Virginia Citt school celebrates Historic Preservation Week

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VIRGINIA CITY -- Speakeasies and bathtub gin will live again as the historic Fourth Ward School Museum presents "Step Back in Time to the Roaring Twenties" Friday through Sunday.

A complimentary martini glass inscribed with an entry password is needed to join the party, as the evening begins with "bathtub" gin martinis. Dinner will be served with the tunes of the 1920s, played by Reba Tawlks and Wanette Knott.

Flappers from the Carson City Senior Follies will perform a Charleston dance review, and State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James will share tales of the Prohibition on the Comstock.

The event is part of the 17th Annual Comstock Historic Preservation Weekend, bringing history home to the people of Northern Nevada.

"It's important to raise people's awareness of local history so they can understand our place in history," said Barbara Mackay, the Fourth Ward's executive director.

"Preserving history is important as a connection with others for understanding the past and as a gift for the future," she said. "We share a heritage in a number of ways: as Nevadans, Americans or members of a certain ethnic group. It's all shared heritage, and we're all part of it. We create it every day."

The Preservation Ball is scheduled for Piper's Opera House Saturday. Gus Gustafson and the Dennis Butterfield Band will go "back in time" to the grand balls of the Victorian era. Sunday, the Comstock Children's Choir will perform at the Fourth Ward.

The events are part of a national celebration of Preservation Week. It was designated in 1971 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to spotlight grass-roots preservation efforts through events like tours, talks and seminars.

"Preservation succeeds because of the work of real people committed to revitalizing historic sites, landscapes and neighborhoods," Historic Preservation officials said.

The event's sponsors include the Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Commission on Tourism, Nevada Historic Preservation Office and the Fourth Ward.

For more information or to make reservations, call the museum at 847-0975.

Events at the Fourth Ward School:


-- A new exhibit in the Fourth Ward's Changing Gallery explores educational facilities from the 1860s to 1930s. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

-- Fourth Ward School scholar-in-residence Susan James will sign copies of the school's first published history in the gift shop from 6-6:30 p.m.

-- The Roaring Twenties will live again in the E.L.Weigand Great Hall, starting at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $35, or $30 for Fourth Ward School members.


-- Chic DiFrancia and Carol Clifford will present a letterpress demonstration on the Chandler Press from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Mark Twain Room.

-- Dancemaster Gus Gustafson will lead the mazurka, waltz and other dances during the Preservation Ball at Piper's Opera House from 8 p.m. to midnight. Victorian formals, dressy Western or semi-formal attire suggested. The $30 cash advance purchase includes late supper.


-- Squeek LaVake directs the Comstock Children's Chorus in a medley of songs "taught to the tune of the hickory stick" at 1 p.m. in the E.L. Weigand Hall.

-- Joe McCarthy, former director of Carson City's Brewery Arts Center, will be a recipient of the 2002 Nevada State Historic Preservation Awards presented by State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James at 2 p.m.

-- A promenade of authenic historic fashions is presented at 2:15 p.m.

-- Afternoon tea and sweets are served at 3 p.m. in the tradition of Carol Morgan Page, who was instrumental in Comstock's preservation.

What: "Step Back in Time to the Roaring Twenties"

When: Friday-Saturday

Where: Historic Fourth Ward School Museum, C Street in Virginia City


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