee Letters, newspaper correspondent and Genoa resident Richard Allen (known by the nom de plume of “Tennessee”) wrote this on January 26th of 1860:  “Cattle have died by hundreds, some from starvation and more from the intensity of the cold.”  Well thankfully this January isn’t quite as cold, and there are plenty of cattle and wildlife to be seen here in Carson Valley.  

Just take the 16th Annual Eagles and Ag Tour” January 25th through 28th, and you’ll see what I mean.  However, as you tour Carson Valley, it would be well to keep in mind the words  of the late and beloved Carson Valley descendent, Freida Cordes Godecke: “As far as it was possible, livestock were sheltered under a roof, especially during the stormy, winter months.  Consequently, it seemed as necessary  to have good barns as it did to have comfortable homes.”  So it would seem that in all years, it is not necessarily comfortable in the  winter, in Carson Valley.

You may recall that last month I wrote about the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park’s “Old Fashioned Holiday Open House.”  If you dropped in, which I hope you did, you were able to see inside of the Dangberg family home.  If you take the “16th Annual Eagles and Ag tour, you’ll have an opportunity to wonder the grounds of this historic park, as well as the other ranches along the tour.

                                                            Photo by Diana Hames, courtesy Carson Valley Vistors Authority

And as you visit the many long standing ranches on the tour, you’ll hear the history of these families who have been in the valley for several generations.  Perhaps you’ll wish to have met them.  That is possible … in a way… at least in Genoa.  Authors Karen Dustman and Laurie Hickey have written a wonderful book entitled The Old Genoa Cemetery; A Walking Tour – Book 1, which can be purchased at Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park’s gift shop in Minden or at the Douglas County Historical Society’s museum bookstore in Gardnerville.  If you’re at the Gardnerville museum, and before you head over to the Genoa cemetery, take a tour of this museum which was originally built as the Douglas County High School in 1915, and designed by famous Reno architect Frederick DeLongchamps.  Their new “Tahoe Room Exhibit” is set to open January 28th. .

                                                        Fishing at Topaz Lake

Want to go fishing?  Then bring your rod and reel to Topaz Lodge’s 2018 Fishing Derby, which begins on January 1st and runs through April 15th.  While you’re there, why not stay overnight at the Topaz Lodge, which also offers excellent dining? 

If you’re travelling from other parts of Nevada, you’ll definitely need lodging if you plan to attend our Carson Valley events. The Carson Valley Inn is conveniently located on Hwy 395 in Minden and has excellent dining and gaming choices. . If you prefer to be nestled up against the Sierras in an historic resort, then Genoa offers 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort and Spa, which also boasts excellent dining opportunities.

Now, about those holiday gifts you don’t want.  After returning them, why not spend a day or two here in Carson Valley, shopping in some of our many antique stores, boutiques and gift shops for something you really, really want?  As for antiques, in Genoa you can visit Antiques Plus in the historic “Dake House” on Foothill Road, where you can also purchase a book about this historic and haunted home, written by local author Sandie La Nae, entitled The Victorian Past and Haunted Present of the Dake House.  In Minden on the main business street of Esmeralda, you can visit Tumblewind Antiques and Collectibles.  In Gardnerville on Main Street (Hwy 395), you must check out Cheshire Antiques Inc.  Each of these locally owned shops are not only located in historic buildings, but are also filled with wonderful memorabilia from our grandparents,’ parents’ and our own past.

So you ask,Why Carson Valley in January? The answer is; because we are all about history, happenings and hospitality.  That’s why we’re known as “The Land of Legends.”  I look forward to greeting  you and wishing you  a very Happy New Year. Cheers!

— Kim Harris