Dangberg Historic Park in Minden to present Naughty Tea Mistresses chautauqua Saturday

Chautauqua presenters Dana Lee Fruend, Yvonne Sullivan, Janet Baker and Judy Quinlan will portray Nevada pioneer women Nellie Mighels Davis, Elizabeth Kincead, Whilhelmina Springmeyer and Hannah Clapp in a free chautauqua at 10 a.m. Satuerday at Dangberg Historic Park in Minden.

Nellie Mighels Davis was an associate editor, reporter and first woman to own a newspaper. She was the first woman to report on the Nevada Legislature as well as a prize fight, “The Fight of the Century,” between Corbet and Fitzsimmons. Davis also served as first president of the American Red Cross in Nevada.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Kincead was the wife of Nevada’s third governor, John Kincead. The couple owned Fall Mercantile stores in both Carson City and Virginia City between living in Unionville, Nev., and Sitka, Alaska, where Lizzie started the first temperance society in that state. She served as First Lady of Nevada from 1878 until 1882, and of the district of Alaska from 1884 until 1885.

Wilhelmina Springmeyer left Halle, Germany, in 1868 when her family forbade her to marry Herman Henry Springmeyer. They married anyway, and worked for H. F. Dangberg in Carson Valley until 1871 when they purchased their own ranch. She was the mother of 10 children, several of whom went on to be influential Nevada leaders.

Hannah Clapp organized the first private school in Nevada, was the first instructor and librarian at the new University of Nevada, was the co-founder along with partner Eliza Babcock of Nevada’s first kindergarten, was an ardent feminist and suffragette, was one of the founders of the Twentieth Century Club, and is responsible for the fence around Nevada’s statehouse.

The presentation is part of the park’s Ferris Family Speaker Series, named in honor of the family of Margaret Ferris Dangberg. The series is sponsored by Bently Ranch, SoaringNV, The Record-Courier, Douglas County, and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. Alpen Sierra Coffee Company is providing complimentary coffee and 88 Cups and more is providing baked treats for visitors throughout the series.

The Naughty Tea Mistresses of Nevada are a troupe of more than 20 women who portray female historic figures in Nevada who were considered “naughty” by most men for thinking and acting on their own. The troupe members, all of whom live in and around Carson City, are ambassadors of Nevada Day, Inc., as well as the state of Nevada.

Presenters at Saturday’s event are all board members of the troupe. Nellie Davis is portrayed by executive director and co-founder, Dana Lee Fruend, who is CEO of D R E A M Management, marketing director for Nevada Day, Inc., an author, a freelance writer and a photographer. Elizabeth Kincead is portrayed by president and co-founder, Yvonne Sullivan, who has been creating historical costumes for more than 30 years, is a Battle Born Civil War reenactor, and teaches women how to sew historically accurate clothing.

Wilhelmina Springmeyer is portrayed by Secretary Janet Baker, who is execuvie administrative assistant for Nevada Day, Inc., owner of her own company, The Prairie Godmother, past board member of The Children’s Museum and past executive board member of her local community theater in Texas. Hannah Clapp is portrayed by Treasurer Judy Quinlan, who has been creating historical costumes for more than 25 years, is a Battle Born Civil War reenactor, and has worked for over 10 years with special needs children in Yerington schools.

This is a free outdoor event. The park is at 1450 Highway 88, a quarter of a mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. Visitors are asked to bring a lawn chair or other seating. Dogs are not permitted in the park, with the exception of certified service animals. For more information, go to dangberghomeranch.org, or call 775-783-9417.

Upcoming speakers in the series include historian Frank Mullen presenting “Westward Ho, Nevada” on Aug. 29; author Michael Green presenting his book, Nevada: A History of the Silver State, on Sept. 27; historian and author Mark McLaughlin presenting “Reign of the Storm King” on Oct. 3, and Western actor Jack Waggon presenting on Oct. 10.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment