Chautauqua Of Heinrich F. Dangberg At Dangberg Historic Park June 20

Posted By on June 15, 2015

Courtesy of the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park

MINDEN, Nev.- Chautauqua performer Michael E. Fischer will portray Carson Valley rancher Heinrich F. Dangberg in a free presentation at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Saturday, June 20, at 10:00 am.

Michael Fischer Photo by Scott Goodin

Michael Fischer
Photo by Scott Goodin

H.F. Dangberg, Sr. came to the United States in 1848 as a young immigrant from the Kingdom of Prussia, and thence began a journey westward that ended in Douglas County, Nevada in 1853. As this Chautauqua presentation demonstrates, it was the combined force of his personality, work ethic, and intellect that led him to become a prominent figure in the early history of Nevada.

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Dangberg’s primary legacy is in the development of irrigation systems to support arid land. He served in both houses of the Nevada legislature and also formed the H.F. Dangberg Land and Live Stock Corporation with greater than 20,000 acres in the Carson Valley. He made few friends along the way but supported many of the early Carson Valley residents in their attempts to reach America. Like him or not, H.F. Dangberg’s legacy still engenders strong opinions about his methods and motives.

The Chautuauqa is part of the park’s Ferris Family Speaker Series, named in honor of the family of Margaret Ferris Dangberg, the wife of Heinrich F. Dangberg. The series is sponsored by Bently Ranch, SoaringNV, The Record-Courier, Douglas County, Alpen Sierra Coffee Company, 88 Cups & More, and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. Alpen Sierra Coffee Company is providing complimentary coffee and 88 Cups & More is providing baked treats for visitors. Fischer’s performance is also made possible with the assistance of Nevada Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Raised and educated in Reno public schools, Michael E. Fischer earned a Bachelor of Science degree at University of Nevada, Reno, and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California. After working in private practice for 31 years, he retired from dentistry and was appointed Director of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, serving in both Governor Gibbons’ and Governor Sandoval’s Cabinet until the department was formally disbanded. He is now an independent scholar whose interests include the history of Nevada cowboys and ranching, politics, bootlegging, gambling, and crime.

This is a free outdoor event. The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Dogs are not permitted in the park, with the exception of certified service animals. For more information, visit or call 775-783-9417.

Upcoming speakers in the series include Kim Copél, in a Chautauqua portrayal of Lillian Virgin Finnegan, the creator of Genoa’s annual Candy Dance event, on June 28; author of children’s adventure books Mary Randall presenting her book, A Walk Through the Woods on August 8; the “Naughty Tea Mistresses of Nevada – Nellie Davis, Hannah Clapp, Wilhelmena Springmeyer and Lizzie Kinkaed” on August 15; and historian Frank Mullen presents “Westward Ho, Nevada”, August 29.


The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park is the 2012 and 2013 Reno-Tahoe Territory winner of the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s “Discover Your Nevada” contest. The site preserves the home of Heinrich F. Dangberg and three generations of descendants. The Dangbergs were a prominent ranching family in Carson Valley history and founded Minden in 1905. The Park includes eight historic structures built between 1857 and 1917, along with a large collection of artifacts, documents and photographs. Programs include guided tours, exhibits and other public events. The Park is operated by Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in cooperation with its owner, Douglas County.