I’ve always felt it was more interesting to meet the actual historical person no matter how long they’ve been dead, than to just read about them. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that there was a name for performing an historical character in first-person — Chautauqua. I just thought these performances were really creative! So for me, sharing history is about making it interesting for you, to inspire you to learn more – or to find ways to share it yourselves! And what is more fun than “being” someone else who leads a more exciting life than your own? So, okay I started out portraying a man (Warren Upson — Pony Express Rider) because the Pony Express is my favorite era of Western History. Then I was finally able to portray a woman (Julia Bulette), albeit a prostitute…but at least she was a woman! Then back to a man (Charley Parkhurst), but an exciting Stagecoach Driver. And finally a respectable woman (Lillian Virgin Finnegan). Yet each person has a special place in my heart and represents a different pivotal point in California and Nevada history. And that is how I came up with the name “Western History ALIVE!”, because that is what I do…bring western history “alive” for you, in hopes that you truly feel you are meeting the person I portray. So… at least for a short time…I do believe I am that very person!
45 minute presentation plus Q&A on Virginia City’s most infamous “working girl” as portrayed with a dignity and insight into a world so often misunderstood. Julia will share with you her most exciting life in which she was welcomed into society events at venues such as Piper’s Opera House, yet shunned on the street by the local women citizens. In her own words she will share her most scandalous murder and what became of the man blamed for it.
Charley Parkhurst — Stagecoach Driver
45 min. Chautauqua presentation plus Q&A on local infamous stagecoach driver “One-Eyed Charley” who worked at times with famous Stage Driver – Hank Monk. Hop on board his coach as he takes you on the ride of your life. Runaway stages, robberies, eccentric passengers and ghosts! From Carson City to Carson Valley, and on up to Lake Tahoe. Hurry on up now…Ole Charley’s stage waits for no man — or woman!
Lillian Virgin Finnegan
20 minute Chautauqua presentation plus Q&A on the woman behind the Genoa Candy Dance. She is presented in 1914 after women gained the right to vote in Nevada. She was a suffragette and worked closely with Governor Emmett Boyle during his terms in office. Locally, she was responsible for inspiring many community endeavors that helped to save Genoa, Nevada’s oldest settlement.