Chautauqua of Will Rogers coming to Dangberg Home Ranch in Minden

Doug Watson as Will Rogers

Doug Watson as Will Rogers

Doug Watson will portray legendary humorist “Will Rogers”, at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Wednesday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Will Rogers was born part-Cherokee on his father’s ranch in Indian Territory in 1879 and traveled the world as a young man. Rogers was not only a cowboy, but was also a star of stage and screen, a newspaper columnist, a radio commentator and a kindly critic of Congress and society. He knew Presidents, sports heroes and businessmen, and he was beloved by the “big common majority” of Americans. Will Rogers was widely considered the country’s leading citizen of the 1920s and 1930s.

Dangberg Historic Park archives include letters which refer to Fred Dangberg Jr. and Will Rogers’ friendship during the filming of Rogers’ movie “Lightnin” in 1930, when several scenes for the movie were filmed around Lake Tahoe. An article in the Record Courier newspaper of September 19, 1930 also notes that Rogers was “a guest of H.F. Dangberg in Minden”.

This event is sponsored by Soaring NV, Douglas County, Bently Ranch, Dr. James the Dentist, NV Energy, Ridge Tahoe Resort, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, Carson Valley Inn, Carson Valley Times, Carson Valley Accounting, Horsetales Magazine, Allied Sanitation and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. This event is also made possible with the assistance of Nevada Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The cost is $5 for adults, free for 16 and younger and members.

Dr. Doug Watson is a retired college English teacher and inductee of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. For more than twenty years Watson has been involved in historical characterization and humanities programming. As an employee of the Will Rogers Memorial Museums, Watson is an acclaimed educator-ambassador for the humor and good will that was associated with Will Rogers. Doug Watson and his wife Kay live in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

“Doug Watson is a very dedicated historian and talented storyteller. He really does make the humor and wisdom of Will Rogers come alive,” said the park’s events manager, Kim Harris.

The park is located at 1450 Highway 88, 1/4 mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. This is an outdoor event, and visitors should bring their own seating. Dogs are not permitted at this event. For more information, visit

Other Chautauqua performances coming up at the park include Doug Mishler as “Theodore Roosevelt” on July 26; Chris Bayer as “Major William Ormsby” on August 9; and Juanita Westbrook as “Cathay Williams: Buffalo Soldier” on August 23. The park’s full 2017 event schedule is available at the park’s website.


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