Naughty Tea Mistresses...

Starting my day with a history lesson, in the form of a Chautauqua, is pretty exceptional.

The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park (1856) was the ideal setting for the Naughty Tea Mistresses,  a talented troupe portraying historical women of Nevada (1864 to 1890s) with charm, humor and impeccable manners. I was mesmerized.
All four of the women portrayed were strong both in character and influence during the early days of Nevada.
The moderator was played by Kim Copél. Her character, Julia Bulette, was an English-born American prostitute and madam in Virginia City and has been described as the proprietor of the most elegant and prosperous brothel in the City. She was a popular figure with the miners and the local firefighters and did much to make Virginia City a better place.
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 “The Fight of the Century,” a famous boxing match (NV was the only state in which boxing was legal). She was the organizer and first president of the American Red Cross in Nevada.
Wilhelmine Springmeyer left Halle, Germany, in 1868 to marry Herman Henry Springmeyer, whose parents were against the union. They worked for H. F. Dangberg until 1871 when they purchased their own ranch. When introduced, Wilhelmine was described as a rancher and a populater. She was the mother of ten children, several of whom went on to be influential Nevada leaders.
Hannah Clapp organized the first private school in Nevada. She was the first instructor and librarian at the new University of Nevada. She was the co-founder, along with partner Eliza Babcock, of Nevada’s first kindergarten and was an ardent feminist and suffragette. In addition, she is responsible for the fence around Nevada’s statehouse.
Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’(Fall) Kinkead was the wife of Nevada’s third governor, John Kinkead.  The couple owned Fall Mercantile stores in both Carson City and Virginia City between living in Unionville, Nevada and Sitka, Alaska where Lizzie started the first temperance society in that state.  She served as First Lady of Nevada (1878-1882), and of the district of Alaska (1884-1885).

The stories told and the lessons learned were truly entertaining and informative. To these ladies, I raise my tea cup... which may or may not have something stronger than tea in it.

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Dana Lee Fruend said...

What a lovley blog! Thank you most kindly!

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