|Programs and Events|
Coming soon! 2014-15 winter full-color newsletter.
FRANCES HUMPHREY LECTURE SERIES
December: no lecture--Happy Holidays! To read year-end reflections from the education program, click here.
Our 2014 focus was exploration, celebrating the life of John C. Frémont, a man whose imagination shaped the American West. We've decided to use creativity and innovation as our theme for 2015. In times of challenge Nevadans have always come up with creative solutions to survive—even thrive. Expect to meet some Nevada authors and scholars whose original research and writing are designed to inspire discussion and free-spirited thinking. The lectures start at 6:30 pm. Here’s a sneak preview of the first half of the year:
Jan. 22: A Short History of Virginia City by Ron and Susan James
June 25: Follow the Money: How Nevada’s Comstock Lode Built San Francisco, and So Much More by Gary Brechin
January 22, 2015: 6:30 - 8 pm. A Short History of Virginia City by Ron and Susan James; includes book signing. Photo courtesy of University of Nevada Press.
Founded in 1859, Virginia City quickly became world 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. Here young Samuel Clemens, reporting for the Territorial Enterprise in 1863, first called himself Mark Twain. At its height Virginia City was 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. Beginning in the 1930s, bohemian artists, literati, and tourists were intrigued by this remnant of the Old West. The leader of Manhattan’s café society, Lucius Beebe, moved here and relaunched the Territorial Enterprise in 1950. Television’s most popular western from 1959 to 1973, Bonanza, located its fictional Ponderosa Ranch nearby. In the summer of 1965, a handful of Bay Area musicians, including Big Brother and the Holding Company, performed at the Red Dog Saloon and launched psychedelic rock, part of the inspiration for a defining decade of youth culture. Today it 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. • Includes an illustrated walking tour describing more than thirty buildings and sites.
“This book takes us back to the early years of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode, and up to the present, with a wealth of information and with the same loving care [James and James] have given to so much of the Virginia City history they have helped to preserve.” -- Michael S. Green, coauthor of Las Vegas: A Centennial History.
February 26: 6:30 - 8 pm. The Spirit of the Silver State by Stanley Paher; includes book signing. Read more.
FAMILY FUN SATURDAYS
Coming January 10. 10 am - 3 pm: Funky Fungi!
Mark you calendars: September 19, 2015 from 10 - 3. Hooked on Horses by Terri Farley, provided in partnership with Nevada Humanities.
Terri Farley is the best-selling author of the PHANTOM STALLION series for young readers and a contemporary Celtic fantasy nominated as a YALSA best book. She was honored by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and her HarperCollins books have sold more than two million copies in 28 countries.
Farley is an advocate for the West’s wild horses and works with young people learning to make their voices heard. Wild at Heart: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save Them, her first work of non-fiction, is due out from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt Fall 2015.
TOUR GUIDE TRAINING
Ready, Set, Go Volunteer at the Nevada State Museum!
Volunteer Woody Davis says, "Are you retired? Are you bored? Do you need to get out of the house? Then give something back to the community. The rewards are great!" Making new friends and stimulating your brain cells are just a few of the perks; guides feel a part of something special--the Nevada State Museum team.
2015 Winter Volunteer Tour Guide Training, February 10-11 and 17-18: no experience necessary.
COIN PRESS NO. 1 DEMONSTRATION
See Coin Press No. 1, the original press from the Carson City Mint, in action the last Friday of every month. Volunteer and "Chief Coiner" Ken Hopple runs the press with Curator of History Bob Nylen. The press mints commemorative medallions in .999 fine silver with the famous "CC" Mint Mark on the reverse.
Nylen and Hopple run the press on the last Friday from 10:30 am - noon and again from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Advanced reservations are not needed to see the press and learn about its history.
The Carson City Mint operated from 1870-1893. Coin Press No. 1 was the first press to arrive; later it operated with three presses.
BEHIND THE SCENES